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Barbie as Rapunzel is a 2002 Direct to Video Barbie film directed by Owen Hurley. It is the second in the film series of computer animated films, adapted from the Brothers Grimm fairy tale of the same name.

Long, long ago, in a time of magic and dragons, there lived a girl named Rapunzel, who had the most beautiful, radiant hair the world had ever seen. But Rapunzel's life was far from wonderful. She lived as a servant of Gothel, a jealous, scheming witch who kept her hidden deep in a forbidding forest, guarded by the enormous dragon Hugo and surrounded by an enchanted magic wall.

Rapunzel's discovery of a magic paintbrush leads her on a journey that will unravel a web of deception, bring peace to two feuding kingdoms, and ultimately lead her to love with the handsome Prince Stefan.


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The film has examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Gothel fits the emotionally abusive type to a T. She's not even so lenient as to let Rapunzel address her as anything but "milady."
  • Acrophobic Bird: Penelope, still being a young dragon, is a little rusty at very high heights. She gets better.
  • Adaptational Badass: The witch in the original tale never displayed much magic. Gothel here is able to use her magic to create the tower in the first place and imprison someone inside it forever. She's also able to keep three men armed with swords on the defensive in the climax, handily demonstrating that she can take them out with magic faster than they can attack.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Gothel wasn't an ideal mother in the original story, but she wasn't an emotionally abusive slave-driver to Rapunzel like she is here. Also, in the original story, Gothel got Rapunzel out of (admittedly rather questionable) deal with her father, rather than kidnapping her out of petty revenge. She certainly never intended to start a war either.
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  • Adult Fear: Wilhelm's baby daughter is abducted without a trace and he has no idea where she is or if she's even alive for close to twenty years.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Gothel. The German dub makes her a baroness.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: After hearing about the feud between Frederick and Wilhelm, Rapunzel asks why the kings can't sit down and talk it out, especially when the feud is hurting so many innocent people. Stefan immediately replies that it's too late to resolve the feud peacefully. However, he later seems to give her words more thought and suggests inviting King Wilhelm to the ball in an effort to start mending fences.
  • Artifact Title: The plot has very little to do with the original tale of Rapunzel and the plot of that only appears as a dream sequence.
  • Attack Reflector: Stefan uses a plate to reflect Gothel's magic back at her, but she just absorbs it.
  • Award-Bait Song: "Wish Upon A Star."
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Katrina, Melody, and Lorena.
  • Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: Rapunzel paints living blue butterflies as she discovers the power of the paintbrush. One of those butterflies alerts Gothel to the painting's presence.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The hairbrush Rapunzel finds in Gothel's hidden room later transforms into the magical paintbrush that allows her to escape the tower.
    • Rapunzel forgets to ask for Stefan's name during their first meeting, and later makes a point to avoid learning it after Gothel finds out about him. Her deliberate ignorance allows her to pass through Gothel's containment spell at the climax, since she never lied about not knowing his name.
  • Cool Big Sis: Barbie at the beginning, who tells this version of Rapunzel to motivate Kelly out of an artist's block.
  • Cool Crown: Rapunzel gets an ornate one, of gold molded in lots of curls.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Penelope, whose big tail and untrained fire and strength can jump up at the worst times (and yet it conveniently works out for the plot).
  • Damsel out of Distress: Rapunzel manages to get out of most the scrapes she finds herself of her own accord.
  • Disneyfication: Even before Disney made their own version.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In the past, Gothel was rejected by her love interest, King Wilhelm. In revenge, she decided to kidnap his daughter, frame an innocent king for it and start a war between the two kingdoms in the hopes they'll destroy each other.
    • When Rapunzel refuses to tell Gothel the name of the man she met on her trip out of the manor (because she has no idea what it is), Gothel destroys her art supplies and turns her room into a tower.
