The Feminist Criticism is the ways in which literature, or in this case a movie, discourage the oppression of women. Most disney movies are based off of fairy tales. Fairy tales are not usually feminist. They tend to stick to the idea of a girl who falls in love with a boy. Tangled is a movie about a young girl, Rapunzel, who is locked away in a tower by her “mother” for most of her life. Her goal is to see the floating lanterns in the sky that come every year on her birthday, as well as explore the world around her.
Rapunzel’s mother often leaves her alone in the tower. One day a thief, Flynn Rider, makes his way into the tower. Rapunzel knocks Flynn out with a frying pan, and ties him to question him. She also takes the crown that Flynn has just stolen. She won’t give the crown back until he takes her to see the floating lights in the sky.
Why did Flynn have to be a boy, could it have been a girl who helps her find the floating lights? Could she have gone herself? Rapunzel doesn’t have her own adventure or story. It’s the same as every fairy tale (spoiler alert), she meets a boy, they fall in love, and they live happily ever after. Disney made the movie so that Rapunzel needed a mans help. It didn’t have to be this way, but that is how Disney tends to make their movies.
Since Rapunzel’s mother, Gothel, isn’t really her mother, and only wants her for her magic hair, she forces her to never leave the tower. This frustrates Rapunzel as she has a curious personality. She wants to see the floating lights in the sky on her birthday. Rapunzel gains the courage to ask Gothel to leave the tower and see them. However, she responds with a no. Gothel tells Rapunzel that she can’t leave the tower because no one would want someone who is “sloppy, underdressed, immature and clumsy”.
Tangled is set in a kingdom which is ruled by Rapunzel’s actual parents, the king and queen. The kingdom is portrayed as happy and content. The scene where Gothel tells Rapunzel how she looks will make her unwanted by anyone else, relates to the idea that men are in control and only choose women based on their looks.
The movie ends with Flynn having to save Rapunzel from herself. He cuts off her magic hair to stop Gothel from keeping her locked in the tower forever. Rapunzel needs a mans help to save her instead of her saving herself from Gothel. The plot continues to fall into the stereotypical fairytale story.
Tangled was awarded for having more well-rounded characters, but it still struggles in some spots to leave the fairy tale idea and have the female main character (Heroine) be strong and independent. While Disney’s goal may not of been just another helpless princess movie, it appealed to a large audience. They understand that movies, like Tangled, grab a big audiences attention.