Rapunzel: I've been looking out of a window for eighteen years, dreaming about what it 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.
Disney's 50th animated feature film in its Disney Animated Canon, released in November 2010.Originally calledRapunzel (and released in Asia and parts of Europe with said name instead, while earning the subtitle "A Tangled Tale"), it is still based on the classic fairy tale and is also still a straight-up fairy tale film, despite what that new title might indicate. It introduces the first CG Disney Princess.Long ago, a single drop of sunlight fell to Earth from the heavens, and from that droplet sprang a magical flower with the power to heal all ills. A woman named Gothel used this power for centuries to keep herself eternally youthful and attempted to hide it for herself. A small, very prosperous kingdom cropped up nearby in the meantime. But one day, the kingdom's pregnant queen fell deathly ill. The kingdom sought out the legendary flower, and found it, thanks to a slip-up in Gothel's vigilance. Once given an infusion of the plant, the queen was fully healed. Her daughter was born with a full head of luxurious blonde locks with the same healing powers as the flower.Wanting her flower back, Gothel steals into the castle and cuts a lock of the princess's hair... only for it to go brown, dead and useless. So she kidnaps the princess, hides her in a far-off tower, and raises her as her own. The king and queen mourn their lost daughter, and begin a tradition of releasing flying lanterns into the night sky every year on their daughter's birthday, with the hope that one day she will return. The young Rapunzel never leaves the tower, but as her 18th birthday approaches, she grows increasingly eager to head outside, especially to see the "strange lights" that appear on her birthday each year. As it happens, a thief named Flynn Rider stumbles into their tower soon before her birthday. Holding his stolen loot hostage, she coerces him into taking her to the outside world, and their wild adventure to see the flying lanterns begins... with Mother Gothel hot on their trail, of course.Formerly directed by legendary animator Glen Keane, who wanted a new look that required new CG technology, but it took too long to perfect, and the tone and plot details changed many times: the total production time of this movie is nine years. Disney initially wanted to cash in on the pop-culture-heavy Shrek humor from 2002, only to change the concept of the film again when the story and technology failed their expectations, and turned it into a more straight-forward fairy tale drama. When management changed, John Lasseter altered its development a third time, and we now have a romantic comedy that balanced the two, with a modern attitude. In this time, Keane developed health issues and he had to leave the project for a while. He came back to executive produce and supervise the animation instead and was replaced by Nathan Greno and Bryon Howard, one of the directors of Bolt. It ended up having the second-largest budget of any movie, ever ($260 million, behind only Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End), but is also Walt Disney Animation Studio's third highest-grossing animated film without inflation adjustment (only The Lion King and Frozen made more in the worldwide box office). In addition to its financial success, it was also acclaimed by critics.A special titled Tangled Ever After continues the story through Rapunzel's and Flynn's wedding. It premiered attached to the 3-D version of Beauty and the Beast, and was put on Blu-Ray and DVD with the Cinderella Diamond Edition release.Now has a character sheet and a Shout Out page.
Adaptational Heroism: Rapunzel's parents in this version. They don't steal from the witch's garden or offer their daughter as payment. Instead they unknowingly take a flower that Gothel happened to be using as well. What's more is that it was stolen because the Queen was dying.
Rapunzel being kidnapped as a baby is a pretty good example. In between some silliness ("Go ahead, get trampled by a rhino"?), Gothel uses this as a tactic to keep Rapunzel in the tower.
The scene of Gothel freaking out after finding Rapunzel missing without a trace has the potential to strike right to the hearts of parents whose kid has ever wandered out of their vision at a playground, even if in reality Gothel's an abusive kidnapper.
Rapunzel, incredibly small and naive, seeing a supposedly comforting silhouette split into two strangers, who then proceed to push themselves into her personal space as they take out a sack to blind her. Terrifying to any assault victim.
Gothel isn't like other wicked stepmothers where she banishes the heroine to the kitchen or sends her to the forest to be murdered. She doesn't use magic to keep Rapunzel locked up, but rather uses love like a poisoned apple or witch's curse as a tool for her own ends, preying on Rapunzel's innocence, affection, and vulnerability like a real abusive parent, which is disturbingly accurate to boot.
Mother Gothel pats Rapunzel "sweetly" on the head as a gesture of "affection" but also to remind her that she's dumb, helpless, naive, ditzy, etc. It is a sign that Rapunzel has grown up that she blocks the gesture and grabs Gothel's wrist once Rapunzel realizes who she is.
She has a second one that's actually a subversion. When they exchange their "I love you", "I love you more", "I love you most" lines, Gothel always ends it by kissing Rapunzel on the top of her head. That's right, the "I love you most" is actually addressing her hair. When explaining why Rapunzel has to stay in the tower for the first time, she also strokes Rapunzel's hair as she speaks. It's worth listening closely at this point:
Gothel: That's right, it's to keep you safe (murmured) hair.
Amplified Animal Aptitude: Maximus and Pascal. EspeciallyMaximus, who seems more skilled with a sword than any of the palace guards, despite lacking fingers. Maximus is basically the most badass character in the entire movie: if he had been around when Rapunzel was a baby he would have tracked down the missing princess before the sunrise.
And Then What?: Invoked in the lantern scene. Rapunzel says it's been her dream to see them close up; now that she's about to, what does she do after?
Applied Phlebotinum: In the movie, the rampion from the original Fairy Tale is now a magic plant, grown from a drop of liquid sunlight. After the Queen ingests it, its abilities get transferred to her unborn daughter, Rapunzel. Which is why Mother Gothel kidnaps her (singing a certain song activates the hair's magic and keeps her young) and why her hair is so long (if you cut it, it loses its powers).
Arc Symbol: The kingdom's sun insignia. Finding it hidden in her artwork is what leads Rapunzel to realize she's really the long-lost princess.
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Some of the hazards of the outside world, according to Mother Gothel, are monsters, men with pointy teeth, plagues, and...large bugs.
Bad-Guy Bar: Double Subverted with the Snuggly Duckling, as we're not initially told it has bad guys in it, especially with a name like that. Zig-zagged when it turns out that all the thugs want to do better things.
