Monday, April 18, 2011

Untangling Tangled

If you know me at all, you know I try to be picky discerning about what movies I allow my daughter to watch.  Just because it's animated, doesn't mean it OK.  In fact, I've blogged about some of my choices before.

Let me give you and example.  We recently watched How to Train Your Dragon.  It was really cute.  What I really liked best was how the adult Vikings spoke with Scottish accents!  Here's why we probably will not watch it again.  I heard a message repeated over and over,  "Adults won't listen to you or appreciate you the way you are."  I could go on to discuss more, but at least that gives you an example of my pickiness!

So here comes Tangled.

One website that I really appreciate is Ladies Against Feminism, so when they wrote a post discussing the problems with the movie Tangled, I posted the link to share with others.  They sounded exactly like the things Disney would try to promote, so I really didn't question it.

I am now here to give you my opinion/critic of the movie Tangled.

I loved it.  Maybe love it too strong a word, but I definitely think the LAF post  went looking for demons under the rocks.

I'll deal with the most challenging aspect first.  I'll let do the speaking for me. 
Flynn tells her that “rebellion is just part of growing up,” a rather unpleasant axiom for parents trying to raise obedient children. Perhaps the more appropriate way to say it is this: “at some point, teenagers have to think for themselves and weigh their decisions against the teaching of their parents.” This paradox presents an excellent opportunity for parents and children to talk about issues like freedom vs. trust and responsibility.

BUT, when she does rebel, she actually rebels unknowingly against the witch who has held her captive in a tower.  Therefore, her rebellion is not against her loving parents, but against a manipulative, selfish captor. 

Now, the whole feminist and anti-purity agenda the other reviewer mentioned...I didn't see it. 

One thing that was supposedly present was a message against stay-at-home wives or stay-at-home daughters.  She did all her "staying-at-home"  type of activities with a good attitude.  I don't remember her ever complaining about them.  I never sensed her desire for "more" or to leave her home as a discontentment with domesticity, but instead a desire to escape her captivity. "When Will My Life Begin" isn't a feminist manifesto as much as a teenager expressing a desire to grow up.
I mean really, don't we all get bored occasionally doing the same laundry and dishes over and over again?  I if we only had the same three books to read over and over and over and over again, that could get a little boring as well.  Is that the right attitude to have?  Well, that's for a discussion on a different post.  My point is I understand, and I don't think Rapunzel's desire to leave the tower and go see the lanterns was a coded message stating, "Death to all homemakers!"  any more than me leaving my home to attend my book group does.

And if you really want to go all the way, I suggest that she embraced the domestic arts.  After all, what was her weapon of choice?  A frying pan!

And unlike some of the other more recent Disney heroines, this little lady needs a man to rescue her! That's right.  No self-imposed, self-sufficiency here.  She willing surrenders to his leadership.  She also helps meet his needs like getting him out of The Snuggly Duckling.  He starts out as an unwilling, selfish leader and changes into a selfless, serving leader.  

I'm not saying we should use Tangled as an example to teach the Biblical roles of man and woman, but I do find them supported more than opposed.

Lastly (I heard that sigh of relief), I appreciated the message it did teach.  The uber-focus on physical beauty and youth by woman is wrong.  Mother Gothel used her beauty and youth to manipulate and gain what she wanted AND used manipulation (and kidnapping) to gain her beauty and youth.  Even Rapunzel learned that it's not all about her hair!

So, I enjoyed, and dare I even say loved, Tangled.  In fact, I have it sitting up in the closet to put in my daughter's basket next week.  So until next week when I can watch it anytime I want, I just remember "I've got a dream..."


Shelly Campbell said...

Enjoyed your post Betsy.

mrspriceisright said...

Thanks for stopping by, Shelly! Your FB status was what made me willing to try it!

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