Why is Tangled my favourite Disney Princess movie?
For a long time it wasn’t. For a long time Beauty and the Beast was my all-time favourite.
Both films contain heroines I can identify with. Belle is bookish and uninterested in succumbing to peer pressure. Rapunzel leads a sheltered life until one day she follows her heart’s desire and leaps into the world to explore.
Both films have pretty big plot holes I’m perfectly happy to overlook. Beauty and the Beast has the painting that is of a 21 year old, not an 11 year old, and if Mother Gothel had changed Rapunzel’s name and birthday she probably wouldn’t have realised she’s the lost princess.
Both films contain ridiculously handsome heroes that don’t get along with the princesses at first. This is actually one of my favourite romance tropes.
I think I’d have to compare Tangled to Beauty and the Beast to figure out why I like it better.
Tangled’s art style tried to visually recreate an oil painting, which I think is gorgeous. But B&TB has the 3-D ballroom scene.
Both films are framed around the story of the male hero, though Tangled is marketed as much more gender-neutral. If you’ll recall, both films open up with the male’s story, in B&TB’s case the stained glass window story and in Tangled’s case opening on Flynn saying ‘This is the story of how I died.’ Both of them are about the redemption of the male hero through their love for the princess.
The soundtrack of both are pretty good. I love Mother Gothel’s songs, but absolutely nothing can beat the classics in B&TB. I love how the actors do their own singing.
Overall I tend to prefer animal sidekicks, and fencing an angry horse using a frying pan has got to be one of the better scenes Disney’s ever done. Pascal’s a unique companion as well. The sidekicks in B&TB are household objects and beg to asked, did Chip just stop ageing?
As for the villains, well, Gaston’s pretty scary when you think that the whole village admires him. His need to destroy the Beast because Belle rejected him is excellent motivation. On the other hand, Mother Gothel is the mistress of manipulation and you have to ask yourself, is she really a villain or simply misguided? Does she really love Rapunzel or just using her for her magic? (I believe that she she has some degree of affection for Rapunzel, but the primary motivation is Rapunzel’s magic. That’s why she ‘s afectionate towards Rapunzel’s hair, not Rapunzel herself, calls her ‘flower’, and tries to pick up the hair when Flynn cuts it off.) On the other hand, when Gaston falls to his death, if you pause it at the right time, you can see skulls in his eyes.
Overall I think Tangled edges out Beauty and the Beast simply because they are from different times. B&TB will always be a favourite classic, and Rapunzel is of the new generation of princesses. Disney learned a lot between the two films, with B&TB being a runaway success and leading the way for films like Tangled.