Friday, April 8, 2011

All "Tangled" Up

Tonight was Family Night in our home and we decided to watch Tangled. . .for the THIRD time.  We just saw it for the first time on Wednesday while Underdog was on a business trip.  Last night I watch it with Underdog for date night so he could see it.  That viewing made up decide to watch it tonight with our older children again. 

I thought Tangled was a cute little movie.  It's one of the better Disney movies that's been made.  The animation was fabulous.  It's obvious that John Lassiter, who originally started Pixar and was hired b Disney, was running the show.  And in my opinion, Rapunzel is the most beautiful princess that Disney was ever created.  I am sure the animation helped with that.  I think my favorite characters were the horse and the chameleon.  The story was a good story but Maximus and Pascal made it even better. 

This movie was not without flaw though.  It may seem as the movie has just innocent fun but it sending very clear messages to it's audience.  Who is the audience?  Mostly young girls.  My boys enjoyed it but I think Maximus and Pascal helped with that. 

If you ask my children, the can tell you about some of the blaring problems with the movie.  One of the beginning songs sends a message to young girls that the housework they might be doing at home isn't really living.  To me, that just screams of feminism.  Homeworking girls and mothers aren't really living when they are at home keeping and making a home and haven.  God has given a very clear calling to women to be "keeper AT home" and it's not drugdery to do so. 

The second blaring problem with this movie is the very clear rebellion that the young Rapenzel gets involved in.  Now, her mother is not the most loving and careing people in the world.  But the command in the scripture is not for children to obey if mom and dad are kind to them.  It's clear. . ."Children obey your parents in the Lord for this right."  There even seems to be a period where she's wrestling within her heart over the rebellion and promise she's broken.  The worst part is that Flynn encourages her rebellion.  "At little rebellion is good.  It's normal."  Sounds alot like another very true story that took place in the Garden, doesn't it? 

Schmoo got to watch this movie at a birthday party last weekend so she had a few opinions about it.  While she liked it (more than I would like for her to like it) she said that it was kind of ruined that Rapunsel didn't save her kiss.  I was beaming with pride.  She gets it, so far anyway.  I think I would agree with her assessment in my third point.  Is it really wise for a young girl to fall in love in only a few days and then give her kiss away just like that?  Is it any wonder that the teen and young adult culture is all about hooking up and NOT about relationships? 

Finally, one aspect of Disney that should never go unnoticed by Christians is their constant emphasis on magic.  In the movie (warning, spoiler) her hair is magical and has healing power.  Um, correct me if I'm wrong, but there has only been ONE Person with the power to heal people.  Christ is our Healer.  Magic is simply the attempt by human beings to do things that only God can do.  You can't just brush this away as simple magic in  movie.  it's not real, right?  If it's not, real do we see so many children immulating many of the movies that they are watching?  They will see the magic and they will copy it unless we are teaching and pointing out the evil.   

There is much more to this movie that could be mentioned.  I liked it at first and considered getting it to own it.  I have changed my mind though.  I have the ability to weed through the messages that are being given in this movie (and many more that Disney has put out) but my children do not.  I have read in different places that before the age of 8, most children don't have the ability to discern the difference between a show on TV and the commercials played during the show.  They also can't tell the difference between what's real and pretend in many cases.  We don't hesitate when we do watch movies like this to point out the problems.  It might ruin the movie to do so, but personally, I would rather ruin the movie than to allow a wrong worldview to be planted in the hearts of my children. 

Do I recommend Tangled?  Well, possibly.  As I said, I thought it was a good movie.  The story was cute.  The characters were well developed.  It's fun for the children to watch (ok, and the adults.)  I would recommend that parents watch it together first.  Find the problems with it's worldview first and don't hesitate to have conversation about the movie while it's playing.  Ask them questions.  Draw them out.  Get them thinking about what they are seeing.  Use real life opportunities to give them a solid Biblical worldview of life.  Teach them to view a movie with discerning eyes and heart.  And don't just casually allow the culture to lead your children.  It will.  Everything in life has a message.  It's either a message that will lead them to Jesus or it has a message that will lead them away.  The enemy is cunning.  He makes the fruit look so yummy knowing all along that if we bite into it, we'll die. 

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