Disney’s Tangled Has Powerful Feminine Energy

For those who haven’t seen the new Disney Princess movie, Tangled, allow me to state simply that you and your daughter will love it. There is not a bit of “girls as victims who must be saved by a man” messaging. The Princess is literally a healer and has tremendous power. There is a love story, but it’s fun. Now, take your daughters, and your sons, to see this epic Disney film and then come back and read the rest of the review because . . . SPOILER ALERT!

Let’s start with the premise of Tangled. Princess Rapunzel gets kidnapped at birth. Parents very, very sad. Quintessential Disney. Rapunzel’s hair doesn’t spin gold (as in the Grimm Brother’s Fairytale), it has the power to heal when she sings.

The traditional Evil Stepmother archetype, Mother Gothel, is different, more modern and realistic, than Disney’s last attempts. She’s a vain woman who kidnaps Rapunzel so that she can hold her hair while Rapunzel sings. This keeps her young, beautiful and healthy. Mother Gothel keeps Rapunzel locked in a tower, both to keep her healing powers all to herself and so that she never risks losing her Fountain of Youth.

Mother Gothel is more subtle than other Evil Stepmothers. The character is an editorial comment about the modern fixation with youth, beauty and plastic surgery. Mother Gothel keeps Rapunzel where she wants her with snide criticisms, masked as jokes, to lower her self-worth. She also instills fear in Rapunzel of all the horrible things that can happen to a vulnerable young girl in the outside world. She reminded me of a typical Mean Girl or some Emotional Vampires I’ve known in the past. You know, the type of friend who’s compliments are backhanded, followed with a laugh and “just kidding.”

Rapunzel, look in that mirror. You know what I see? I see a strong, confident, beautiful young lady. [Rapunzel smiles] Oh look, you’re here too, laughs Mother Gothel.

Mother Gothel is the type of friend or relative who is deeply negative and feeds off other’s positivity and energy. Like the Dementors in the Harry Potter Series. The Fear-Instilling part reminded me of Cable News, (don’t live, it’s dangerous out there). What I enjoyed about Mother Gothel is that she’s symbolic of real dangers, which gives us good talking points with our daughters about what kinds of people and behaviors to avoid.

I approved of lots of choices about Rapunzel’s character, the healing powers, her ability to knock an intruder out with a frying pan, her realistic internal conflict about defying her mother, but my favorite was her Internal Compass. Locked in a tower, you have a lot of quiet time to think and listen to that inner voice, the one everyone has, which tells you who you are and what path to follow. She listened to hers and it said, “Those lights are about you. Go there.” Though Mother Gothel brushed it off, dissuaded and forbid her from going, she had to follow her path. This is, in my view, the most central thing we can teach our daughters. This voice is in you, it can be trusted, it’s best to follow it, it will keep you safe, it will lead you in the right direction, it’s yours, it’s only for you, no one else can hear it, it is meant only for you, it’s a gift from God.

I loved how they used the metaphor of Light for both her path and her magical powers. It’s the same metaphor in the Bible and most other spiritual traditions.

The Prince Archetype was . . . wait, there is no Prince. She’s the Princess. He’s no great prince either. He’s a Bad Boy Archetype. Very cute, prone to stealing, a total phony. She doesn’t immediately fall for him. She knocks him out with a frying pan and holds him captive until he agrees to help her escape from the tower to follow her dream. She doesn’t marry him right away either. At the end, when she is reunited with her parents, she allows him to court her for several years.
Then. . . they live happily ever after.

The saving. Yes, in this Disney film, there is some saving. . .but that’s all I’m saying. I literally {{{gasped}}} out loud at the turn of events and I don’t want to ruin it for anyone.

Tangled is, in my opinion, Disney’s best Princess Movie. The Princess is a Girl Heroine.

Thanks Disney. I’ve been waiting a long time for that pleasure.

All Images Copyright of The Walt Disney Company.

Tracee Sioux is a Law of Attraction Coach at www.traceesioux.com.  She is the author of Love Distortion: Belle, Battered Codependent and Other Love Stories. Contact her at traceesioux@gmail.com.

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