Analysis of Movie Character Rapunzel in Tangled Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Analysis of Movie Character


Tangled, released in 2010 by Walt Disney Pictures, is a 3D computer-animated American musical adventure movie produced by the famous Walt Disney Animation Studios. This paper is an analysis of the film’s main character, Rapunzel. This paper will discuss the psycho-analytical breakdown, stressors, and conflicts experienced by Rapunzel and how she deals with them.


The film is about a young, naïve girl called Rapunzel. A long time ago, a baby girl named Rapunzel was born to a king and his queen. This baby had golden hair with incredible mystic healing powers. Rapunzel was, however, kidnapped by an older woman called Gothel, who raised her in a hidden tower. In the meantime, a thief called Flynn Rider stole something of value from the castle, and the king’s guards were in pursuit of him. Flynn suddenly stumbled upon the tower and used it as a hiding place. Rapunzel used a frying pan to hit the thief and then secretly hid the bag he carried. Upon waking up, Flynn found himself strapped to a chair with Rapunzel’s hair. If he agreed to take her out and have a glimpse of the world outside, Rapunzel would give him back his bag, and Flynn agreed. They both enjoyed the adventure despite being chased by the guards and Mother Gothel. Flynn and Rapunzel luckily managed to escape from them after a couple of days.

While at the town, Rapunzel realized that she was the missing princess and was separated from Flynn later. Mother Gothel captured her, and Flynn came to her rescue. He was, however, badly hurt by Mother Gothel, and before Rapunzel could respond, Flynn cut her hair, making it lose its magic. As an outcome, Mother Gothel rapidly aged and turned into dust, leaving Rapunzel free and Flynn almost dying. Flynn was luckily healed by one of Rapunzel’s teardrops. He returned Rapunzel to the castle, and the king and his queen were pleased. That night, Rapunzel’s return was celebrated by the whole kingdom (Gandhi, 2006).

Rapunzel had been locked away in the tower for her whole life and had no interaction with the outside world. She only interacted with mother Gothel. She has always been socially isolated. This made it difficult for her to adapt to her new surroundings after her escape with Flynn. Also, she had to get used to interacting with other people for the very first time.


I chose Rapunzel for my character analysis since she has always been in isolation ever since her birth. Rapunzel does not interact with anyone all through her day other than Mother Gothel. Gothel, who was once a beautiful lady, is now an old narcissist that restores her beauty and youth with the help of Rapunzel’s golden magical hair. Gothel is the epitome of the very worst abusive, violent, and deceptive narcissism. She is an ‘animated’ proof that the degree of abuse increases as victims get lured up to each of the tower’s five stories. There is proof of Gothel’s passive-aggressive character all through the tale...  “Rapunzel, you’re getting kind of chubby…. Oh, just kidding…. Don’t take me so seriously,” she mentions laughing. Gothel utilizes passive-aggressive “gaslighting” to convince Rapunzel of a lie in tune “Mother knows Best.” Gaslighting refers to the brainwashing and manipulation of an individual, resulting in self-doubt, and a loss of identity and even reality (Strubler, 2019). Rapunzel does not have any sense of identity or self because her “mother” has always made her question herself. Gothel attempts to manipulate Rapunzel into thinking that she has no value, which made Rapunzel think less about herself. She has no self-worth.

Rapunzel is experiencing the issue of no self- worth; she has no sense of self. We understand ourselves through the self-concept. Given that we are social creatures, this originates from comparison to other individuals. A process known as reflected appraisal was identified back in 1912 by a sociologist named Charles Cooley. The process states that through a comparison of ourselves, we nurture a self-concept that mirrors how we want others to view us. If other individuals do not make us feel appreciated and accepted by those qualities that we possess, then we get subconsciously limited by our reflected appraisal, and vice versa. This concept of self-appraisal begins in the earliest years of a child. Children are…

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…unconscious mechanism that distorts reality to prevent the conscious self from identifying bad or unacceptable choices (Rathus & Nevid, 2020). The chameleon friend also serves as an outlet for the stress and negative emotions held by Rapunzel in the tower. She talks to him and finds support in him. There is a possibility that if the chameleon friend did not exist, the negative emotions would consume Rapunzel.

Rapunzel’s self-concept helped her to cope. The only human she was able to communicate with was the verbally abusive Mother Gothel. The woman made her feel useless and unloved because she constantly made derogatory comments. Nevertheless, even without her “mother’s” approval, she dreams of attending the lantern festival. When Flynn, who was running away from the law, finds her in the tower and offers to take her to the festival, it is her first real experience with the real world and its kindness. This enables her to form a new self-concept and conceptualization of home life. When her attraction to Flynn becomes evident, she admits this, and they later leave on her journey. When her “mother” finds her running away, she tells her that the young man will never like her because of her appearance. However, because she had a new self-concept, the statement did not affect her negatively (Price, 2013).


The film was great since it showed how Rapunzel was able to overcome her challenges and flee away from the place where she was confined. Even though she had a complicated relationship with her mother, this did not prevent her from developing a new self-concept. Individuals in similar situations to Rapunzel, usually succumb to the negative pressure and circumstances. They typically become suicidal or depressed. However, Rapunzel was able to overcome the gloomy and challenging situation she was in. Flynn did help her escape, but it was just little assistance in a long journey that Rapunzel had successfully traveled on her own. Flynn took Rapunzel to the Lanterns festival, and she was able to interact with others freely without showing any fear. This is evidence of her strong personality. Pascal also plays a critical role in the film in my opinion because he helps Rapunzel to…

Sources Used in Documents:


Disney Wiki. (2011). Pascal. Retrieved from

Gandhi, G. (2016). Disney Rapunzel’s story in short. Retrieved from

Price, M. (2013). Twelve lessons from Disney. Retrieved from

Rathus, S. A., & Nevid, J. (2020). Psychology and the challenges of like: Adjustment and growth (14th ed.). USA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Strubler, D. (2019). Tangled: Escape the 5-Story tower of narcissistic abuse. Retrieved from

Conli, R. (Producer)., & Greno, N., & Howard, B. (Directors). (2010). Tangled [Walt Disney Pictures]. The United States.

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