Differences between the fairytale Rapunzel and the Disney version

To do this well, you would have to be able to analyze the implications of the original tale deeply and then to analyze the implications of the Disney film deeply. It wouldn’t as much be a comparison as it would be setting them side-by-side and saying “This one does this” and “That one does that.” It won’t make much sense to try to say “this one is better than that one” any more than it makes sense to say a car is “better” than an Arabian horse: depends what you’re trying to do, doesn’t it? Try driving a Toyota over a sand dune.

You would also need to be able to talk about the Disney film as an animated film. How successful is it? How innovative is it (not at all, will be the answer to that one, I’d guess; it was a pretty run-of-the-mill Disney adaptation; they’ve done better ones and worse ones); How was the soundtrack, the directing, the acting, and so on? You don’t have to spend a lot of attention on these things, you can get down to plot and character pretty quickly, but you need to at least show awareness of them.

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The Disney film makes some very significant changes to the plot and characters of the fairy tale. To be able to talk about the significance of these changes, you have to understand the original very well.

To do that, think about the specific elements in “Rapunzel”. It has a female protagonist and antagonist. It’s a tale of child abandonment (her parents give her away), but unlike the “unwanted child” theme in “Cinderella” and “Hansel and Gretel”, Rapunzel’s new mother sincerely wants her, so it’s a tale about the desire for love (the Disney film provides a motivation of eternal life for the mother, but the fairy tale is much more intense and subtle and profound). It’s not a tale of overt abuse, but it is one of captivity, like “Bluebeard”. But Rapunzel loves her captor, so the psychological concept of Stockholm Syndrome comes in her (look it up). In this story, the male rescues the female, as he does in “Cinderella”, unlike “Bluebeard” where the male is the source of the danger. In “Little Red Riding Hood”, male sexuality is the threat as well in the form of the wolf, until she’s rescued by the good man, the Woodsman. In “Snow White”, the antagonist is female and again in the position of mother, and she’s eventually rescued by a male, but not before being in a kind of pleasant captivity with the dwarfs, who are male but non-human but want to apparently put her in the mothering position.

And so on. You need to understand the tale very well, and to do that, you have to think of it in the context of the other tales. If you go about this seriously and thoughtfully, you can make a good paper about the original and the Disney film.

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