Bag of Kidnapping: After learning that Rapunzel's hair can be used to heal people and therefore could be worth a lot of money, the Stabbington brothers try to capture her with this method, they would've succeeded if Mother Gothel hadn't knocked them out from behind.
Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Rapunzel runs off to adventure with 70 feet of hair and bare feet. She gets wet but dries off quickly, and at no point are her hair and feet ever seen to get dirty. The hair can be handwaved as being magical but there's no excuse for her feet.
Beneath the Mask: Gothel appears to be a loving, though overprotective (and emotionally abusive), mother towards Rapunzel. Even though it shows she's selfish and cares more for Rapunzel's hair and its power than the girl herself, it's only in the end, when Rapunzel discovers she'd kidnapped her as an infant that Gothel's true nature comes about and she's revealed to be willing to do absolutely anything to keep Rapunzel's power all to herself, even outright murder. It seems all the people at The Snuggly Duckling are wearing masks of their own at first and Flynn's daring, swashbuckling personality is a mask as well.
Storywise: The hair is established early on to lose its power if it's cut. It's even demonstrated in the prologue. Also, at the end, Flynn cuts off all of Rapunzel's hair to free her from Gothel. This would normally mean she can't heal his fatal injury but breaks the supernatural rule and is able to heal him with her tears.
Metawise: Rule Number One of 3D animation is to avoid hair. Tangled features 70 feet of it. First it's just looped up. Then used as rope and as a lasso. Then it gets wet. Then braided full of flowers. Then it lights up from root to tail with the power of the sun.
Be Yourself: Never explicitly said, but definitely implied, particularly with Flynn/Eugene.
The Big Damn Kiss: Being a Disney movie, this was pretty much a given. Although this time it develops a little bit differently. Rapunzel kisses Flynn on the mouth much as Mother Gothel kissed her. Flynn promptly pulls her closer and starts to demonstrate the differences before the cut.
Rapunzel briefly alludes to the difficulties of having 70-foot long hair during her "I Want" Song.
Rapunzel: And then I'll brush and brush, and brush and brush my hair!
Gothel has also made Rapunzel believe that she would be in constant danger outside the tower because selfish people want her healing power for themselves. Along with the actual truth in that statement and the resulting tower imprisonment as well.
There should've been at least a bit of blood on the knife after Gothel stabs Eugene. What makes this weird is that we are shown blood when Rapunzel peeks at the wound. There's also when Flynn/Eugene grabs a broken piece of glass to cut off Rapunzel's hair, and somehow manages to not cut himself on it.
Reality Is Unrealistic: it is actually possible to stab someone and not get blood on the weapon if you do it fast enough. It is a bit of a stretch, though, considering how deep she stabbed him.
Also, a justified one when Gothel falls out the window. In real life, that kind of death would be accompanied by lots of blood, smashed skulls, etc., but the accelerated aging has turned her to dust by the time she hits the ground.
Mother Gothel ties up Rapunzel for wanting to save Flynn from execution and to lure Flynn into a trap later on.
When Rapunzel first meets Flynn, she knocks him unconscious and binds him to a chair with her hair for an impromptu interrogation. Later on he's tied to a boat and sent out towards the castle by the Stabbington Brothers.
Cape Swish: Mothel Gothel is very good at this: it's one of her attributes that implies she is a witch and appears most prominently after "Mother Knows Best (Reprise)".
Cardboard Prison: Not the actual prison, but the soldier who is left to watch the Stabbington Brothers in the tavern. He is literally taken out and escaped from less than five seconds after the rest of the soldiers leave.
The Cavalry: The thugs from The Snuggly Duckling busting Flynn/Eugene out of prison.
Cerebus Callback: As Flynn lies dying, he whispers to Rapunzel "you were my new dream", referencing both the lighthearted song "I've Got a Dream" from earlier in the film and their conversation while waiting for the lanterns (When Rapunzel asked what would happen to her after her dream of seeing the lanterns was fulfilled, Flynn answered, "Well, that's the good part, I guess. You get to go find a new dream.")
Changeling Fantasy: The woman whom Rapunzel calls "Mother," who raised her—and who keeps her cooped up in a tower, makes demands of her, and insults her—isn't her real mother. Her real parents are a kindly king and queen who love her unconditionally and still celebrate her birthday every year as they wait for her to find them again.
Rapunzel loses her fear of the outside world and learns to stand up to her abusive adoptive mother.
Flynn stops caring only about himself and learns to love, as well as to just be himself.
Maximus, who was in the beginning all about protocol and rules and regulations, going so far as to track down the lawbreaker even after his rider, the head guard, had fallen off. Later, it turns out he's a real softie for cute young girls and their dreams, and even gives the aforementioned lawbreaker some leeway for the sake of their love, lending his super-horse strength and fighting skills to break Eugene out of prison and the gallows.
The broken mirror, as Flynn uses a shard of the glass to cut Rapunzel's hair.
Rapunzel's complete, non-negotiable unwillingness to break her promises greatly informs the film's climax, when she promises to Mother Gothel that if she lets Rapunzel heal Flynn/Eugene, Rapunzel will stay with her forever and offer no resistance. Needless to say, it makes the scene pretty tense.
Rapunzel's hair glows when its magic is invoked. This comes in handy when she and Flynn/Eugene need light to escape a watery death.
Rapunzel's painted walls and the hankie from the marketplace are what cause her realize that she is the missing princess.
The piece of cloth that Rapunzel kept after the festival. It's what causes her to notice the suns she's been subliminally drawing because of her heritage.
Also subverted with Rapunzel's many skills demonstrated during the 'When Will My Life Begin?' song: candle-making? Ventriloquism? She doesn't use any of them in the rest of the movie, and only her painted walls are of any importance.
That's more to explain what she's been doing for all those years by herself in the tower. She has nothing to do except learn new skills/hobbies.
Chiaroscuro: Extensively used in the scene when Gothel refuses Rapunzel's request to go out, in which she cuts off all the natural light sources in the tower.
Chirping Crickets: Flynn gets this when he comments to his lackeys "I can't believe after all we've been through together, you still don't trust me?"
