Contrasting Images of Rapunzel

I saw the movie Tangled a while back and was kind of lukewarm on it. I was expecting more Elizabeth from the Paper Bag Princess and less typical Disney princess, so it was a tad disappointing.

As I was looking at images of females for my recent post on body language, I came across some from the movie. Interesting how in some pictures, this “spirited” girl (in Disney’s language) is shown as hopelessly lovestruck:

Granted, kids who see the movie will get a slightly different message and will see Rapunzel as fairly self-sufficient and confident. But images like these make me wonder why Disney, clearly concerned about the bad press targeted toward its timid and passive princesses, would allow her strengths to be undermined in marketing for the film.

Personally, I prefer the unequivocal graphic novel treatment given to Rapunzel:

This is a girl who is smart, capable and falls for her male co-adventurer on her own terms, without ever having been rescued or saved by him.

And, save for the one kiss at the end, my son loved this book. He’s read it at least three times and gets so absorbed in it he doesn’t even respond when someone speaks to him. If your kids like graphic adventure stories, this might be one to try.  The truly strong female protagonist is a great role model for boys and girls. (My full review is here.)

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