Monday, February 14, 2011

Disney Princess Movie

I can't believe I am writing a post with that title! OK Here goes:

We recently saw the movie Tangled for the second time (yes second) with my daughter and friends for her birthday. Alicia pointed out to a few friends that this movie has probably the most profound scene ever found in a Disney princess movie. She's right.

spoiler alert - don't read any further unless:
1) You have already seen the movie or
2) You don't expect to ever see the movie unless you need a good reason - I will give you that reason.

There are some key points that set this movie apart above most other princess movies from Disney. The hero is a he. Both the hero and heroine are smart (she is naive but smart).

The clincher is the climactic scene. While it is normal for a hero to save the heroine's life it is usually done, in this genre, with little doubt as to the success of the act and with only half-believable mortal danger.

Just as she is willing to sell her freedom for his life (truly heroic) Tangled departs.
     He dies.
The redemptive deed is sudden and surprising. And he knows he will die. Seems a bit christian.

Tangled departs further. He sacrifices his life not for her physical life but for her freedom - life lived fully. A genuine masterstroke that earns this story a claim at being a real fairy tale. I hesitate to offend the sensitive by saying what they have already perceived; but this is seriously Christ-like.

The Academy has nominated it for 1 award - for original song. They overlook the profound masterwork in the story itself. I believe this movie will and deserves to become a long time favorite. (Note: Alicia can vouch that I am NOT in love with the music - I put up with it for the story).

Oh, and the horse Maximus? That's a bit of the best of Disney classic... he is 100% horse, 100% dog and 100% character. A great combination that can only be found in animation.


Ana Braga-Henebry said...

Mhmm... So a male hero is better... Just because? I liked the movie, but the overpowering mom was a bit much for me, they'd have made her just evil and not confusing to kids.

Anne Dye said...

We love this movie so much too! One of the best things Disney has done in forever! I can't believe it is only nominated for a song, the music was the worst part!

Matthew said...

Ana, I don't think the point was that female heroines are bad, just that today movie makers are so reluctant to have a male hero at all. It's a rather refreshing change from the overall trend.

Also, I know what you mean about the mom - ugh! But it would bother me a lot if she was *actually* the mom and it was a statement about controlling parents. Having it be a kidnapper posing as a mom in order to control Rapunzel is, I think, a whole different ballgame.

Matthew said...

Oops - I was signed in as the wrong person for that comment. "Matthew" is really "Love2learn Mom". ;)