Costume Porn: Since the movie is CG, the clothes can be decorated and detailed as much as anyone wants to, and the filmmakers took advantage of this. The amount of detail that has gone into each character's costume in this movie is unbelievable. You can see fabric texture, weathering, tarnish on metals, seams (in strategic places) and the list goes on. Analysis on Rapunzel's outfit here, Flynn Rider's outfit here, and Mother Gothel's outfit here. And despite not technically being part of her costume, Rapunzel's hair falls into this category as well, especially after Flynn gets the little girls to braid it. Rapunzel isn't the only character who has apparently had a lot of effort put into her hair, as Gothel's hair is also incredibly detailed - every little curl is in place, the shading gets greyer in different places depending on how long she's gone without making herself look young again, and her hair even bounces when she moves in certain ways.
Creative Closing Credits: Hand-drawn animated scenes of Rapunzel and Flynn's adventure serve as a backdrop for the credits, which were animated by Shiyoon Kim.
Crowd Song: "I've Got A Dream". Played with in that Flynn spends most of it staring in disbelief, then has to be forced into participating at swordpoint.
Flynn: This is the strangest thing I've ever done!
Cut Song: Originally, "When Will My Life Begin?" had an earlier reprise where Rapunzel sings about how she should be thankful for what she's got, but still wants to leave her tower. It can be heard on the Tangled OST, though.
Dance of Romance: Averted; Rapunzel and Flynn actively try for this, but when they finally get to each other the song's over. Played with during the lantern sequence, when the two lanterns they release together swirl around in a seeming dance.
Dark Is Evil: Gothel shuts all the windows and then keeps on quenching the candles Rapunzel lights.
Dark Reprise: "Mother Knows Best". "Healing Incantation", "Return to Mother", and "The Tear Heals", all having somber elements from the "Prologue".
Decoy Protagonist: The trailers made it seem like Flynn was the star, even though he is very much the deuteragonist. In-movie, Flynn is the leading narrator, but he quickly denounces himself from being the main character and goes on to say that yes, this is the story of Rapunzel.
Once she recovers her memories of her royal parents and her abduction, Rapunzel finally decides that enough is enough and that she'll never help Gothel maintain her youth again.
Flynn. Once he realizes that Rapunzel has been taken by Gothel, not even the fact that he's being dragged to the gallows will stop him from trying to get away. Sure he needs the thugs to bust him out, but he sure as hell didn't sit there and take it.
Maximus is also an example. When hunting Flynn, he's not gonna stop for anything. Except for Rapunzel calling him a good boy.
And then he becomes this again by putting his grudge against Flynn aside and somehow getting the Snuggly Duckling thugs to help Flynn rescue Rapunzel.
Deus ex Machina: The healing tears at the very end. While the movie is different in many ways from the original fairy tale, this detail comes straight from the source material. The fact that her healing powers were rather mysterious to begin with may also be a factor. However, nothing in the movie itself foreshadows it in any way.
Unless you believe the theory that the drop of sun from the intro IS the tear that saved Flynn.
Development Gag: One of the drawings during the end credits shows Rapunzel and Flynn consulting a fortune-telling monkey, in reference to a deleted scene in which Rapunzel and Flynn hitch a ride to the kingdom with a gypsy and her pet monkey.
When Gothel goes through her Rapid Aging, the cloak conveniently keeps the viewer from seeing her pull a Donovan. What we do get to see of her hand and jaw, as well as the dust which spills out of her cloak when it hits the ground, makes it very clear what happened. May be another reason for the higher rating.
We never actually see Rapunzel hit Flynn with the frying pan.
Distressed Dude: It's always Flynn who has to be rescued by Rapunzel, not the other way round. Even when Rapunzel gets Bound and Gagged toward the end of the film, she's able to save Flynn from his mortal knife wound by working off her gag and begging Mother Gothel to let her heal him, which gives Flynn a chance to pull off his would-be Heroic Sacrifice.
Does This Remind You of Anything?: The lyrics of "Mother Knows Best (reprise)" make it sound like the stolen tiara is a metaphor for Rapunzel's virginity. "This is why he's here, don't let him deceive you! Give it to him, watch, you'll see! Trust me my dear, that's how fast he'll leave you, I won't say I told you so!"
Domestic Abuse: Several of the more subtle emotional and psychological varieties are employed by Gothel to manipulate Rapunzel into staying with her in the tower. According to viewers familiar with the subject, it's portrayed very accurately.
Don't Explain the Joke: Gothel's teasing may be mostly Stealth Insults, but she does have some validity in telling Rapunzel to "stop taking everything so seriously." After Rapunzel reminds Gothel that the next day will be her birthday, Gothel responds with "No no no, can't be. I distinctly remember, your birthday was last year." From her face and the tone of her voice, you can tell she's teasing again. Rapunzel's response is "That's the funny thing about birthdays, they're kind of an annual thing." Gothel just stares.
Dramatic Irony: Once she gets to the kingdom, Rapunzel becomes the center of attention during the celebrations, with nobody but the audience knowing that the celebrations are actually all for her anyway.
Dreamworks Face: See the picture above. The poster actually got a lot of people worried that the film was Disney's attempt to copy Dreamworks, though this was cleared up when it was actually released.
Drowning Pit: Our heroes get trapped in a cave as it fills with water.
Embarrassing First Name: Flynn's real name is Eugene Fitzherbert. He named himself after a swashbuckling hero he was a fan of as a kid.
Enter Stage Window: The main entrance to Rapunzel's tower is through a window with the aid of her hair.
Even Evil Has Standards: In the prologue, Gothel only sneaks into the nursery with the intention of taking a lock of Rapunzel's hair, hoping to get the magic that way. It's only when she realises the hair won't work if it's cut off that she kidnaps the child.
This may have been more of a case of Pragmatic Villainy as it would have been much easier to steal a lock of hair as opposed to kidnapping a princess.
Everyone Hates Mimes: Alluded to; the ruffian who wants to be a mime gets some very disturbed looks from the people he's performing in front of at the end.
Everything's Better with Princesses: Rapunzel in the original tale is not a princess. She's just an ordinary peasant girl. The film upgrades her to a long-lost princess. Also, showing how prevalent this trope is, the prince from the tale was turned into a peasant thief.
