If you haven't seen it, Tangled is Disney's recent retelling of Rapunzel. I won't call it the most perfect of Disney movies; plenty of the humor feels like it was written by a committee with a few of its members under the impression that Dreamworks is a viable role model,
Rapunzel has been trapped all her life in a tower with no one but the woman she believes is her mother. Unlike in the fairytale, this Rapunzel's hair has magical healing and youth-restoring properties, and her imposter mother, Gothel, only cares about her as a way of living forever, but her imitation of love is all Rapunzel has ever known.
No, I'm not joking.
...Anyway, Flynn, our prince, is a petty thief who stumbles across Rapunzel's tower right when she’s in the mood to blackmail someone into giving her a tour of the outside kingdom.
On their adventure through the kingdom, they both develop feelings for each other beyond what they originally wanted out of their deal, but through a combination of Gothel's interference and Flynn's criminal past, they end up separated, with Rapunzel back in her tower and Flynn awaiting execution.
With some help from their new friends, Flynn breaks out of prison and goes back to find Rapunzel.
This is where we finally get the obligatory hair-climbing scene that there are mysteriously few screen captures of.
When he gets into the tower, Gothel stabs him in the side and tries to drag Rapunzel off to a new secret location, but Rapunzel convinces her to let her save Flynn with her hair first, promising in return to continue keeping her young without a fight.
That's a serious gesture. Flynn's response to it is even better.
When Rapunzel gets close enough, he cuts her hair,
This is a one-two character moment for him. He's spent his life only taking care of himself, she's spent hers being appreciated for her hair's power and nothing else. In one moment, he changes both those things.
So what happens? Gothel crumbles into dust, Flynn passes out from blood loss, and Rapunzel discovers that her healing power is in her tears too.
To anyone who thinks this comes out of nowhere, try reading the eye-gouging fairytale version in which Rapunzel has shown no magic powers whatsoever up to this point.
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