Symbolism in Tangled

Here we have our first promised deep post! I am currently watching Tangled (literally, right this second Rapunzel is welcoming her "Mother" home and trying to ask to go see the lanterns) and I decided to do a little digging as to what some of the images or ideas might represent.

Color Imagery
As with any movie, there are dozens of colors present throughout Tangled, so I selected the four that I thought were the most important.

Purple:














Rapunzel's dress is primarily purple, as is the background for the flag of Corona.

Purple most commonly symbolizes royalty, but can also represent passion, faith, or mourning. 

Obviously, Rapunzel is the lost princess, so the royalty idea makes perfect sense for both her dress and the crest of the kingdom. Passion is a word that I would easily use to describe Rapunzel: she's passionate about her many hobbies and her dreams and goes about each one with the same, well, passion. Plus, she's very people oriented and treats everyone with the same kindness. As for faith, she never loses sight of her dreams and does everything in her power to go after them. Mourning is a little less obvious, but the kingdom- and the king and queen- have been missing their princess for 18 years, tying us back to the flag.

Blue:

Eugene's vest is a lovely shade of blue.

Blue can symbolize depth, trust, loyalty, truth, or confidence.

Eugene is an EXTREMELY complex and deep character. At first, he seems like an arrogant (if attractive) jerk, but over time we find that he is actually a sensitive, slightly damaged orphan who is just trying to figure out who he is and how he fits in to the major plan. Over time as Rapunzel learns to trust him, he proves himself to be an extremely loyal partner, even to the point of giving his life so she can keep hers. He is also the reason that Rapunzel finds out who she truly is. As for confidence, well...

Red:

Red is the color of Mother Gothel's dress and of Eugene's blood.

Red symbolizes wrath, hatred, determination, stress, and willpower.

Mother Gothel is an interesting villain because, rather than having obvious magical abilities, she chooses to use psychological abuse against Rapunzel. By being passive aggressive, she ensures that Rapunzel will feel that everything is her fault, her responsibility. In fact, Eugene's blood is the most physical manifestation of her feelings of hatred for Rapunzel.

Gold:

Gold is the color of the flower, Rapunzel's hair, the lanterns, and the sun on the crest of the kingdom.

Gold symbolizes illumination, magic, love, and courage.

The flower and Rapunzel's hair both have healing powers, and all of the above items give off light, whether it be physical light or the light of realization. As for the lanterns, they can be seen as a symbol of love, both romantic (Eugene and Rapunzel) and familial (the tradition started as a way of searching for the lost princess.) And of course, Rapunzel finds courage in her dreams.

Name Meanings


Rapunzel is a type of bitter lettuce, and according to one source, lettuce means "never give up." I can't verify this, however, so don't write it as my epitaph, please. :)


Flynn means descendant of the red-haired man, for some reason. Rider is, of course, a knight. Eugene means well born and Herbert means army bright.


Mother Gothel's name is a derivative of Goth or Gothic, which refers to an ancient tribe of Germanic peoples.

Weather Symbolism

Fog

Fog appears in two key scenes: "Mother Knows Best" reprise and when the Stabbington Brothers inform Eugene that they don't want the crown anymore; they'd rather have Rapunzel.

Fog symbolizes confusion, darkness, and fear.

When Eugene and Rapunzel sing their duet, they describe their relationship as the fog being lifted.

The Sun/ Daybreak

The sun is the symbol of the kingdom, and represents hope and light.

Interestingly enough, Eugene's death takes place at night. He reawakens at daybreak, and the first rays of sun illuminate the kiss.

I hope you enjoyed this and learned something new... or maybe even got chills, like I did with the fog thing. Disney is so wonderful and deep!

MyLittleMegara

Comments

  1. Wow! I'll have to pay more attention next time I watch a movie!!

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    Replies
    1. It's a lot of fun to see how deeply Disney works!

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  2. Wow....amazing symbolism

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