Real Name: Unknown
Domain: Corona, Germany (1780’s)
Premiered in: Tangled (2010)
Voiced By: Mandy Moore
The tenth official Disney Princess, Rapunzel is easily one of the most cheerful and optimistic of any Disney character. This could of course be because of the power coursing through her veins, or rather her hair. This power being the ability to heal virtually anything from wounds to the effects of aging so long as a simple melody is sung and her hair is touching the afflicted person. Staying away from the melody bit as I’ve talked enough about that with Gothel, I find it interesting that Rapunzel couldn’t cut her hair lest the power be lost forever. While I can’t immediately recall the reason why her hair was kept so long in the original story beyond a means of keeping her trapped in the tower and allowing access only to those brave enough, or foolish enough, to climb all seventy feet of her golden locks, I like this one far more. Short and simple, it’s a far more reasonable explanation as to why she has to keep her hair long even after she’s left the tower she had spent most of her life in.
Yet, in the end, her hair ended up being cut, into a rather cute pixie cut might I add, and though it appeared that her power was lost forever, some fans believe in one of two scenarios. The first, and most popular, is that the power still exists within Rapunzel and that she possesses the human equivalent to phoenix tears in that, should she sing the song whilst weeping, her teardrops will heal to as great an effect. The second, and admittedly more likely, scenario is that when Rapunzel wept upon Eugene she effectively “released” the drop of pure sunlight back into the world and brought him back to life. In the end, I suppose it doesn’t matter much as Rapunzel is most often portrayed in her “original” design with long golden lock rather than her brunette pixie cut. Not surprising given that the same can be said of Ariel often being a mermaid or Mulan with her matchmaker outfit.
Rapunzel’s kingdom is known as Corona and though it is never stated where in the world it takes place, general guess work and fan speculation has it on the northern most shores of Germany thanks in no small part to the cameo appearance of Rapunzel and Eugene in Frozen as well as the popular fan speculation connecting the two films with The Little Mermaid. Corona, for the most part, appears to mostly consist of a capital city housed on an island just off the shores of the nearby “wilderness” that is left virtually untouched. Out of the many kingdoms I’ve mentioned previously, Corona would by far be the most inviting simply for the celebration done on Rapunzel’s birthday. That entire scene where the lanterns float up from the city and across the waters of the ocean…
Now, while Eugene plays a significant role in the film what with being the narrator and all, I’ll simply talk about him here and now. First off, as I’m sure many are aware and for those who aren’t, Eugene is predominately known by his alias of “Flynn Rider” a name that he conceived back in his orphanage days and taken from a then-popular storybook character. His real name is actually Eugene Fitzherbert and that is by far the biggest breath of fresh air yet. Compared to the likes of the previous princes, both actual royals or by marriage, Eugene name is by far the most “common” of them all and one that I imagine earns many a disbelieving snort amongst any foreign dignitaries once they hear it, especially as it is now Rapunzel’s own last name.
As to Rapunzel’s companions, chief and foremost is Pascal, a chameleon who is both incredibly intelligent as he is protective. He’s been Rapunzel’s one and only friend for goodness knows how long and is likely the chief reason that she hadn’t cracked completely and succumbed entirely to Gothel’s brainwashing and even goes so far as to try and tempt her out of the tower on a daily basis. In point of fact, while it was Eugene who had cut Rapunzel’s hair and effectively ended the healing magic still residing with the old hag’s body, it was Pascal who used the cut hair to trip Gothel out the window to fall to her death. Needless to say, Pascal is amongst the top tier of awesome animal companions amongst the Disney Princesses.
There is also Maximus, the stallion of the Captain of the Guard, but seeing as he had a closer… hrmm… rivalry I suppose with Eugene, in that he was doing his darnedest to catch him come heck or high water, I shan’t say too much on him. I will however say that there has never been nor will there ever be a horse as brilliant and tenacious as Maximus who literally wielded sword and frying pan against anyone who stood in his way to capturing the notorious thief, Flynn Rider.
To my immense relief, Rapunzel is the last of the Disney Princesses to receive a “Palace Pet” but to my incredulous disbelief, she has not one but three and that’s excluding the pony. The first pet, and by far the most disbelieving in origin story and appearance, is Meadow whom Rapunzel rescued from Eugene who had been chasing her around the palace gardens. Never mind that I could never see Eugene bothering to do this with any animal, the fact of the matter is that Meadow… is a skunk. Not just a skunk, oh no, but a pink skunk. A pink skunk that is, literally, paraded about the palace like a queen. There just aren’t enough words in any language to describe just how odd, and wrong, that is.
The second “Palace Pet” is another oddity in appearance and origin though not as much as the aforementioned skunk. Summer is a golden-furred feline with a strange bit of mutation as she possessing long locks of hair atop her head a lot like Rapunzel’s own and was discovered matted and dirtied until Rapunzel found her and brought her to the, quote, “Royal Beauty Salon” end quote. Royal Beauty Salon and Rapunzel should never be in the same sentence. We are talking about the girl who makes her own clothes, candles, pottery, paints, and did all manner of chores that even Cinderella would balk at. I’m fairly certain Rapunzel would have something of an emotional freak out at a salon, particularly if anything sharp happens near her hair…
The last pet is the most realistic in origin though not entirely so with her appearance. A golden furred dog named Daisy was given as a wedding gift to Eugene and Rapunzel from… the Viking brigands. Yeah, what on earth any of those guys were even doing with a puppy I’ll never know. Still, aside from some ridiculously silly hair atop her head, Daisy is by far the most sensible “Palace Pet” of the bunch though again I argue that a certain chameleon overtakes these guys.
Rapunzel’s redesign is interesting amongst the Disney Princesses in that it is her original dress slightly lengthened and with some added sparkly embroidery. In point of fact, the only true major difference to her overall design is that while she still has her golden locks of hair, its been significantly shortened down to mere floor length with a bit of a forelock at her brow. That and she’s actually wearing shoes but that’s a given by this point. What’s rather hilarious, at least to me, is that she’s missing her tiara, the very item that brought about her full recollection and epiphany as to who she truly was. Out of everything they could have added to her outfit, that’s the one thing they don’t allow her to wear?