It’s well known that the origin stories are meant to be much darker than the ones we know from Disney or children’s books – within good reason, of course! I think I ruined my entire childhood this week by finally giving in and reading some of the origins. The story of Tangled will always be one of my favourites, so when I read how much darker the original fairy tale is, I thought it was pretty disturbing… read on if you dare.
Despite how dark the original is in comparison to the Disney version, the main reason I’m glad that Disney changed it to the story of Tangled is because of how BORING the original is. I mean, the original is a story that’s focused more on taking responsibility for your actions, so no thugs are dancing and singing about their dreams, and there’s no fighting with frying pans. However, here are the main differences between the two stories…
In the Tangled that I know and love, Rapunzel is taken in the middle of the night by Mother Gothel because of the magic healing abilities of her hair. In the original, the baby is more or less handed over to the fairy because the mother really craves some rapunzel (editor’s note: that’s a leafless variety of milkweed, you’re welcome) that is grown in the fairy’s garden. I don’t know what it is with evil people in fairy tales wanting people’s first born child, I could think of much better things I’d rather have than a BABY? But anyway apparently this is a fair trade. The child is handed over, and the fairy names her Rapunzel… because who needs imagination, right?
In the original, there was no Flynn Ryder so “the smoulder” look wasn’t a thing (disappointing, right?) Instead, we get a prince who hears Rapunzel’s singing and waits around to see the fairy climbing her hair to the top of the tower. He waits until the fairy is gone and calls for Rapunzel to drop down her hair and uses it to climb up – unlike Flynn Ryder, who just manages to climb the tower without ladders or stairs. How Rapunzel couldn’t tell the difference between a female fairy’s voice and the voice of a prince, I’ll never understand, but they immediately hit it off, and he starts visiting her daily. They don’t even wait until they get out of the tower to get it on, they just do it there, and eventually, Rapunzel becomes pregnant.
In Tangled, Mother Gothel is gone for three days and doesn’t find out that she has escaped for a while, eventually finds out, big drama, and ultimately, Rapunzel and Flynn Ryder live happily ever after. In the original, the fairy notices that Rapunzel’s clothes no longer fit her and cuts off her hair before disowning her. The fairy waits for the prince to return, throws down the hair that she kept so he can climb up and tells him that Rapunzel is long gone and he’ll never see her again. The prince is so sad that he throws himself out of the tower and lands with thorns going into his eyes, resulting in him losing his eyesight. Several years later the prince hears singing and immediately recognises Rapunzel’s voice. The joy of finally being reunited with his one true love magically restores his eyesight. Mental.
Which version do you prefer? Leave a comment below!