Tangled

What was Mother Gothel’s Post-Rapunzel Plans?

This question is not such an indictment as others have been but more of something for us all to ponder. Mother Gothel has been alive for hundreds of years. She survived a majority of those years by meticulously gardening a single magic flower. We have to assume that the magic within the flower did most of the heavy-lifting helping it bloom seeing as Gothel kept it under a wicker basket. However, that shouldn’t take anything away from her fortitude and endless watchfulness. But when the palace guards find this plant, ole MG must adapt. And boy does she ever. Her transition from caretaker of the flower to maternal figure of the flower child is nothing less than seamless. Yet, for all her determination, the flower now had something attached to it that could be overcome: a lifespan. As Rapunzel is a human, she will eventually die along with her magical gift and subsequently Mothel Gothel. So was this just something that Gothel accepted? Surely not. Maybe when she would leave for days at a time, she was out looking for another flower? That sounds logical…but what if….

[OK. Here comes the crazy]. We can assume that since the Queen passed on this gift to her daughter that it would be possible for Rapunzel to pass it on to her children, right? Well even if it didn’t turn out to work, it would have been a reasonable enough theory to test. And that being the case, did Mother Gothel miss an opportunity to extend her life indefinitely by pushing Flynn away? Would it have been better for her to try to have it ‘work out’ between Ryder & Rapunzel so that she could potentially harvest her future lifeline? Then she could do some sort of ‘future breeding arrangement’ with their family for generations to come. Well, that got a little dark. No more for tonight.

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Image Credit —-> disney.wikia.com

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Why didn’t Flynn wait?

I’ve never been stabbed before so I can’t say for certain how I would handle myself in the same situation. However, Flynn is a man who has been in these types of scrapes before…maybe not this dire…but close. So one would think that he would be able to quickly assess the situation and understand how to best exploit the opportunity to better his circumstances. Yet in the time when he needs it most, his mental powers seem to fail him.

As Flynn lies dying on the ground, he makes what many view as a heroic sacrifice when he slices through Rapunzel’s hair to free her. But, why not just wait? Now, I know what you are thinking: Flynn has been selfish his whole life and the one selfless act that he does I am trying to take it away, right? Well….kinda. Why couldn’t he have let Rapunzel heal him and once he was all better, then cut her hair? That just makes sense. That way he wouldn’t have had to roll the dice with and rely on the out-of-nowhere magical tear.

Maybe when Rapunzel dropped him on his face, it broke more than just his smolder…

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Who hired these guys?

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about the lack of accountability for the castle guards in the movie Aladdin. While they were severely lacking in morals & loyalty, they are not the only protectors of the realm that need some serious additional training. If you’ve watched Tangled, you will know what I mean. I don’t think I have ever seen more consistent incompetence among a group of men then I do from this squad. It seems that the only thing they are good at is not protecting the kingdom or the royal family. Let’s review their track record. First, they allow an elderly woman to scale the castle walls and kidnap the baby Princess. While I am not sure how Mother Gothel would have made it up to the balcony in the first place due to her advanced state, someone should have seen her performing this feat from one of their guard-posts. But no one did. Then after the crime is committed, these geniuses are somehow unable to find a tower housing the child in the middle of the woods within walking distance of the castle. Surely they would have scoured every inch of the countryside, right? I guess not. Later on, this same band of merry men allow Flynn and the Dynamic Duo to steal the most treasured royal possession, the lost princess’s crown, right from under their noses…literally. But they end up redeeming themselves right? Nope. They are comically thwarted by a band of thugs who not only break Flynn out of prison but elude capture themselves in the process. It almost makes me wish that Rapunzel wouldn’t have been returned to the King & Queen. If the King is willing to allow such shabby work from those sworn to protect him and his family, I’m not sure what type of strong parental figure he really is. Maybe she is better off without them. I’m serious…I mean, he ends up putting a horse in charge of his entire royal force at the end of the movie and arms them all with frying pans….

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Why didn’t she leave the country?

