Wednesday, September 7, 2011

All Tangled up

I reluctantly allowed my Grace-girl to watch "Tangled," the Disney version of Rapunzel.  I say reluctantly because Disney princess movies irritate me on many levels:  Over-sexualization of young girls, over-commercialization, and general Disney-creepiness rate high on my mommy-richter scale.  In this case, she had already seen most of the movie because of a Fred Meyer playland experience that I'd rather not discuss (WHY are they showing PG movies in Playland?  You have my kid for 1 hour- can't you keep her occupied?  I digress...).

I must admit that the movie really, truly moved me. 

*spoiler alert*

The story of Rapunzel typically symbolizes a loss of innocence, a journey into puberty (in this story) not handled gracefully.  In the traditional story, Mother Goethel cuts Rapunzel's hair and "releases" her.  The cutting of hair symbolizes separation from mother.  There are many biblical parallels, but, as usual, my interpretation has taken me in a new direction.

In "Tangled" we meet a spunkier, happier Rapunzel than I have seen.  She is content, but somehow feels she is  missing out on something important that she can't quite put a finger on:

"And so I'll read a book
Or maybe two or three
I'll add a few new paintings to my gallery
I'll play guitar and knit
And cook and basically
Just wonder when will my life begin?
And then I'll brush and brush,
and brush and brush my hair
Stuck in the same place I've always been.

And I'll keep wonderin' and wonderin'
And wonderin' and wonderin'
When will my life begin?"

She is being deceived by the witch, pretending to be her mother (this is a disturbing element for the under-six set).  As I was watching the movie I realized that the tower and the hair are symbolic of sin, "The sin which so easily entangles us" from Hebrews 12:1.  Sometimes we are so "wrapped up" in our sin-life that we think it is normal life.  Normal?!  Living in a tower with fifty feet of hair to care for?  Not hardly.  We also tend to see our sin as a gift or something that we simply must live with or protect (in her case the hair heals).  But it is not until we are willing to step out of the tower to experience LIFE abundant that we see our sin has really been hindering us.

"Look at the world - so close, and I'm halfway to it!
Look at it all - so big - do I even dare?
Look at me - there at last! - I just have to do it
Should I?
No.
Here I go...
Just smell the grass! The dirt! Just like I dreamed they'd be!
Just feel that summer breeze - the way it's calling me
For like the first time ever, I'm completely free!
I could go running
And racing
And dancing
And chasing
And leaping
And bounding
Hair flying
Heart pounding
And splashing
And reeling
And finally feeling
Now's when my life begins!"

And finally, when she realizes she's been deceived...
 
"All those days watching in the windows
All those years outside looking in
All that time never even knowing
Just how blind I've been
Now I'm here blinking in the starlight
Now I'm here suddenly I see
Standing here it's all so clear
I'm where I'm meant to be."
 
In this version of the story, it is Flynn (Eugene) who cuts her hair.  I see Flynn as a prophet/Christ in this movie.  He's a reluctant one, for sure (but aren't they all?).  He carries a message for her that he doesn't even understand.  He's not the worthy prince or the fearless warrior...definitely a prophet.  His one act of bravery, cutting her hair (rather than save his own life) is a true act of love and selflessness.  Jesus had to cut away our sin to free us- at his own expense, his own death.  We love him, we don't understand why he has to die, then it all becomes clear. Satan (Mother Goethel) is thrown from the tower (read Revelation much?), Rapunzel's love revives Flynn, and he and Rapunzel live happily ever after. 
 

They do return to the tower (in the original story) to visit their forest friends.  Sometimes we must remember, or memorialize, the places where we have been freed from sin to remember how not to become entangled again.  But in this story Rapunzel gets to return to the King's house (God) and regain her right role as a princess of the kingdom.  

Now... have you claimed your rightful place in the Kingdom?  Or are you living a locked up life? 

Photo Credits: Google Image