Exact Words: Part of why Rapunzel's complete and utter devotion to keeping her promises didn't keep her from leaving the tower in the first place. The promise she agrees to at the end of "Mother Knows Best" is "Promise me you'll never ask to leave this tower again".
False Friend: Mother Gothel nearly leads Rapunzel into thinking this of Flynn, but fails when Rapunzel remembers her true royal heritage and Mother Gothel kidnapping her, and learns that Flynn is about to be executed.
Foregone Conclusion: This is the story of how I died. He does die, but Rapunzel's magic tear brings him back to life afterwards.
The Foreign Subtitle: The title of the movie was retained as "Rapunzel" in Asia and certain parts of Europe while being changed to Tangled elsewhere. Disney slapped on the subtitle A Tangled Tale in countries where the movie was released under Rapunzel to make it easily differentiable from the original fairy tale and its other adaptations.
Foreshadowing: At the very start, when Flynn is introducing the story, you see Rapunzel's mobile from when she was a child. On the mobile? A White Horse, a Chameleon, a Small Yellow Duck and a Cupid. To clarify, Maximus, Pascal, The Snuggly Ducking inn and that creepy old dude with the wings.
"Don't ever ask to leave this tower again..." "Don't forget it, You'll regret it. Mother knows best!"
Fountain of Youth: The magic flower which Mother Gothel was originally using. After that Rapunzel's hair was being used as this.
Also, if you have sharp eyes during the Kingdom Dance sequence, you might notice that the atlas Rapunzel and Flynn/Eugene look through spells Brazil with period-appropriate ſ. No, that's not an f. That's the long s that was common before the widespread use of printing. The aforementioned similarity to f eventually led to its replacement by the s we know today.
Frying Pan of Doom: "I have got to get me one of these!" By the end, the entire Guard gets into the action.
Gambit Roulette: Gothel's manipulation of Rapunzel, though impressively cunning, relies on Flynn going to the Stabbington brothers to freely give the crown back to them, something Gothel had no way or reason to believe he would do.
Actually, it's a win-win-win situation: If Flynn just left her without giving the Stabbington brothers the crown, then Rapunzel would be heart-broken enough to run back to Gothel and not chase after him again. If Flynn gives them the crown, then he can be tied to the boat and made to look like he ran away. If Flynn stays with Rapunzel (and does nothing with the crown), he would know that they would be chased by the Stabbington brothers (he saw them on the shore, which is why he hurried off to hand them the crown, and knows how ruthless they could be). The worst case for Gothel would be a continued chase scene, which works in her advantage since Flynn is a wanted criminal (would have to avoid most open areas) and Gothel appears to quite good at hunting her prey.
Flynn: This is kind of an off day for me... This doesn't usually happen.
Flynn: The party lasted an entire week, and, honestly, I don't remember most of it.
When he agrees to take Rapunzel to the castle and she lets go of the chair, he falls forward and states "You broke my smoulder." Given the "off day" statement...
The old guy thug at the end of the "I've Got a Dream" number is clearly drunk, and he attempts to hit on Gothel while he is drunk with "Someone give me a glass, cause I've just found me a tall drink of water."
During "I have a Dream" one of the lines is "Killer sews"...as he's sewing up Bruiser's arm. It's not a sleeve rip, it's his bare arm with a red, open cut (you really only notice when you realize he has no sleeves and pause the scene. Since we didn't see any blood when Flynn was stabbed, one must assume it was snuck past the censors.
The Good King: By the way the common people celebrate, it is implied that Rap's parents are good rulers. However, when they meet Rap and Eugene for the first time, they are both not wearing their crowns. They are just being parents at the time.
Grimmification: Changing being blinded to death by stabbing. Notable because they managed to Grimmify a Grimm story. Granted, the original story's blinding came about from Eye Scream, so a stabbing, while surprisingly violent for a Disney movie, is much less disturbing.
Groin Attack: Subverted with Eugene. When he is catapulted out of the castle, he lands on his groin and he looks like he's in pain, only for the screen to reveal that he landed on the horse seat, and Eugene looking unharmed.
The Guards Must Be Crazy: With the exception of Maximus the horse, Corona's guards are incredibly incompetent. First they couldn't catch an old lady running and carrying a baby or find the nearby tower where she hid. Then they couldn't catch Flynn until he was literally tied up and handed to them, despite the fact that he was dancing around town in plain sight and they knew he was accompanied by a girl who really stands out in a crowd. They leave their wimpiest guy alone with two humongous brutes, and he turns out about as effective as you would expect. They're unable to prevent a massive rescue operation from the pub thugs, and to top it off it was laughably easy for Flynn to swipe the tiara in the first place.
Hair Decorations: Rapunzel is made of sheer adorableness all along, what with her Genki GirlBlithe Spirit nature, her big Puppy-Dog Eyes and her cute overbite - and of course her pretty, pretty hair. But multibraid that hair and decorate it over and over with flowers - and you just made sure the audience needs a second to recover from that cuteness overload.
Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Played with, in that while Rapunzel is good and innocent, she uses said hair as a badassweapon. Flynn even nicknames her "Goldie". However, at the end she's revealed to be a natural brunette, which is actually foreshadowed by the fact that her eyebrows and eyelashes are brown and both of her parents are brown-haired, but most obviously, the fact that her blonde hair lock turned brown when Gothel cut it.
Hard Head: Flynn is knocked unconscious several times in a very short time span with no repercussions. The worst that ever happens throughout the movie is he's knocked out for, at the most, a few hours, and then wakes with no permanent damage. Discounting the fatal stabbing.
Hazy Feel Turn: Maximus, after he realizes that Eugene truly cares about Rapunzel, and assembles the Pub Thugs to help him escape execution.
Heroic Sacrifice: Done twice at the end. Flynn has been mortally wounded, and Rapunzel agrees to willingly spend the rest of her life alone with Mother Gothel if she is allowed to heal Flynn first. Before she can save him, Flynn cuts Rapunzel's hair, destroying its enchantment and freeing her from Gothel's enslavement, even though it seemed like his only hope of survival. Essentially, she tried to sacrifice her freedom for his life, and he sacrificed his life for her freedom.
