The Theology of Tangled By Thomas Weis

So turns out I’m not the only one in my family who is amazingly talented in the writing/theology department(and so humble 🙂 ), my little bro happens to be super talented too! So here is something he wrote! It’s quite awesome so here it is:

It may seem strange to be looking into a Disney Princess movie for Theology but with a deeper look into the story it can be seen that within Tangled, the movie means so much more. Tangled is one of those movies that when viewed with the eyes of faith a deeper and profound meaning can be discovered. Now this is the official spoiler alert to all those who haven’t seen the movie there will be parts of the movie that I describe, particularly the end of the movie, so if you don’t want the movie to be ruined stop reading now and come back when you have watched the movie!

The best place to begin is in the opening dialogue of the movie, Flynn Rider says, “This is the story of how I die. But don’t worry it’s a happy story.” Now how can death be happy? This is one of those statements that then prompts the question, what are you dying for? For Flynn Rider, this is a happy story because he dies enacting love. Let’s look at the death scene: Flynn escapes from prison and gets to the tower. He yells, “Rapunzel let down your hair!” The golden locks fall from the window, which Flynn promptly climbs up to get into the tower. When he reaches the top he sees Rapunzel tied up and then, out of nowhere the “mother” of Rapunzel comes out from behind Flynn and stabs him. So far you might be thinking, “There is no love in this, he just came and got stabbed! All that is going to happen is that he is going to die.” If you were thinking that, you are so far correct, but it’s what happens next that will knock those socks clean off your feet. Rapunzel says that if she can heal Flynn, she will never fight her “mother” and will do whatever is asked of her. What happens next is that Rapunzel goes next to Flynn to heal him and with his last dying movement Flynn cuts Rapunzel’s hair.

Now what would prompt Flynn to do this? For the majority of this movie Flynn is a self-centered guy, he only cares about himself and what he can get. But in his final act, he cuts Rapunzel’s hair, the one thing that could have saved him. You see Flynn is being a true man in this instance. Flynn recognizes that Rapunzel has a gift, and in cutting her hair Flynn has basically said, “I would rather die than to see your gift used for evil.” In the ultimate act of selflessness Flynn frees Rapunzel from what would have been a life in slavery to the woman who kidnapped her. Flynn knew what would happen, he knew the outcome but he did it anyway to save someone he loved.

Now let’s look at Rapunzel’s side of this part of the movie. She sees Flynn come up to rescue her but knew that her “mother” was right there waiting to kill him. She tries to warn him of the danger but is unable to. As her “mother” tries to bring her out of the tower Rapunzel manages to say that if she can just save Flynn then she will go with her “mother” wherever without resistance. Now why would she do this? Well, simply out of love. Rapunzel has a kind heart, and she would be willing to go with her “mother” if she knew that someone that she loved was safe. This is again a gift of selflessness; Rapunzel knows very well that after saving Flynn that she will be a slave to her “mother”.

So after Flynn cuts Rapunzel’s hair he lies, presumably dead or just hanging on to life, in Rapunzel’s arms. It seems as if all hope is lost. But then Rapunzel tear falls from her cheek on to his and a gold light emanates from it. Flynn is healed, but that is not what I want to focus on. The thing I want to focus on is the fact that all this time the gift has quite literally been inside of Rapunzel. If you think back to when Rapunzel was still a child in her mother’s womb, her mother became ill and they found a cure in the plant that was the ray of sun that came down to earth. So she receives this gift from the sun that came down to earth (Hint, Hint Jesus the Son who became incarnate) when her mother was dying (Hint, Hint for Catholics Last Rights, where you receive the body of Christ, the Son who came to earth) she receives the sun-drop flower. So in a Theological sense Rapunzel was given this gift from God. When she was younger it was evident that she possessed this gift from the effects that came from her hair (which is like Samson from the Bible) and then is misled by a woman who want to miss use Rapunzel’s gift (also like Delilah from the story of Samson) but here is where the deeper Theology come into play. From the beginning of this gift, the true power of it came from within Rapunzel. And if you want to go even farther, Rapunzel already had this gift and it was only strengthened and made whole by the flower, otherwise her mother would have also received the same gift. In simpler terms Rapunzel was created with this gift of healing but only through the sun-drop flower (Christ) did the gift blossom into its full potential. And for an even deeper meaning it is interesting that she has the power to heal physical injuries, but in the story she heals Flynn from his life of crime that he has been living.

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