Even though the only thing this version of Rapunzel has in common with the original Grimm Brothers story is the basic plotline and most of the characters. I love it, though, because our blonde protagonist is a feisty, yet bored young lady coming of age, and does her best to seize an opportunity when it comes climbing through her window. No handsome princes rescuing the fair damsel in this tale, so let me sum it up for you… Vain old lady, Mother Gothel, finds a magical flower that give eternal youth when you sing to it. Pretty nice little plant. Whenever she needs a boost, she goes to the flower, which is hidden under a basket/bush, since it gives off a glow. Pregnant queen is having medical issues, and looks to be close to dying. The king sends his guards out to hunt down the magical flower. Right as Gothel gets a magickal infusion, she hears the guards and runs off, leaving the flower exposed. The guards take it back, and the queen takes it as a herbal tea. She produces a beautiful little girl with glowing golden blonde hair. A few months later, Gothel is wizened with age, and goes to hunt down her flower. She spies the baby princess, and sees that the magic has transferred from the flower into the girl’s hair. She steals the girl away when she finds out that the magick dies when the hair is cut. She takes the girl to a remote tower, and raises the child as her own, shielding her from strangers who might steal her away. Gothel is determined to keep her youth.
Fast foward seventeen years. Rapunzel is turning eighteen, and is bored with living in the tower. She finds creative ways to while away the hours, and has to deal with golden tresses that are over seventy feet long or more. After losing a battle with her “mother” to go out and see where some floating lights comes from on her birthday, she feels dejected. Gothel heads out to town, and in comes a thief who was simply looking for a place to hide from the law. The dashing Flynn Rider climbs into the tower window only to be knocked out by a frying pan that Rapunzel is wielding. She hides him an armoire to show her mother that she can deal with outsiders, but Gothel will have none of it. Rapunzel then makes a simple request for a special paint that she wants as a birthday gift. It will take Gothel three days to get it, which give Rapunzel plenty of time to figure out how to use this rascal she has locked up to get out of the tower. That is when the mystery of her past starts to unravel. Flynn takes her up on her request, and she swings down out of the tower on her hair with his help. She learns about shady deals, thugs and thieves on the road, but even more about Gothel’s conniving ways to keep Rapunzel around for her magickal hair. Flynn is a diamond in the rough, an orphan that took to thievery as a necessity, but has more class than many nobles. He is quick on his feet, and looks for the most logical solutions to a problem without overthinking them.
This is by far one of the best retelling of Rapunzel I have ever seen, and is how the story really should have been. Empowering and strong, this is a new kind of princess, similar to Tiana of The Princess and The Frog, who has her own skills that are enough to make it on her own, but finds that one person that makes life exciting for her. Take 90 minutes, some soda and popcorn, and make your life a bit more exciting by watching this movie with your little princes and princesses tonight!
I give this film a Musing review of