Hero Secret Service: Played for laughs, as Pascal seems to view himself as one of these for Rapunzel, often acting as her protector and defender... which gets a bit tricky, seeing as he's as a very small chameleon. Although he does manage to stare down Flynn and Maximus. And he's the one ultimately responsible for Gothel falling out of the tower at the end.
Hikikomori: Rapunzel, as she has never gone out of the tower. Of course, it was not entirely voluntary. She even wraps up in her hair during "Mother Knows Best". If that wasn't an homage to Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, it's still reminiscent.
What physical event is used to symbolize Rapunzel deciding to leave the tower forever for the love of a man? A mirror cracked from side to side, just like in the Alfred, Lord Tennyson poem "The Lady of Shallott" ... about a woman trapped in a tower deciding to leave forever for the love of a man. Fortunately the stories don't end the same way.
Hook Hand: The pub thug who dreams of being a concert pianist.
Horsing Around: Being the Captain of the Guard's horse, Maximus does his best to capture Flynn. He has much better luck than his rider.
Hypocritical Humor: During the first "Mother Knows Best" song, Mother Gothel advises Rapunzel to "skip the drama." This, coming from the extremely over-dramatic witch as she strolls down a flight of stairs lined in candles. Several more from that sequence are on the Fridge page.
Rapunzel and her cast-iron frying pan. Flynn uses it at one point (to great effect) and muses, "I have got to get me one of these!" In the end, Maximus trains an entire squad of frying-pan wielding guards.
Interesting Situation Duel: Flynn with a frying pan dueling a horse with a sword. "You should know this is the strangest thing I've ever done!"
In the Back: Mother Gothel does this to Flynn/Eugene when she fatally stabs him in the back with her dagger, unseen, while he's trying to save Rapunzel (though, of course, Gothel may or may not be a Dirty Coward, yet she does fight dirty). Guess he should have seen that one coming.
In the trailer, Flynn calling for Rapunzel to let down her hair was humorous. The single time he uses it in the movie? Not so much.
Twice in the movie, Gothel imperiously tells Rapunzel not to mumble, forcing Rapunzel to repeat herself. The first time is because Rapunzel is nervously working up the courage to ask that Gothel take her out of the tower to see the lanterns. The second time is because Rapunzel is dazedly coming to the realization that she is the long-lost princess of the kingdom, Gothel kidnapped her and her entire life is based on a lie. Judging by her expression, Gothel is deeply regretting calling out Rapunzel on her mumbling the second time.
Rapunzel:I am the lost princess. Aren't I? (Gothel freezes; darkly) Did I mumble, Mother...? Or should I even call you that?
Read "Award Snub" in the YMMV section. Which celebrity does Mother Gothel resemble?
In-story: Flynn is on the run after stealing the lost princess' crown. His escape leads him to where the lost princess herself has been hidden. Then, he and the crown are turned in by Mother Gothel, who is the one who kidnapped the princess.
It's All About Me: Mother Gothel, to the point that poor Rapunzel can barely get a word in edgewise.
I Want My Beloved to Be Free: In Flynn's last moments of life (as far as he knows), Rapunzel makes a promise to never resist Mother Gothel again so long as she is allowed to save his life. Rather than allow her to save him, Flynn decides to use the last of his strength to cut Rapunzel's hair with a shard of glass, causing it to lose its power and depriving Gothel of the reason Rapunzel was so important to her. In a way, this is a case of this trope going both ways.
Exaggerated. Rapunzel, a gentle, caring girl who is a Friend to All Living Things, loves daylight (as well as starlight) and has shining golden hair because her mother ingested a flower that had grown from a drop of liquid sunlight. In the scene where Gothel refuses to let her go, she keeps on lighting candles that Gothel quenches.
Inverted at the end, when Rapunzel's hair is cut and reverts to its natural brown color, while at the same time Gothel's hair turns gray/white due to rapid aging.
The Load: Flynn regards Rapunzel as this at first, mainly because he just wants the crown back.
Longing Look: Flynn gives one to Rapunzel when they're on the boat and she's gazing at the floating lanterns.
Love at First Punch: Rapunzel's first encounter with Flynn involves her hitting him with a frying pan. Twice. And then a third time during her interrogation.
Love Epiphany: Rapunzel and Flynn realize they love each other during the song "I See The Light". In a bit of a twist, they never say "I love you" but instead admit that they are each other's new dreams.
Love Hurts: When Rapunzel is led to believe that Flynn betrayed her, the look on her face is heartbreaking.
Love Redeems: Rapunzel's love for Flynn causes him to change his thieving ways and return to bearing his old name Eugene Fitzherbert.
Love Theme: As Rapunzel and Flynn watch the floating lanterns they sing "I See the Light."
Flynn should at least be bruised from head to toe with many broken bones and concussions from all the abuse he goes through in this movie, but most of it doesn't leave a scratch on him. Though, he's still vulnerable to daggers and pointy rocks.
The abuse that Maximus' legs put up with would cripple a normal horse a dozen times over. But thanks to Toon Physics, they do fine.
Not to mention the fact that he (Maximus) falls off a cliff, lands on his back and springs to his feet completely uninjured.
Mother Gothel is never actually seen to use any magic of her own. While her costume suggests that she is a witch, and she worked out how to get the flower (and Rapunzel's hair) to restore her youth, she never states that she can use magic, and we don't see her use anything which couldn't be achieved by sleight of hand (albeit very cunning, but she's had a long time to practice...) She uses a mundane solution even when magic would clearly be easier, like sidling over to the wall and knocking it surruptitiously at the start of the Mother Knows Best song to start the "special effects".
Mother Gothel wearily proclaims that she looks like "the bad guy" after an argument with Rapunzel in the beginning of the film. The second time she says it, she decides to take the role much more literally.
Mother Gothel and Rapunzel have a "playful" mother/daughter game: Mother Gothel tells Rapunzel "I love you" Rapunzel replies "I love you more" and Gothel concludes with "I love you most" while kissing Rapunzel on the top of the head. This takes on some sinister connotations when you realize that Gothel appears to be saying this last line to Rapunzel's hair, rather than to Rapunzel herself—implying that she sees Rapunzel as nothing more than a life-support system to the magic hair.
