***SPOILER ALERT*** I’ll probably ruin the plot of the movie Tangled if you haven’t seen it, but if you don’t care, feel free to read.
I had the pleasure of watching the animated movie Tangled while babysitting my 3 year old niece. I was looking forward to it, simply because who doesn’t like watching a new imagination of a familiar fairy tale? Rapunzel is a classic damsel in distress, locked up by an evil witch and eventually saved by her true love from her lofty tower. And in Tangled, she’s an evil infertile witch.
Whoa, what? You mean to tell me an infertilite is at the core of this tale? And that in our enlightened age of post-feminism we’d allow a tale of good versus evil to make the catalyst of the evil the fact that a woman couldn’t conceive on her own? Nevermind the fact that the original German fairy tale cast Rapunzel’s parents as infertile.
Oh wait a minute, sorry. I forgot this is also the same American society that made the whimpering Twilight Bella and her x-rated 50 Shades counterpart Anastasia best sellers and idols of girls and women everywhere. Silly me! I should be spanked for that.
Anyway. Tangled doesn’t really say the witch is infertile, but it’s implied. And, because at the time I wasn’t pregnant, when I saw the movie I was horrified by the underlying resentment of adoptive mothers. Okay, okay, I know the witch wasn’t really an adoptive mother – she did steal Rapunzel, after all – and of course I was rooting for Rapunzel to discover her true heritage as a princess. But I don’t recall Rapunzel being maltreated by her would-be mother in this modern version; in fact, she seemed to have a great life, albeit a somewhat sheltered one. Even if she wasn’t a model citizen, was she a bad mother?
But I suppose I should have checked my logic at the door when, as the plot unfolds to put Rapunzel in the witch’s hands, the witch realizes that having a child would keep her permanently youthful.