Who knew Disney would release a film about my spiritual journey?  Tangled is a hot bed of metaphors for religion and religious freedom.

A quick summary:

First there’s Mother Gothel.  She represents religion.  She desires one thing and that is eternal life.  She will do whatever it costs to have that eternity.  She kidnaps Rapunzel because Rapunzel has the key to eternal life. Rapunzel’s hair performs the miracles of eternal youth and healing the wounded and sick.  Mother Gothel locks Rapunzel up in a tower for eighteen years under the guise that the world is a bad place.  People will hurt her for her miraculous powers.  Men have poisonous teeth and are dangerous.  Rapunzel is too naive to understand the world for what it really is.  Therefore Rapunzel never leaves the tower.  She never questions Mother Gothel because she knows that Gothel is only protecting her and certainly Mother knows best.   But Rapunzel doubts Gothel every year when the lights fly.  But she just keeps stuffing those doubts until she can no longer rely on Gothel to show her everything she needs to see in order to keep believing.  
Rapunzel’s doubt slips away when Flynn Rider, the thief, or better yet the non-religious comes in and shows Rapunzel the world outside of the tower (religion).  The Pub Thugs that look so mean and dangerous or everything anti-religious turn out to be good hearted, loving men.  Rapunzel learns to let go of the baggage of her miraculous hair, to reveal the lies, and to take a stand.  In the end she finds that her hair never defined her.  She wasn’t any worse off without it and she could still heal because ultimately she was still Rapunzel.  
I recognize if you haven’t seen the film this all sounds a little crazy.  So let me break down a few of my favorite moments and analogies.
Rapunzel: A young girl blindly following religion and carrying the baggage of that religion.  I love the scene where she puts her feet in the grass for the first time.  It’s that first moment that you feel life outside of religion.  And I love the “best day ever” scene.  It completely sums up how it feels to leave a religious life.  

Mother Gothel: She is a religious deceiver doing anything to protect her eternal life.  She uses fear to manipulate and makes Rapunzel believe that the world outside of religion is terribly bad and dangerous.

Flynn Rider: He represents knowledge.  Knowledge often thieves the religious.  But he fights for and rescues Rapunzel and shows her the light.  
Pascal: He’s that little nagging buddy (or our conscience) in our heads that gives us just a little nudge and support when we need it.
Pub Thugs: They are the gays, anti-religious, leftists who turn out to be more good than evil, more fun than scary and very loving/accepting.
Maximus: Maximus is one who learns to see people for who they are.  He learns to push the limits and make judgements for himself.
Here are the lyrics to the song ” I See the Light”  from the film.  Again an analogy for religious freedom.
All those days watching from the windows
All those years outside looking in
All that time never even knowing
Just how blind I’ve been
Now I’m here, blinking in the starlight
Now I’m here, suddenly I see
Standing here, it’s all so clear
I’m where I’m meant to be

And at last I see the light
And it’s like the fog has lifted
And at last I see the light
And it’s like the sky is new
And it’s warm and real and bright
And the world has somehow shifted
All at once everything looks different

All those days chasing down a daydream
All those years living in a blur
All that time never truly seeing
Things, the way they were
 it’s crystal clear
I’m where I’m meant to go

And at last I see the light
And it’s like the fog is lifted
And at last I see the light
And it’s like the sky is new
And it’s warm and real and bright
And the world has somehow shifted
All at once, everything is different

Okay, now you can laugh like crazy!  I know it’s a stretch but it’s literally how I have viewed the film both times I’ve watched it.  Maybe I am more off my rocker than on it 🙂

About ThinkingWithVitality

Wife, Mama, Certified Wellness Life Coach, Certified Vet Tech, adoption and special needs advocate, adventure seeker, wannabe vegetarian, freethinker, knowledge hunter, secular humanist. Love writing, distance running, cycling, hiking, photography, nature, essential oils, natural medicine, traveling, RVs and tents, reading, adventures, organizing, authentic living, good beer, acoustic music and happy to have landed in Costa Rica for this moment in time.

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