"The Healing Incantation" starts as a symbol of Gothel's greed ("make the clock reverse, bring back what once was mine.") When Rapunzel heals Flynn's hand, the emphasis is on "heal what has been hurt." After Flynn dies and Rapunzel tried to sing him back, it's sadder and echoes the entire movie — "change the fate's design" and "bring back what once was mine", referring to Rapunzel's belief in destiny and her love for Flynn.
When Flynn and Rapunzel are about to see the lights appear, Rapunzel is worried about what she'll do with her life after living her dream. He consoles her by telling her, "Well, that's the good part I guess. You get to go find a new dream." This turns up again later when Eugene has returned to the tower in an attempt to free Rapunzel. Dying, he says, "You were my new dream." Rapunzel responds, in a tear-filled voice, "And you were mine."
The first and last times Flynn sees Rapunzel's long hair emerge from her tower are nearly identical, with her golden hair forming a loop as it flies out of the window into the sunlit air as he clings to the wall of the tower. The second time, it's not Rapunzel throwing it down.
Mood-Swinger: Provides the trope's page image. Upon escaping the tower, Rapunzel rapidly lurches backwards and forwards between delight over being free ("THIS IS SOOOO FUUUUUN!") and guilt over disobeying Mother Gothel ("I am a despicable human being.")
The thugs at the Snuggly Duckling look ready to pulverize Flynn and Rapunzel, right up until she asks if they've ever had a dream.
Hook-hand Thug: I... had a dream once.
After the gorgeous love duet that is "I See The Light" and Rapunzel and Flynn Almost Kiss, the atmosphere immediately darkens — Gothel is afoot and intent on getting her "daughter" back by any means possible.
In-story, there's Rapunzel running around yelling "I'm free!"/"Mother is going to kill me..."/"This is the best day of my life!"/"I'm the worst daughter ever!" Flynn points out, "You seem a little at war with yourself here."
To the townspeople, the Lantern Festival is a fun celebration full of music and dancing. Inside the castle, the King and Queen are very somber, nearly crying, trying to compose themselves to go out before the people and release the first lantern.
Morning Routine: The song "When Will My Life Begin?" details Rapunzel's rather full morning.
Mundane Utility: Rapunzel's 70 feet of hair has magic that can heal grievous wounds and reverse aging. It also serves as a handy blanket to wrap around herself with when she's sleeping outdoors. It even serves as the world's longest flashlight when she and Flynn need to find a way out of the cave-in.
My Art, My Memory: After visiting the kingdom, Rapunzel realizes that she has subconsciously incorporated their distinctive sun motif into all of her paintings, because it was on the mobile above her crib. The connection causes her to remember that she is the missing princess.
Gothel: Rapunzel, do you know what I see in that mirror? I see a strong, confident, beautiful young lady. (beat) Oh look, you're here too.
Mythology Gag: Rapunzel's tears restoring Eugene to life at the end follows the actual ending of the fairytale where Rapunzel's tears caused her prince of the original tale to "see the light" again by curing his blindness. There's also Flynn yelling out "Rapunzel! Rapunzel, let down your hair!" to let her hair down again, like in the original fairytale. The line in "Mother Knows Best" about Rapunzel's weight ("Plus, I believe / Gettin' kinda chubby...") also references the original tale, in which the witch discovers Rapunzel's secret visitor due to the fact that he's made her pregnant and she's putting on weight as a result.
Never Say "Die": Played straight when it is only implied by Flynn touching his neck that he's being taken to the gallows and then nicely subverted when Mother Gothel says point blank that Flynn will hang while a clear shot of a noose is on-screen. Later, she says the secret will die with him, shortly before Rapunzel and Flynn both say they don't want the other to die. Amusingly, in Flynn's case, instead of using a metaphor for death, he's using death as a metaphor... which completes the hat trick by also making this trope inverted. The subversion really ramps up the tension.
Half the scenes in this trailer aren't in the movie. Particularly the bit where Flynn fights Rapunzel's hair, and the part where she throws him out of the tower. Revealed during a Q&A of the screening, they had planned on making scenes specifically for the trailer.
And in this one, the bit where Flynn asks the guard whether he was guarding what Flynn was about to steal. In the movie, there was totally different dialogue for that scene.
In a few trailers, when Rapunzel shouts out Flynn's name while running in the grass, the scene in the movie is entirely different. In the movie, the scene displayed is when Rapunzel is singing her Triumphant Reprise.
The trailers in general tend to make the movie look like a poor imitation of the Shrek formula. This is one of the best examples of a film that looks a million times better than its trailer lets on, rather than the reverse.
Nobody Touches the Hair: Rapunzel will only let her hair be touched by her "mother", although this may be a case of having being told that people would use her healing locks for their personal gain. She also does not want to talk about her hair much, to the point she neglects to mention its powers ("I have magic hair that glows when I sing") at a time when they may be needed.
No Immortal Inertia: The immortality granted by Rapunzel's hair is immediately revoked if her hair is cut, causing anyone surviving in such a way to age rapidly if they touch the hair while it is losing its powers.
No Infantile Amnesia: Near the end of the film Rapunzel has an epiphany and realizes that she's been subconsciously painting the symbol of her city-state — a sun — because of dormant memories from infancy. Somehow she is able to vividly recall lying in her crib, gazing up at the mobile depicting said symbol. Considering she was almost certainly less than a year old — possibly even a newborn — if you think about it too much it certainly strains suspension of disbelief that she could remember that.
Non-Human Sidekick: Rapunzel has a chameleon named Pascal as a sidekick, and their group is later joined by Maximus the horse.
No Ontological Inertia: This trope is demonstrated to the viewer when Mother Gothel cops a youth-charge off a lock of baby Rapunzel's hair. As soon as said lock is cut, witch gets old again. It's surprising that anything sharp was left in the tower. And again, later. Cut the hair, snuff the witch, it's just that easy.
Not Distracted by the Sexy: Flynn tries to woo his way out of being Rapunzel's guide, but unfortunately for him she has absolutely no experience with or understanding of seduction of any kind, and so has absolutely no idea what he's even doing. When she's not amused, he reluctantly agrees.