  • The Dragon: Gothel has Otto, a nasty talking ferret.
  • Driven by Envy: Gothel believed Wilhelm was in love with her and was furious when he married another woman. She kidnapped the infant Rapunzel in retaliation, rationalizing that Rapunzel should have been her daughter anyway. Gothel spends much of the movie proper working to deny Rapunzel any chance of reuniting with her birth parents, indicating that her grudge has not faded with the passing years.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Nothing earns a happy ending more than being kidnapped and putting up with Gothel for the majority of one's life. And nothing says happy ending quite like being free from Gothel and reuniting with one's family.
  • Evil Is Petty: Gothel kidnapped baby Rapunzel for no other reason than out of spite for her ex marrying and having a child with another woman. The feud between the kingdoms is just a bonus.
  • Evil Sorceress: Gothel.
  • Exact Words: "Never release your prisoner with a lying heart!" is the spell Gothel chants to trap Rapunzel in the tower. But the way Gothel chooses to word the spell screws her over threefold: Rapunzel doesn't have a "lying heart" so she manages to escape the tower; Gothel, however, has been lying to Rapunzel all her life, along with numerous others, and is eventually trapped in the tower herself. And given she also made the spell unbreakable, she cannot dispel it. The power is such that all other traces of her magic, such as the magic wall, collapse and dissipate after she is trapped inside.
  • Fallen Princess: Rapunzel
  • Fatal Flaw: Gothel has two of them: her hypocrisy when it comes to lying and her inability to see that Rapunzel is being honest with her. It's these two flaws that lead her to unknowingly create what will become her own prison and be trapped in it forever.
  • Frame-Up: It's revealed that Gothel framed King Frederick for the kidnapping of King Wilhelm's daughter to start a war between them.
  • Framing Device: The story is framed by Barbie telling the story to Kelly to give her painting inspiration.
  • Furry Confusion: Talking dragons, ferrets, rabbits... and a completely normal palace horse.
  • Garnishing the Story: In no way are there dragons in the original fairy tale, but Penelope and her father Hugo serve to advance the story rather than act as distractions.
  • The Ghost: While his antagonistic actions against King Frederick are seen, King Wilhelm does not appear in person until the night of the ball, when he mounts a stealthy assault on the castle.
  • Girl in the Tower: Zig-zagged. Rapunzel initially acts as Gothel's servant in a spacious manor, with a magical barrier preventing her from leaving the grounds. However, after she finds a way past the magic wall and meets a man in the nearby town, Gothel turns her room into a tower to stop Rapunzel from leaving again. Rapunzel finds a way out anyway, thanks to the magic paintbrush, and resolves to leave for good, but Gothel destroys her escape route and casts a spell to seal her in the tower forever. Thanks to Exact Words, Rapunzel is able to escape once more and traps Gothel inside the tower, where she can never harm Rapunzel or the people she loves again.
  • Graceful Ladies Like Purple: Rapunzel at the masquerade.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Rapunzel is known for her long, golden hair. She is also a sweet, innocent young woman.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: See Karmic Death.
  • Hypocrite: Gothel is furious when she believes Rapunzel is lying to her about not knowing Stefan's name. She conveniently ignores the fact that she herself has been lying to Rapunzel for the girl's entire life.
  • Implacable Man: Gothel's magic makes her pretty much unstoppable, and turns the final battle into just her chasing everyone.
  • Improbable Hairstyle: Subverted. Unlike in the fairy tale, Rapunzel's hair just reaches the floor. That's actually possible in real life, depending on the person's genes. She also keeps it braided so that it's out of the way. And she's only imprisoned in the tower for a day or two, making the maintenance believable.
  • In Name Only: This film bears little resemblance the Brothers Grimm fairy tale by the same name. All it has in common is Rapunzel, a witch, and a tower. The focus is instead on a magic paintbrush.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Gothel kidnapped Rapunzel because she would have been her daughter if Wilhelm had married her.
  • Irony: After Rapunzel leaves him with some food for thought, Stefan suggests inviting King Wilhelm to a ball as a gesture of peace that might end the feud without any more fighting. Frederick shoots the idea down immediately. However, Wilhelm shows up at the ball anyway—accompanied by armed troops in a surprise attack against Frederick—and the meeting does bring an end to the feud, because Gothel reveals that she is the one who started it by engineering a Let's You and Him Fight scenario.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Penelope's father is extremely stern, but really does love his daughter.
