Starting today, I am beginning another series on this blog: FairyTale Friday.
Once Upon A Time thrives itself on the stories they tell using Disney or fairytales from long ago. But, how have they changed from version to version? That’s what this is going to show you. There will be 3 parts: the original story, the Disney story, and the OUAT story.
So here we go with Rapunzel:
Brothers Grimm: As the original version of the story of Rapunzel, it begins with a couple who have longed for a child. When the woman becomes pregnant, she craves a Rapunzel plant, which her husband steals from a garden next store. On his way back home, he is stopped by Dame Gothel, who accuses of the theft and after begging for mercy, her only request is to hand over is unborn child upon its birth.
After she is born she is named Rapunzel, after the plant, and when she turns 12 is sent to a tower to live in with her long blond locks. Years later, a prince, who was traveling heard Rapunzel’s singing voice from afar and went to meet her. After they got to know each other, he proposes and they plan the escape from her tower.
One day, Rapunzel accidentally tells Dame Gothel about the prince and she cuts off her hair and banishes her to the forest by herself. When the prince tries to go up the tower he is fooled by the hair and is surprised by Gothel at the top. Knowing that she is in the woods and will never see her again, he jumps off the tower (or is pushed off, depending on the version), and is blinded by thorns.
He searches, blindly, for Rapunzel for months and after hearing her singing voice finds her in the forest with their twins she gave birth to. When they fall into each other’s arms, Rapunzel’s tears restore the prince’s sight and they live happily ever after in the forest.
Disney: The Disney-fied version of Rapunzel was released in 2010 and called Tangled. In this version (in case you haven’t seen it, and I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t have), there is a golden flower that has magic to heal people of injuries or death with a song. A woman, Mother Gothel uses the flower for years to restore her youth.
But, eventually, the queen, who is about to give birth, is sick and the flower is sought out to cure her. And thus, Rapunzel is born with magical hair. Unfortunately, Mother Gothel kidnaps Rapunzel because her hair still has the magical properties of keeping her young. For 18 years, they live hidden away in a tower where Rapunzel sees magic lights that occur on her birthday.
On her 18th birthday, Rapunzel is surprised by a thief, the dashing, Flynn Rider, who finds her tower and asks him to take her to see the floating lights, since Gothel will not let her. On the journey, the two fall in love, but Gothel is selfish and convinces Rapunzel that Flynn is still a thief.
When they return home, Rapunzel figures out that she is the missing princess who the lights are for. Flynn comes to her rescue after he learns Gothel’s secret, but is killed after she stabs him, but not before he cuts off Rapunzel’s magic hair which kills Gothel. Heartbroken, Rapunzel cries over Flynn’s body, and her tears bring him back to life. They return to the kingdom together and Rapunzel is reunited with her parents. They live happily ever after.
OUAT: There has only been one episode with Rapunzel, thus far, and in season 3’s “The Tower,” we meet Rapunzel and hear their version of how she got in the tower.
While on a journey for a root that will get rid of his fear, Charming discovers a tower in the middle of a forest. When he climbs to the top, he comes across Rapunzel with her long hair and discovers that she has been trapped there for years. Rapunzel tells Charming, that she was also looking for the root when she got trapped in the tower after her nightmares of her brother’s death. When she took the root it didn’t work and was kept captive by a hooded figure in the tower.
Charming promises that she will be saved when the figure appears. Turns out, it is a double of Rapunzel trying to take her fear. Charming tells her to fight back and Rapunzel is able to conquer her fear and knock the figure off the tower. Rapunzel says her fear came from the guilt of her brother saving her from drowning, which caused his death. Charming brings Rapunzel back to her kingdom where she is reunited with her parents.
So as you can see, the story of Rapunzel has changed a lot from version to version. OUAT is the most far-fetched because a witch does not take her, but the consistency of Rapunzel will forever be her long hair and stuck at the top of a tower.
I always find it entertaining to see how dark the Grimm (or original) fairytales are, but still this ends up “happily ever after.” I mean, the prince was thrown off of a tower and blinded, that’s pretty dark.
The Disney version was so different because Flynn was telling the story, but he is one of the best Disney “princes” out there. I will say that Tangled is definitely Top 10 for Disney movies!
Of course, OUAT’s Rapunzel story was only half-told, I believe, and I think there are more stories they could tell about Rapunzel, let’s just see if they do.
Hope you liked this addition. Let me know what you think or what stories you want me to discover for the next FairyTale Friday!