Mother Gothel never moves the flower. It makes total sense that she would be worried the transport could have killed the life-giving plant. (Not sure how she kept it growing when it was hidden from the sun under a basket…but that is another post.) Then, the flower becomes a little girl and Mother Gothel immediately springs into action kidnapping the young bud and fleeing to a land far, far away where no one would ever be able to find–wait, she didn’t? She decided instead to take the stolen treasure to a tower in the heart of the forest adjacent to the castle where the kidnapping occurred?!? Sure, it is a secluded glen but Rapunzel can see the lanterns that are launched each year for her from her prison window. That is way too close for comfort. I know all evil villains must have a fatal flaw, but this just seems downright senseless while every other action by this woman is crafty and amazingly cunning. Tricking Rapunzel for 18 years. Manipulating the Wonder Twins. Even breaking into the castle by herself to kidnap her prize. And after all that, she chooses to move across the street? Either this is arrogance or pure stupidity. Looks like Mother doesn’t know best…especially when it comes to real estate.

Mother Gothel

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Non-Definitive, Completely Biased Ranking of Disney Dads

This post is going to be a little different format from my typical pointless questioning. With Father’s Day just around the corner, it’s got me thinking about being a dad a little more than usual. When it comes to Disney, most of the father examples provided to us are what I would consider lacking. The ones that tend to be the best are often killed off as fast as they are introduced. So when I think about the question of who is the best Disney Dad, I decided it was only best to create a list of 15 Dads and rank them. Why 15? Because Father’s Day is on June 15th this year. (that’s not true…just a happy coincidence.)

(15 Disney Dads ranked Best to Worst)

1. James – The Princess & the Frog
This father is the perfect example of a good dad that is gone too quickly. He pops in, gives some good fatherly advice and then dies a hero. This guy is my number 1 because he doesn’t just talk a good game, the way he lived his life instilled values in his daughter that made her strong & self-sufficient.

Marlin - finding nemo2. Marlin – Nemo’s Dad in Finding Nemo
Sure he is over protective but after the loss of his wife and other kids, you can’t blame the guy. Stopping at nothing and facing his fears to find his kid across a whole ocean is definitely commendable. Rapunzel’s dad should’ve watched this movie on how to respond to a lost kid…Oh, and his jokes are terrible. That’s a prerequisite for an awesome dad!

Pongo

 

3. Pongo – 101 Dalmations
I have to say that Pongo is along the same caliber of dad-ness as Marlin. When his kids are taken, he and his wife do everything in their power to save them. He also is willing to adopt 84 other puppies and raise them as his own. He is dad to the bone. (sorry for that)

 

Mufasa4. Mufasa – Simba’s Dad in The Lion King
James Earl Jones’s voice can make anything sound more grand than it is.  This fact leads us to believe that Mufasa has this thing parenting down. Most think this dad should be number 1, but I have to disagree. Unfortunately we can see from Simba’s ‘Can’t wait to be King’ song, that he is learning more from Mufasa’s actions than his words.

5. King – Elsa & Anna’s Dad in Frozen
This dad has gotten a lot of slack for isolating Elsa but as I discussed in my previous post, that might not have been the worst idea for the Kingdom’s sake. That said, his isolation actions punish Anna as well and create lots of ‘daddy issues’ that result in an engagement to a scoundrel and the freezing of a kingdom.

6. King Triton – Ariel’s Dad in The Little Mermaid
Not only is he running a Kingdom but also raising six girls on his own. This would be a hilarious 80’s sitcom come to think of it. Triton gets grief for being prejudice against humans but I think we can assume this is well founded. His harsh treatment of his daughter’s fondness of the dark side is a little misguided but can’t fault him too much for it. However, I don’t understand him giving up so easily against Ursula (see post) nor changing his whole belief system regarding humans because of one good encounter with Eric.

7. Fa Zhou – Mulan’s Dad
At the end of the day, this guy is a product of the culture. His treatment of his daughter is based on societal norms. We find it limiting and wrong but that’s because we are looking at it from a western, twenty-first century perspective. So, let’s calm down. Plus, he is the coolest looking bald guy in all Disney movies for sure!