  • Just Friends: Upon recognizing Gothel at the climax, Wilhlem comments that they were friends many years ago. He seems genuinely shocked by her assertion that he was in love with her.
  • Karmic Death: Gothel curses the tower so that no one with a lying heart can ever escape. Rapunzel was honest the whole time, so she is able to leave. When Gothel's tricked into returning to the tower, she is stuck there forever, as she had been lying to everyone throughout the entire movie (for instance, telling Rapunzel that she was abandoned by her parents when she had in fact kidnapped her, or her lies that started the feud in the first place), and had made the spell unbreakable. It's implied she ultimately starves to death.
  • Kick the Dog: Gothel destroying Rapunzel's paintings, and later brush (which was the only thing Rapunzel had left of her parents), as well as reminding her how worthless she is.
  • Letting Her Hair Down: Rapunzel's hair is braided for most of the film, either in a long braid with her servant dress, or in plaited braids with her masquerade gown. However, during the dream sequence, her braid is completely undone, revealing her hair to be four times as longer than it appeared to be.
  • Long Hair Is Feminine: Of course, Rapunzel is well known for her extremely long hair, which matches her feminine personality.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Rapunzel is revealed to be the long lost child of King Wilhelm and his wife.
  • Loophole Abuse: See Exact Words above.
  • Lovable Coward: Hobie.
  • Love at First Sight: Played straight and lampshaded.
    Rapunzel: He was the most handsome man I've ever seen!
    Hobie: And you've seen how many men before?
  • Love Makes You Evil: It turns out that Gothel kidnapped Rapunzel and framed Frederick after Wilhelm broke up with her, later claiming she did it all out of love for him.
  • Masquerade Ball: The film's climax.
  • Missing Mom: Played straight for Stefan but averted for Rapunzel —
    • The mother of Stefan and his four younger siblings is never seen or mentioned.
    • Rapunzel's mother is briefly seen with Wilhelm at their daughter's wedding to Stefan.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Hugo decides to help Rapunzel after Gothel chains him up as punishment for his daughter's lack of loyalty to her.
  • Not Good with Rejection: Gothel, as it turns out.
  • Not So Stoic: Gothel rages when she reads the ball invitation.
  • Orphan's Plot Trinket: Rapunzel's hairbrush (which later turns into a paintbrush) is the only thing Rapunzel has left of her biological parents, and Gothel destroys it in a Kick the Dog moment. Somewhat subverted in that her parents are alive and well, and she reunites with them in the end.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative: Rapunzel considers Prince Stefan the most handsome man she's ever seen. Hobie then hangs a lampshade by asking exactly how many men she's seen before.
  • Parental Abandonment: Averted. Rapunzel grew up believing that Gothel took her in after her parents abandoned her as an infant. However, early in the film, she finds a hairbrush that was a present from her parents on her first birthday, proving they took care of her for at least that long and the story Gothel told her was a lie. Later still, it's revealed that Gothel outright kidnapped Rapunzel and her parents have been searching for her ever since. She finally reunites with them at the end.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Both Rapunzel's pink and lavender dresses.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The whole feud between the two kingdoms could've been solved rather easily were it not for this trope. Then again, it's possible that Gothel deliberately planted evidence to make Wilhelm believe that Frederick kidnapped his daughter, or why else would Wilhelm suspect him in the first place? Even so, the war could probably have been avoided if everyone sat down and talked about it rationally. Rapunzel lampshades this after learning about the feud, asking why the kings can't just talk about it.
  • Portal Picture: Is used in place of the hair as the way Rapunzel escapes her tower, and tricks Gothel into trapping herself.
  • Power of Love: Presumably what gives Rapunzel's paintings their magic.
  • Practically Different Generations: Prince Stefan is stated to be almost eighteen years old; his brother and three sisters are clearly under 10
  • Princess Classic: Rapunzel turns out to be one of these.
