So here I am on this fine Sunday ready to ruin another beloved Disney movie for you. This time it’s Tangled which is based on the Brothers Grimm tale of Rapunzel.
Are you sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin…
Maybe the reason why Disney waited so long to adapt Rapunzel into Tangled is because of the seriously adult themes in the original, it centres around sex and pregnancy.
I will be referring to the original 1812 not the “tamer” version published in 1857, you can see the differences between the two here. This was published into “Children’s and Household Tales” yes that’s right, this was published in a children’s book.
This is whole story is Rapunzel’s mothers fault…
This story begins with Rapunzel’s mother having serious pregnancy cravings, from her window she can see into the fairy garden and spots a herb with a purple flower on it (named Rapunzel) that she feels like she needs to eat. She even states that she must eat that herb or die! The Brother Grimm portray cravings as mothers being irrational and causing serious trouble. They make it pretty clear that Rapunzel’s misfortune is her mothers irrational bodies fault.
The mothers cravings are so strong that Rapunzel’s father feels compelled to climb over the wall and steal the herb from the Fairies garden which no-one dares to enter. He is caught by the fairy who allows him to take as much as he likes on the condition that he gives their child to her when it is born. Yes you read that right, he agreed to give her his baby in exchange for taking a herb!
The fairy takes the child and names her Rapunzel, (ironic as that’s essentially what put her in this mess) and raises her in a door-less tower. Her hair grows to be “twenty ells long” which converts to around thirty feet if you were wondering.
Now, enter the prince…
So, the Prince sees how the Fairy shouts the famous “Rapunzel, Rapunzel! Let Down your hair!” and then proceeds to be pulled up by golden hair. The next day he pretends to be the fairy so that she will pull him up as he has heard her sing and apparently fallen in love with her.
When Rapunzel realises that it is not the fairy she is terrified, that is until he sweet talks her a little (he must be a real smooth talker).
They then decide to keep meeting up at night, yes for a bit of how’s your father! It is beautifully described as “They lived in joy & pleasure for a long time.”
The fairy has no idea what is going on until Rapunzel puts her foot in it by asking the fairy “Frau Gothel, tell me why it is that my clothes are all too tight. They no longer fit me.”
It turns out that the Prince forgot to mention to Rapunzel that all this joy & pleasure could possibly create a baby, I’m sure you can guess where this is going.
The fairy calls her a “godless child” because obviously having a child out of wedlock is so much worse than keeping a child captive all her life. Her hair is cut off and then she’s thrown out to survive and give birth to her twins in the desert, why is it always twins?!
The Prince tries to kill himself but ends up blind…
The fairy tied up Rapunzel’s hair that she cut off to trap the Prince (spoiler alert: it works!) he climbs up the hair and discovers that Rapunzel has been thrown out. The fairy then begins to taunt the Prince who throws himself off the tower in an attempt to end his life. Unfortunately for him he survives but lands in the thorns at the bottom of the tower and loses his eyesight. So now the Prince is blind and depressed wandering around the forest and then the desert shouting for his beloved Rapunzel.
Of course, she has magical non-virgin tears…
After several years Rapunzel & her twins stumble across their blind Prince. She weeps onto his face and two of her tears fall into his eyes “and they became clear once again, and he could see as well as before.”
This is where the original 1812 story ends, the final edition in 1857 goes on to say “He led her into his kingdom, where he was received with joy, and for a long time they lived happily and satisfied.”
So basically the Prince was her booty call until he impregnated her with twins and then it all went to shit, that turned out to be darker than I expected.
See you guys in the next one…