 

8. King Stefan – Sleeping Beauty’s Dad
So he’s willing to not see his daughter for 18 years in order to hide her and keep her safe. Then he has her brought back to the palace the last day BEFORE the curse ends? That’s a mix of amazing fortitude and poor planning. Couldn’t he have had the celebration the next day?

 

 

9. The Great Prince of the Forest – Bambi’s Father
If people don’t even realize that you are Bambi’s father until his mom dies, maybe you are being a little too aloof. This buck’s cold attitude toward Bambi can be seen by many as helping Bambi into manhood…but I think there could be a better way to do it.

 

10. King – Rapunzel’s Dad in Tangled
I give this guy a lot of credit for honoring his lost daughter for 16 years but the rampant security issues in his castle are one of the main contributing factors to his daughter’s kidnapping in the first place. Also, you would hope that if his guards scoured every inch of the countryside they would have come across the tower that held Rapunzel. He really needs to shore up his ship.

Cinderellas dad11. Aristocrat Widower – Cinderella’s Dad
Points to this guy for understanding the importance of a mother in a young girl’s life. But even more demerits for both being duped by and willingly marrying Lady Tremaine.

12. King – Snow White’s Dad (not pictured)
This guy apparently read from the same playbook as Cinderella’s dad. He’s not even technically in the story, but we know that he was married to Snow White’s mother and then after her death, remarried a smoking hot queen who was evil. If you have kids, you might want to take them into account when choosing a step-mom…

13. Mr Incredible – The Incredibles
For being a super hero, I can’t say that this guy is very extraordinary when it comes to fatherhood. I get that he is in a rut for having to hide his powers, but becoming a father mean sacrificing…it’s just part of the gig. And he doesn’t really get this even at the end. He has his happy ending because he gets to go back to crime fighting. I think it is just icing on the cake that his family is with him.

George Darline14. George Darling – Wendy, Michael & John’s Dad in Peter Pan
I don’t think you could consider George a very ‘present’ father. Letting his pre-teen daughter live in a nursery with two younger brothers while a dog serves as nursemaid wouldn’t win him any parenting awards by today’s standards. But what can you expect from a former lost boy right?

And the worst father award goes too……

The sultan15. Sultan – Jasmine’s Dad in Aladdin
If you read my previous post on this guy, you probably saw this one coming. Only thing left to say is that while he does choose to allow his daughter to marry for love, he does the opposite of the King in Frozen and potentially sets up his kingdom for ruin. A street rat does not a great ruler make.

I know I haven’t exhausted the Disney dads with this post…that’s why I called it ‘non-definitive’. I may do another one…who did I miss that should have definitely been included in the next 15?

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Image Credit: disney.wikia.com

Aren’t their dreams the same?

So why is one more valid than the other? Aladdin sits in his street rat villa with an amazing view regarding the Sultan’s palace and opines: ‘Someday, Abu, things are gonna change. We’ll be rich, live in a palace, and never have any problems at all.’ We wipe a tear from our collective cheeks and nod our approval. Flynn Ryder (aka Eugene Fitzherbert) jumps on top of a bar and croons his dream consists of ‘an island that I own, tanned & rested and alone surrounded by enormous piles of money.’ But we cross our arms and assent when the hook-handed ruffian responds ‘your dream sucks.’ But why? Aren’t they the same dream after all?

Aladdin & Flynn

Aladdin and Flynn have a lot in common. Both come from poor, orphan backgrounds that led them to thievery as a means for survival. They both deceive the princess that they will later marry. They both even wear vests for goodness sakes! And both have dreams that center on a lavish lifestyle that has absolutely nothing to do with love of any other human but themselves. Sure, Flynn’s dream specifically has him on an island by himself, but there are no others mentioned in Aladdin’s fantasy either…besides his monkey.

