29 March 2013
Have you ever wondered what Disney films are really showing to children? In the article
“Someday My Prince Will Come,” Marcia Lieberman explains the negative impact on children
from classic Disney films. The negative messages Lieberman talks about are the girl always
depends on the hero, the willingness to change themselves, and the idea that if you are
beautiful you get through life easy. However, the Disney film Tangled defies this article.
Tangled starts off the same as any other Disney film; a nice, strong, brave man saves the
damsel in distress, but then it changes by not following the clichй, negative messages and
sends out a positive message. Although Tangled and Cinderella have a similar plot, Tangled
portrays a better gender message for young children because of the untraditional role
reversal and the inspirational message.
The plot of Tangled is just like any other plot that Disney comes up with. Girl gets into
some kind of trouble; handsome male comes to save her, and they live happily ever after.
But, the difference with Tangled is that it starts off as a clichй, but drives away from
the fairytale norm. In the movie, there’s a magical flower that everyone desires to have.
The queen of the kingdom had a special baby girl named Rapunzel. She has had magical
powers since birth. Her long blonde hair glows when she sings and has the ability to heal
all wounds. However, things take a turn when Mother Gothel kidnaps Rapunzel just to stay
young. Rapunzel was locked in the tower and could never leave. Until one day Flynn Rider
steals a crown from his partners and is forced to run towards the tower. Not knowing if
anyone was there, he climbs up into the tower and meets Rapunzel for the first time. The
two go out on a wild adventure that would make them closer than ever. During their journey
they both learn to grow more into each other. Throughout the movie Tangled shows a
reversal of roles that strays away from the traditional story of damsel in distress.
Classic Disney movies have a big part of gender roles, which are a set of behaviors that
indicate, specifically the image projected by a person that identifies his or her
femaleness or maleness. Stereotypical gender roles in Disney movies teach individual’s
behavioral and associational patterns that illustrate appropriate behavior for each sex
and provides a way to predict the outcome or fate according to sex. Rapunzel is a
princess, who was kidnapped by Mother Gothel. She lived her entire life locked inside a
hidden tower, but she is no damsel in distress. She is a girl with very long golden hair.
She is a girl who fills her days with art, books, and imagination. Rapunzel’s true destiny
lies outside of the lonely tower. She always obeyed Mother Gothel by keeping her magical
hair hidden. Flynn Rider is a thief, who discovers Rapunzel in the tower. He is a tall and
well-built with short, dark hair. He is an experienced thief; he skilled in escaping the
authorities, hiding out, and stealing right from people’s noses. He later becomes the
husband of Rapunzel.