  • Princesses Prefer Pink: Rapunzel wears a pink dress as her regular ensemble, though her fancier dress for the masquerade is lavender. Though it is a tad strange that someone raised as a servant is dressed better than the village peasants, but she may simply be wearing one of Gothel's cast-offs dyed pink.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: Though not a story with its own ballet music like Nutcracker or Swan Lake, this is still present in the form of Antonín Dvořák's "From the New World" symphony. The famous Largo accompanies the "let down your hair" sequence, and the climax features fragments of the Allegro con fuoco finale.
  • Rags to Royalty: A Goose Girl example, as Rapunzel was kidnapped as a baby by Gothel and forced into servitude before she finally discovers her true identity.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Yes, but it's subverted in that her hair is floor-length; certainly long but not enough to reach the bottom of a tower. Pretty much played straight when Rapunzel has a dream of Prince Stefan visiting her, as she does have tower-length hair (it's also not braided up in this case). But then it's over.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Prince Stefan, who is implied to have never given the matter much deep thought prior, comes to realize very quickly that the kingdoms' feud is very petty and shows kindness to even his more incompetent soldiers.
    • After realizing Gothel was the root of the kingdoms' feud, Kings Wilhelm and Frederick pretty much declare peace with each other right in Frederick's ballroom. Particularly nice given what we had seen of their hatred earlier in the film, while they were still in the dark.
    • Hugo is a very proud, traditional, and stern dragon father, but comes to realize his daughter exemplifies his ideals in unconventional manners.
  • Redemption Rejection: At the climax, Rapunzel offers to forgive Gothel for everything she's done and start over. Gothel is having none of it.
  • Removed from the Picture: While looking around in Gothel's secret underground room, Rapunzel and her friends find a portrait of a young Gothel with a man whose face has been slashed out. It's Foreshadowing of why Gothel kidnapped Rapunzel to begin with, as that man was Rapunzel's father, Wilhelm.
  • Rescue Romance: Rapunzel saves Stefan's little sister from falling into a pit trap, only to nearly fall in herself; Stefan catches her in the nick of time.
  • Stern Chase: Gothel's magic makes her pretty much unstoppable, and turns the final battle into just her chasing everyone.
  • Stock Sound Effects: While two of Stefan's guards are looking for Rapunzel's tower in the forest,the growling of a Tyrannosaurus Rex from Jurassic Park can be heard, most likely uttered by Hugo, Penelope's father. Another one is heard at the very beginning, when the camera passes through the forest.
  • Taken for Granite: The PC video game involved Stefan being turned to stone, with Rapunzel having to save him.
  • Transformation Sequence: Rapunzel has several of these as she paints her dresses with the magic paintbrush.
  • Traumatic Haircut: As per the original fairy tale. Gothel slices Rapunzel's hair off with magic so she can disguise herself as Rapunzel at the ball. Somewhat softened by the fact that Rapunzel's remaining hair still falls past her shoulders and it's grown completely back by the epilogue.
  • "Well Done, Daughter" Girl: Hugo is hardly the nicest father, and has high expectations for Penelope to grow into a mighty dragon. He gets better in the end.
    Hoby: Does he ever smile?
    Penelope: Not around me.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Penelope hates bugs.
  • Wicked Witch: Gothel, albeit a more glamorous one.
  • Wig, Dress, Accent: Just the wig, in this case. Gothel pins Rapunzel's chopped-off hair over her own and attends the masquerade ball in her place, knowing Rapunzel's suitor will pick out the distinctive hairstyle and reveal himself to her. It works like a charm, at which point Gothel lures Stefan away from the gathering and tries to kill him.
  • Woman Scorned: Gothel. She believed King Wilhelm was in love with her, but he never thought of her as more than a friend. When he married another woman and had a child with her, Gothel kidnapped the baby Rapunzel to make him suffer.
  • World-Wrecking Wave: In the PC game, Gothel casts a spell from her tower that instantly wrecks the castle and turns the Prince to stone.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Gothel scares away the princesses with her magic, and tries to kill Tommy.
  • Vain Sorceress : The definition of Gothel.

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Video Example(s):

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Barbie as Rapunzel

Rapunzel uses her magic paintbrush to make fancy dresses for Prince Stefan's masked ball.

How well does it match the trope?

3.86 (7 votes)

Example of:

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