Flynn:(In mid-Smoulder) This is kind of an off-day for me, this doesn't normally happen.
Oh, and X Dies: The opening narration starts off with Flynn stating, "This is the story of how I died." It's pretty easy to miss or forget, if you aren't paying attention. Additionally the first-time viewer, after observing his personality, would think he was exaggerating for drama.
Mother Gothel when she sees Maximus; she quickly deduces Rapunzel is gone, fearing the royal guard have found her at last. And again when Mother Gothel returns Rapunzel to the tower after her adventure. As she checks up on her, Rapunzel walks out of her room in a daze and says, "I'm the lost princess." You know Gothel can't think anything but this! Her face — wide eyes and dropped jaw — certainly says it.
Old-Fashioned Rowboat Date: The date didn't start out this way, just ended up being so. Flynn took Rapunzel on a boat to see the lanterns she had always wanted to see, and their talk in this moment turned it into a date.
Also brought up by the Big-Nosed Thug during the "I've Got a Dream" number. "Can't you see me with a special little lady/Rowing in a rowboat down the stream?"
Ominous Fog: A sudden fog appears during the Dark Reprise of "Mother Knows Best" and disappears when Gothel leaves.
One Head Taller: Flynn and Rapunzel. Despite the height difference Rapunzel easily succeeds in capturing Flynn. Mother Gothel is also one head taller than Rapunzel.
Only Child Syndrome: Rapunzel. Made more noticeable by the fact that her parents are hereditary monarchs and, even given Rapunzel's disappearance, would thus presumably need a child to keep the lineage going. Although considering the first pregnancy almost killed mother and child...
Panacea: Rapunzel's hair, and the flower that she got her magic from.
The Pardon: Implicit in the ending, for Flynn and all the thugs.
Parental Abandonment: Inverted, as Rapunzel is kidnapped from them as a baby. Otherwise averted in her case, as in a shocking twist for a Disney movie, the girl has two loving parents to return home to at the end. Flynn was an orphan, though.
Parental Bonus: To adults familiar with the techniques of emotional abuse and blackmail, Gothel is even creepier than she would be otherwise.
Parental Love Song: Subverted. Gothel wants Rapunzel to think it's about her love for Rapunzel. It is actually meant to ruin Rapunzel's self-esteem and keep her emotionally dependent on Gothel and afraid of the outside world.
Posthumous Narration: Flynn starts the movie by saying he dies at the end. Subverted when it turns out that he did die, but didn't stay dead.
Power Glows: Flynn and Rapunzel exploit this trope when they use her Magic Hair to find a way out of a flooding cave.
The Power of the Sun: See Light is Good above. Besides the titular character's solar-derived healing powers, the kingdom is stuffed fit to burst with solar symbolism. Fitting, as the original story is overflowing with fragments of ancient Sun Goddess myths.
Power of Trust: Despite Flynn's attempt to dissuade her, Rapunzel's trust in Flynn panned out.
Pragmatic Adaptation: Would you really want the Eye Scream element of the story in a Walt Disney animated film? For those unfamiliar with the fairytale, the love interest got his eyes gouged out with thorns.
Prehensile Hair: Unlike the trailers, this film mostly averts this trope. Rapunzel's hair is certainly much stronger than most and she's quite deft in how she uses it, but it never moves on its own. There's one scene where she uses it as grappling hook and the hair does seem to cling to the rock or knot itself, but that may be just the way it was drawn.
Primal Fear: Two in one shot — claustrophobia and drowning.
The Promise: Whenever Rapunzel makes a promise, she intends to keep it, from promising to return Flynn the satchel that has the tiara he stole to promising Mother Gothel that she will go with her willingly only if Eugene can be healed first.
Proper Lady: The Queen. She is more emotionally resilient, or at least better at looking the part. She's also the one who literally pulls Eugene into the group hug at the end, when he hesitates.
Rapid Aging: Gothel has only kept herself young by using the magic flower for several hundreds of years, and later by using Rapunzel's hair. It's clear that by the time Rapunzel is eighteen, Gothel will age dramatically within just a few days if she doesn't 'top up'. When Rapunzel's hair is cut at the end of the movie, the magic is undone. Gothel ages extremely fast, and is reduced to nothing but dust within a matter of minutes.
Rapunzel Hair: Exaggerated, with Rapunzel's hair being 70 feet long. In this case it is explicitly magical hair, which both explains how it was able to grow that long to begin with and how she can move about without it weighing more than she does.
Real Commercial, Fake Product: To promote the film, several commercials based on certain aspects of it were made, including one for a frying pan that focuses more on its conking capabilities than its cooking capabilities, a fake perfume called "Smoulder" by Flynn, and news coverage of the opening as if it were a high-speed chase ("Speeds in excess of 24 mph").
Really 700 Years Old: Mother Gothel. In the opening narration it's even said that she predates Rapunzel's kingdom by several centuries.
Real Men Wear Pink: All of the pub thugs at the Snuggly Duckling. Some of their dreams include: floral arrangements, interior design, miming, baking cupcakes, knitting, puppet shows, and collecting ceramic unicorns.
Real Song Theme Tune: The ending theme is "Something That I Want" by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals with rewritten lyrics.
Releasing from the Promise: Flynn is quite ingenious in his attempts to get Rapunzel to do this. Somewhat later, Mother Gothel tells her to do it and find out what really held him. Later, once they are in love, she does.
Required Secondary Powers: Rapunzel's magic hair must also be magically immune to split ends and other problems that would plague normal hair that hasn't been cut for 18 years. Mother Gothel has been using the hair's magic daily, which probably also has the power to heal the hair in ways that no Real Life shampoo can achieve.
Right for the Wrong Reasons: When Gothel sees Maximus, she thinks the rider has taken Rapunzel away from the tower. It never happened, but Rapunzel is not there anyway.
Rapunzel's hair gets in the way only when it's funny or dramatically convenient.
The reason why Hook-Hand can play two handed showtunes like a virtuoso despite having, well, a hook for a hand: it's all part of the hilariously sudden absurdity — he also plays so hard at one point that he tears most of the keys off the piano, but since it's a gag it doesn't actually affect the song or his playing.
