by Bella Stahl
The pandemic has made this year a little tangled, “no pun intended!” Since Tangled’s release in 2010, it’s been a beloved movie of Disney families. However, the movie became a relatable one when 2020 and the pandemic hit. You might be surprised at how relatable it can be! We’re going to go through the story and relate it to 2020, the pandemic, and 2021 by searching for symbols and such. Let’s dig in!
Our story begins in the Kingdom of Corona . . . yes, that, unfortunately, is a kingdom’s name of, you know, a Disney movie, of all things. It shows the kingdom building up, which in 2020 would be the coronavirus spreading and taking over. Also, Mother Gothel cuts off a piece of Rapunzel’s hair and her hair turns brown, which can also represent the virus one day stopping. Finally, Rapunzel being stolen from Corona is showing officials taking citizens into quarantine. The Kingdom of Corona is the virus, Rapunzel represents the citizens, and Mother Gothel depicts elected officials. Then Rapunzel lives away from the Kingdom of Corona in a tower for 18 years, but you know, it won’t be that long for us. (Wink wink!)
Next we have (what I like to call) the International Disney Anthem of 2020: When Will My Life Begin? This song is Rapunzel singing about everything she does in her tower, which for us, would be what we can/could do during quarantine.
To name a few:
- Start on the chores and sweep ’till the floor’s all clean
- Polish and wax, do laundry, and mop and shine up
- Sweep again
- Read a book (or maybe two or three)
- Add a few new paintings to the gallery
- Play guitar and knit
- Cook and basically
- Just wonder when will my life begin?
She eventually starts to say “And I’ll keep wanderin’, wanderin’, wanderin’, and wanderin’” which is us running out of things to do (or just running out of stuff to watch on streaming services). At the end, she sings about longing to see the lanterns and the world, which is 2021 in our case. A little after the song, she pulls up Mother Gothel into the tower, which could have Mother Gothel representing the countries with cases rising up because she’s being pulled up by Rapunzel (the virus). Then there are the classic songs, I Have a Dream, which could also talk about our longing for 2021, no more virus, etc., and I See the Light, where we could say the end of 2020/COVID-19 is in view.
Also, there’s the water-filling cave. The water slowly creeping in is the virus coming slowly but surely upon us. When Eugene cuts his hand, it’s the virus bleeding out. Rapunzel’s hair glowing to find a way out of the cave is essentially the light that shows the way out of the pandemic. Lastly, Rapunzel’s magic hair itself is healing and the vaccine.
Finally in the falling action of the movie, Rapunzel (the world, in this situation) defeats Mother Gothel, who represents the virus, and Mother Gothel turns to dust, which is the virus disappearing. Rapunzel meeting Eugene in the beginning symbolizes meeting 2021 and things looking brighter and better. But now, it would represent reuniting with the old normal. It’s also thought by people that those who are single, find love at the end of quarantine, so yeah, good luck to those people!
And briefly, a few other minor symbols in the movie is Pascal who could be that one friend(s) you’ve always talked to throughout the pandemic or the guards who kept searching for Rapunzel, in other words, the healthcare workers who work tirelessly and never stop trying to find a cure.
I hope this was entertaining for you! Can you think of any other movies that might relate to the pandemic? If so, comment below!
I never thought “Tangled” would ever be as relatable as it is now, with Covid-19 going on and such! I love how you explained the similarities Tangled shares with Covid, and how we can still find ways to be positive during this pandemic!
I would give this analysis a 6 on the AP Disney exam.