Review: “Tangled”

After a burst of great movies like The Lion King and Aladdin, Disney’s cartoon movies have gotten seriously weak of late. So I tried not to groan too loudly when my wife wanted to see Tangled, which is a Disneyfication of “Rapunzel.” Luckily for me, her mother gifted her with extreme – almost pathological – cheapness. This isn’t always a plus, but it saved me from seeing Tangled in the movie theater.

I wasn’t exactly dancing with joy at the prospect of seeing Disney’s Tangled. I still wanted to like the movie, but it would have to win me over. Oh, and I could have cared less about the changes they made versus the original “Rapunzel” story. I just wanted a good movie. So I did my best to give Tangled a chance.

Was I disappointed? Did my wife squeal with glee like a teenage girl when we saw it? Stay tuned to find out.

Something shiny!

Believe it or not, I actually liked Tangled. It wasn’t The Lion King, which is probably my favorite Disney cartoon to date. But it wasn’t Pocahontas either. (As you can see, I gave up on most of Disney’s animated features some time ago.) Despite the complaints, adding a dude to the story may have actually helped. He wasn’t Mal Reynolds from Firefly (dare to dream!) but as far as bad guys with hearts of gold go … well, at least he wasn’t Neelix from Star Trek: Voyager. Shiver. This new character allowed Rapunzel to remain innocent without overdoing it and triggering my barf-button. This is always a risk with anything Disney.

Anyway, about the movie. Rapunzel was born a princess with magical healing powers in her hair. This was because of a healing flower that was used to cure her mother of an undisclosed illness. Note that this is Disney, so it’s more likely to be a fatal case of athlete’s foot than something interesting, like cancer or herpes. Anyway, the flower’s power was transferred inexplicably to Rapunzel. I’m sure there are loads of doctors out there who can explain this scientifically. Feel free to drop us a line in the comments for that. I’ll still accuse you of being full of shit, though.

You’d think Gothel would
have young studs feeding
her grapes and rubbing her
…uh…feet. But no.

Meanwhile, some old broad named Gothel had been using the flower to keep herself young. She had hidden the flower, but done a bad job of it, so the King’s men took it to cure the queen. This deprived Gothel of the flower and eternal youth. Then Gothel discovered that Rapunzel’s hair now had the same power to keep her young, so she swiped the girl and raised her as a daughter … one you keep locked up in a tower (Where did an old witch get a tower in Medieval fake-Europe?) and controlled her through a liberal application of guilt and shame. (Use only as directed by an elder in a Kingdom Hall near you.) Rapunzel remembered nothing of her true heritage. Standard issue for a Disney cartoon.

Where the hell does
a peasant get a
frigging tower?

By her 18th birthday, Rapunzel only knew the tower she was raised in and her evil not-mother, Gothel. Only now, she wanted Gothel to let her out of the tower to see these glowing lights that appeared every year on Rapunzel’s birthday. It turns out these were sent out by Rapunzel’s real parents, the King and Queen, as a way of retrieving their lost daughter. I have no idea why anyone thought this would work – it’s not like they had her name on them or anything – but OK movie. You win this round.

Gothel denies Rapunzel’s request to see the lights. Bad move, Gothel. Because Rapunzel meets a thief with a heart of gold, named Flynn Rider, when he climbs up into her tower. That’s right, I said he climbed up into her tower. Yeah, now you wanna see it.

Enough room for one
more, kids?

This being her first encounter with an actual dude, you might think she’d be all Amazon Women on the Moon for him, but no. She smashes him in the head with a frying pan and holds him captive in her closet. Which seems healthy to me. So I guess she’s more Misery than Amazon Women on the Moon. Oh, and she ties him up in her 40 feet of hair too.

Damn. I might be in love.

Anyway, it sort of gets weird from there. Flynn takes her to a bar at one point, called the Snugly Duckling (it was obviously a gay bar … or maybe that’s just my cynical nature burning through) and they run into the most awesome horse in all of cinematic history, Maximus. Even if you hate Flynn and Rapunzel, you’ll like Maximus. He seems to be the only person in Disney-dum with the keen intellect to match wits with Flynn. Quite a pair, these two.

Never go to a bar
called The Snugly
Duckling. Ever.

No, Flynn and Maximus don’t end up married. That would have been a real shocker of an ending. Way better than Disney’s usual fluff. They should hire me to fix all their movies. Anytime, Disney. You know where I live.

I don’t want to spoil the surprise Disney ending, but Flynn and Rapunzel end up married. ::Gasp!:: Then I presume he kisses her a few years later and that’s where babies come from. I wouldn’t actually know, but I think I read that over at Conservapedia someplace. So it must be true. Those guys know everything.

Guys, if your girlfriend’s gonna make you rent something cute, it may as well be Tangled. It’s about as good as Beauty and the Beast, if you remember that one. It’s probably not romantic enough to get you laid, but then, what is? (If you’re me.) See my point. At least it’ll take your mind off Duke Nukem Forever being delayed yet again.


Note to Pascal:
If you wanna be in my review, you gotta have tits.
Or a really nice ass.

About The Atheist Geek

The Atheist Geek is a former Jehovah's Witness turned secular humanist. He's a lifelong sci-fi geek and a writer wannabe.
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16 Responses to Review: “Tangled”

  1. Megan says:

    Just a thought-It’s 70 feet of hair. Also, I hadn’t noticed the implied gay bar. That’s funny!

  2. The Sleepy Herm says:

    Testing…Will it let me leave a comment this time, I wonder?

    Anyway, I just wanted to say I love your website!