Rule of Symbolism: The sun, the stars, light in general, and unicorns are all important motifs in the story. And not in the way you think, at least for the unicorns.
When Rapunzel breaks free of Gothel and declares she will never let her use her hair as a Fountain of Youth again, she knocks over the mirror, a symbol of Gothel's vanity and selfishness. And this even provides the means by which Flynn cuts the hair, thus causing Gothel's own death.
Running Gag: Flynn's wanted posters never getting his nose right, the use of frying pans as surprisingly effective combat weapons, etc.
Big time. Even the bland rocks manage to look beautiful with the amount of detail put into them.
If one looks closely at the lower levels of the tower, Rapunzel's paintings are actually relevant to the area that was painted—dresses on the closet, spools of thread in the sewing area, and apples in the kitchen. These get a few seconds of screentime at most. More than that it shows her aging, some of the pictures, such as the one on her dresser are of a child Rapunzel.
Single Tear: The King before going out to release the first lantern. The Queen wipes it away.
Slap-Slap-Kiss: Rapunzel's first meeting with Flynn involves knocking him unconscious with a cast-iron frying pan three times, and rather clumsily stowing him in her closet.
The Smurfette Principle: The film is ostensibly aimed at girls, and has a female lead character, but otherwise it has a 1:3 female-to-male ratio — female lead, male LoveInterest and co-lead, two male (animal) supporting characters. Then one woman in a supporting role (a villain).
Sophisticated as Hell: Flynn gets like this when he first sees Rapunzel and says, "I know not who you are, nor how I came to find you, but may I just say... Hi."
The Southpaw: It's easy to miss because of the intensity of the scene, but in his wacky duel against Maximus, Flynn wields the frying pan with his left hand.
Spoiler Opening: Flynn Rider announces he will die as the first line in the movie. He gets better, though.
Spontaneous Choreography: The Kingdom Dance number. Justified, in that country dances of the era were a lot more structured than much of modern dance; it's not unreasonable that everyone could suddenly break out in a joyful and vigorous dance number at a festival or faire and not miss a step.
Squee: Rapunzel does a lot of this. Also, Flynn squees sarcastically before he and Rapunzel enter The Snuggly Duckling.
Stealth Pun: See Right for the Wrong Reasons above. Gothel sees Maximus and wonders where his owner is, and upon finding the tower empty, assumes that a rider took Rapunzel. From a certain point of view, she's not wrong.
Gothel: Rapunzel, do you know what I see in that mirror? I see a strong, confident, beautiful young lady. (beat) Oh look, you're here too. (laughs) I'm just teasing, darling. Stop taking everything so seriously.
Strong Family Resemblance: Between Rapunzel and her real mother, the queen. Especially at the end, when they're both brunette and the camera frames them reuniting, right down to the huge green eyes. Rapunzel does not need to do anything else to show that she's their daughter, despite having a completely different hair color when she was a baby.
Reality Is Unrealistic: Some people do have light hair as infants and darker (even very-dark brown) hair as adults.
Swiss Army Tears: At the very end, though you may see it coming if you're familiar with the fairy tale.
Take a Third Option: Mother Gothel is about to forcefully take Rapunzel away, but Rapunzel promises she'll go with Mother Gothel willingly if she can heal Flynn first. Flynn invokes this trope by cutting Rapunzel's hair before she can heal him, allowing Rapunzel her freedom while denying Mother Gothel her source of eternal youth and himself the chance to be healed from his mortal injury.
Tuckerization: The thug that's sent to fetch the guards is named Greno, after co-director Nathan Greno, and the guard assigned to watch over the Stabbington brothers is named Conli, after producer Roy Conli.
Unusually Uninteresting Sight: You'd think a girl with 70 feet of hair would get a bit more notice when she first strolls into town, and that the guards would have had an easier time finding Flynn if they told people to keep an eye out for his new accomplice.
Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Maximus, twice—it's seeing him (a palace horse) that makes Gothel rush back to the tower in fear Rapunzel has been discovered and returned to her real home (i.e., if she hadn't seen him, she would have kept going after the white shell paint and never would have been involved in the plot at all, let alone chased after Rapunzel and done everything she could to get rid of Flynn), and it's him kicking down a support beam to make a bridge that helps bring down the dam (and nearly drowns both Flynn and Rapunzel).
Flynn himself gets in on this a bit too—it's because he tore down a wanted poster of himself (thanks to complaining about his likeness) and stuffed it in his satchel that it's there at the tower for Gothel to find; she never would have known who had her "daughter", what he looked like, or that he was a criminal, if not for this. (She still would have chased after them and probably caught up, the same as she did otherwise, but she wouldn't have been able to make her deal with the Stabbington brothers or played on Rapunzel's uncertain trust in Flynn without this knowledge.)
Verbed Title: Originally titled Rapunzel, it was specifically renamed to invoke this trope, hoping to appeal to a wider audience.
And at last I see the light, and it's like the fog has lifted And at last I see the light, and it's like the sky is new And it's warm and real and bright, and the world has somehow shifted.
Xanatos Speed Chess: Mother Gothel is a grandmaster; her only goal is to get Rapunzel back in the tower. First, she was just going to kill Flynn and drag her back, and by the end the only three other people in on the secret are all going to be hanged for their crimes and no one in the kingdom would know she was even there.
Both Flynn and Rapunzel do some rapid improvs in pursuit of their ends, too.
Mother Gothel: You are not leaving this tower! Ever!
You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: The only appropriate response to seeing your not-quite girlfriend making friends with the hellbeast of a horse that's been chasing you all over the place.
Your Favorite: According to Mother Gothel, Rapunzel's favorite is hazelnut soup. (Actually, she shows little enthusiasm for it either time it's mentioned, though that may just be that she has other things on her mind).
Your Size May Vary: The length of Rapunzel's hair changes between shots. Drastically. This is entirely intentional.
Posthumous Narration: Eugene does it again, this time using the phrase "when my life ended." Immediately subverted when Rapunzel admonishes his description of their wedding though obviously he's joking.
Rapunzel's wedding dress has an incredibly long train, which may both be a Shout-Out to the 25-foot train on Princess Diana's wedding dress and a Call Back to the 70-foot hair that Rapunzel no longer has.