Friday Favorites: Favorite Moment – Tangled

Welcome to “Friday Favorites” which highlight some of my favorite movie-related things.

I’ve mentioned previously my love for Tangled.  It has many things at appeal to me, specifically.  It’s hilarious, has great music, a strong female protagonist (in my opinion… I know there’s some disagreement about that) and is gorgeously animated.  The highlight of the film, musically, artistically and from the standpoint of character, comes as Rapunzel finally gets to see the “floating lights” that she has dreamed about her entire life.  But for me there’s one particular moment that I can relate to above all things.  Take a look, and read on for my favorite moment:

The song is great, of course (don’t get me started on the injustice of it losing the Oscar), and the visuals are stunning.  It was one of the most beautiful settings in my recent memory of film.  However, the moment that I’m talking about actually occurs at the very beginning of the scene, as Rapunzel first sees the lights rising above the city.

Maybe I’m the only one who has ever felt this way, but I know the exact feeling she is having when she scrambles to the prow of the boat in order to get as close as possible to the lights.  It’s a moment of desperation, that feeling that her heart might burst.  I’m a bit of an obsessive person, and I develop deep personal attachments to people and to things (particularly stories).  I know the feeling of having such an ache for something that when it finally arrives you want to completely immerse yourself in it.  In many ways, it’s the way movies make me feel.  It’s like whatever or whoever you love is a deep pool and instead of wading into it you want to dive in.

To me, that small moment completely sums up Rapunzel as a character, and dreams as a theme.  As she and Flynn Rider talk before this scene, she states that she’s worried that the experience won’t live up to her expectations:

Rapunzel: I’ve been looking out of a window for eighteen years, dreaming about what I might feel like when those lights rise in the sky. What if it’s not everything I dreamed it would be?

Flynn Rider: It will be.

Rapunzel: And what if it is? What do I do then?

Flynn Rider: Well,that’s the good part I guess. You get to go find a new dream.

Rapunzel is a dreamer, and so am I.  We both long for things in a way that is beyond words, and with the art of animation they’ve created one moment of character movement that in many ways sums up exactly who I am.  It’s like having all of these holes in your heart, that are shaped exactly like the things you love, and in that moment your heart gets filled again, and all you want is to wrap yourself up in that moment and live there forever.

What do you think?  Have you taken notice of this small moment before?  Is there any character in the history of animation to have more expressive movement than Rapunzel?  Can you relate to what she’s feeling?  Let me know in the comments!

5 thoughts on “Friday Favorites: Favorite Moment – Tangled

  1. I note you have an upcoming comparison of Tangled and Brave. Really want to see this.

    Now, I truly loved Brave (as in, where was this bleeping film when I was a kid?????). She is me. Maybe that’s my mother too. And my black horse (really, only mine was a mustang, not a Clydesdale). And my bow. And my sword collection. My dad was a lot smaller and not Scottish, but some of my friends are. And those “princes”…erp…yeah, there’s my love life in a nutshell…

    I also saw Tangled (I love animation, and Disney)…

    Something about the film did not work for me and I can’t fathom what it was. There was a great villainess (stealing a Power that was not hers to have: youth vs her real power which should have been age and wisdom, rather like the “witch” in Braqve). There were great visuals (the floating lights thing). A plucky “trickster hero” (whatisguycutenamething). A white horse (OK, he should have acted more like a horse and less like a dog, that would have been nice… like… you know…. Angus in Brave, he was awesome).

    Perhaps I was irritated with the stereotype of the Nice Girl and the Bad Boy.

    Or something.

    I have not seen it enough to analyze it. So go ahead, please analyze it.

    I love your blog. Blog on.


    • My Tangled/Brave analysis has been long gestating but has very little actually written yet. I totally get why one film would appeal to someone over the other. For everyone who identified with Merida and preferred her world there’s someone out there who identifies with Rapunzel and prefers that world instead. But I think the two films have both a lot in common and seem to reside on opposite sides of the same coin, particularly with regards to the “message” of the films. Hopefully one day soon I’ll get around to finishing and posting that analysis.
      Thanks for reading and for all the comments! It’s nice to have a fan! (Your website is fascinating, by the way!)


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