    • Thanks for your comment. Sorry if your posts didn’t get through before…maybe my spam filter thought you were a machine? 🙂

      Anyway, now that I’ve approved your comment, the rest should go through without a delay.

  3. Thanks. Anyway, your website’s one of my favorites and I’m really glad I found it ’cause I’m an atheist ex-jw too. Lots of good advice here. And a sense of humor. Some ex-jw sites are too serious. Not that the WTS doesn’t affect people in serious ways, it’s just that I can only focus on the negative, darker aspects for so long before I loose my mind. Humor kind of curtails that.

    • I’m with you, man. I realize that my site has a bit of an identity crisis in some ways–I do silly movie reviews and serious articles too–but yeah, it does get depressing. I fear that some of us run the risk of becoming too obsessed with fighting the tower sometimes.

      Anyway, thanks for the compliments. I’m working on some more of the serious stuff to come out soon.

  4. Ty says:

    Why fight the tower?

    The rest of the world is awesome, and just waiting to be explored.

  5. I feel the need to fight, though I probably shouldn’t fight. What they do to people makes me sick. Seriously, I can hardly stomach their crap most of the time. The stuff they do should be illegal. It’s just really wrong, and I hope and (don’t) pray that no one else gets to fall victim to it all.

  6. There I go loosing it again…

    Yeah, I see what you mean…

  7. Ty says:

    The best tactic is to have a great life that doesn’t include them.

    You never know who’s watching.

  8. Thanks Ty. I’ve been realizing lately that focusing on positives really helps in these kind of situations, even though that sounds cliche’ed. The unfortunate thing is that I can’t have a life that doesn’t include involvement with the tower. I’ve got a lot of family involved in it all, including immediate family, so I have a feeling I’m going to be dealing with this stuff for the rest of my life…but if that’s the case, I guess I should come to peace with it, like you and Atheist Geek said. On the same note, I really hope schools educate people about cults, evolution, and critical thinking skills. Maybe activism in that area is a step in the right direction. For me, anyway. I’ve become a huge geek for humanism since leaving and becoming an atheist, so reaching out to my fellow humans is very important to me now, anyway.

  9. Ty says:

    You can still have a great life that doesn’t include the Tower, even while living with people who are caught up in it.

    The expectation that’s been drilled into them is that leaving ‘the Truth’ causes on to become terribly unhappy and unfulfilled. So, just find a way to be happy and fulfilled in life and you’ve already beaten one of their most powerful lies.

    Believe me, people see that.

    And if you let them make you miserable, you’re just giving them ammo. “Look how unhappy he is without god!”

  10. And if you let them make you miserable, you’re just giving them ammo. “Look how unhappy he is without god!”

    Yeah, I see what you mean. They tried to use that tactic with me before, once when I questioned the tower. It almost tore us apart as a family, except I decided to stop trying and just keep nodding my head. I broke down and they totally took it as a sign that I still believed. Talk about not getting the message. Maybe I was upset because I was threatened with a broken family just because of their religion. But yeah, good point. And being a good “apostate” also proves them wrong on another major point. I just have to keep my mouth shut sometimes. Gotta walk on eggshells. Afraid to speak my mind, really. That’s why my blog and everything I do online is anonymous. Family knows I have doubts, they don’t know I seriously think the society is wrong. Oh, and I was wondering, do you have an account on an ex-jw forum or something? I know Atheist Geek does. Anyway, it’s a great way to get to talk to other people in similar situations. It’s tonic to me and there’s a lot of support on forums like JWN, in addition to blogs like this one.

  11. This is why I’ve been tempted to create a forum here. You guys are having a great conversation. 🙂 But JWD and JWR are already online and doing it better than I probably could…

    Anyway, one thing to watch for is bullying from family members. That’s very common with JWs since they have a weapon to use (DFing/shunning) with some impunity. After all, it’s not that they’ve chosen to pick on you or shun you. They’re just obeying Jehovah, right? (I say wrong, but they say right and that’s make them feel better about it.)

    It sounds like you’ve already faced that problem, Sleepy. There may come a point where you will have to decide: will I live my own life and accept the loss of my family as the cost, or will I continue to play the part they’ve assigned me at the cost of being my own person?

    Note that I have little contact with my family anymore, though for different reasons. Yet I wasn’t close to many of them when I was young, so it’s easier for me than for most. I would never tell you to just cut the cord unless you had reached a breaking point. But you may want to seriously consider what both choices bring to the table, good and bad, so you’re prepared in case the choice gets made for you.

    I have many articles here that might help. 🙂

    BTW, if you ever want to email me directly, my address is at the bottom of my about page. Just click on About at the top of the site and scroll down.

  12. By the way, if you want to see the hidden jokes on all my posts–new or old–hover your mouse over the pictures and alternate (more evil) subtitles will pop up for your amusement.

  13. Ty says:

    I do not hang out on Ex-JW sites. No point. Being a former JW doesn’t define me. In fact, it’s something I don’t even think about most days.

    I don’t have to deal with JW’s on a daily basis, nor did I decide to ‘keep my mouth shut’ when the topic came up. When my family or former friends brought up the topic of my former religion, I answer their questions honestly and without apology. This wound up costing me a relationship with most of my family, and all of my former friends who are current JW’s. This was a price I was willing to pay. Not all are. But I’m quite happy, and I have a large family of close friends I’ve made for myself.

    I’m lucky, though, that my wife de-converted and became an Atheist, and I don’t have kids that have to make a choice.

    The truth for me is, life is far too short to spend any amount of it trying to placate unreasonable people, no matter what genetic similarities we might share.

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