Now, Aladdin does come around quicker to add love of an attractive lady into his happy ending so that is a definite plus for him. But Eugene sacrifices his life to free Rapunzel from the grips of Mother Gothel. That should put ole’ Eugene in lead, right? Then why do I still feel that Rapunzel could have done better if she just wouldn’t have latched on to the first man she met?  And why do I have a less unsettling feeling about Aladdin becoming Sultan than I do about Eugene becoming King…even if he had limited power under Rapunzel’s rule. Why is that? Is it just me?

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Too Entangled in Captivity?

My daughter is 4 years old. One thing I am focused on as a father is helping her to become a strong, independent thoughtful & caring person. I’ve read some parenting books. I discuss fatherhood with other dads. I try to keep the long term in mind for her without getting so focused on every little detail. But based on the movie Tangled, all I need to do for my daughter to reach these lofty character goals is to lock her in a tower until she is 18 and only let her interact with a self-absorbed woman who is solely focused on her own appearance.

rapunzel

Come on, we all know that Rapunzel would be crazy right? It’s not just me, is it? From birth, this girl has been locked in a tower by Mother Gothel who won’t let her cut her hair or even speak to another living person. Sure, she has ‘kept busy’ during her imprisonment with hobbies like reading books, painting, baking, playing guitar, sewing, knitting and even a spot of ventriloquism for good measure. But she has learned to do them either on her own or possibly with the help of her jailor. She has basically lived one step above solitary confinement for her entire life. That coupled with the realization she is the lost princess and her mother is actually her kidnapper would most likely push her over the edge. And even if she was able to brush that off, her mind would be so tangled making it nearly impossible for her to function properly outside of the confines of that tower for a long, long time.

That being said, if Mother Gothel wrote a parenting book I would definitely give it a read. She may be a murderous, narcissistic kidnapper but she might be able to help get my daughter into Juilliard.

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Won’t Get Tangled Up in Frozen?

I’m sure by now you’ve seen that both Eugene (aka Flynn) & Rapunzel (from Tangled) visited the Kingdom of Arendelle for Elsa’s Coronation in the movie Frozen. The same coronation in which Elsa freaks out and freezes the whole kingdom trapping all the guests until she returns to fix everything.

frozen-easter-egg-tangled-rapunzel

I realize this is a little ‘easter egg’ that Disney added for fun but two things strike me as a little funny with this short, unassuming entrance. The first is that Rapunzel isn’t wearing her crown or even a very princess-y dress. We all know that Rapunzel is not one to flout her princess status, but when visiting a foreign kingdom for a royal event, a ball gown & crown should be customary, right? At least Eugene has something on that appears a little more formal than usual. And secondly, they are simply walking in with the masses. Even if they were the most unassuming royalty in all the Kingdoms, Elsa’s staff must have dropped the ball by not announcing The Fitzherbert’s entrance (do you think she took his last name?)…I mean, that’s what you do for royalty, right? They get announced everywhere they go. But that’s not what really gets my snow-goat about this situation.

During the whole Frozen crisis, Prince Hans of the Southern Isles is placed in charge and is seen passing out blankets and food to keep everyone safe while Anna goes alone to the mountains on the search for the queen. But where are Eugene and Rapunzel? I find it hard to believe that they would sail all the way to this event and leave before the party was even in full swing. Which is when they would have had to leave in order to get out before Elsa goes all ice-happy and freezes the kingdom. Granted, you don’t see them anywhere at either the actual Coronation ceremony or the after party, but I refuse to believe that they are such horrible guests to leave that early. They had to have stayed…so what the crap are they doing this whole time? Why aren’t they helping Prince Hans? We’ve seen the way that Rapunzel is with the people in her kingdom, but she doesn’t want to lift a finger to help another that’s in trouble? I do concede that this situation is a lot bigger than a mean step-mom kidnapper or twins that are bent on revenge, so they may have felt a little out of their league. But if Elsa & Anna’s parent’s died on the way to Eugene & Rapunzel’s wedding (see theory here), don’t you think that they owe it to them to help? I do…what about you?

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