Disney’s Tangled substantially changed the original Rapunzel fairytale, but the newly constructed ending made little sense. Overall, the alterations made for an even more charming story. Rapunzel’s central role in her own freedom and the idea that she fell in love with a wanted thief instead of a prince made the classic fairytale more fun. Still, the inclusion of the Sundrop flower and the rules surrounding Rapunzel’s hair in Tangled resulted in an ending that didn’t quite add up.
The introduction of Tangled described how Rapunzel’s hair had become enchanted when her mother consumed the Sundrop flower in an effort to heal herself while pregnant. The villain Mother Gothel had been using this flower to keep herself young for hundreds of years, and with it no longer available to her, she kidnapped Rapunzel and kept her hidden away in a tower. Through a series of adventures with Flynn Rider, Rapunzel escaped her tower and learned the truth about Mother Gothel, but just about everything that happened after this was indeed the stuff of legends and tall tales.
5 Mother Gothel Chained Up Flynn Ryder, So He Would Have Died Anyway
After Mother Gothel stabbed Flynn Rider (who was actually named Eugene Fitzherbert), Rapunzel made a deal with her mother to save his life. She promised that she would go with Gothel anywhere she wanted and wouldn’t try to escape, so long as Rapunzel was allowed to heal his wounds. Gothel agreed, but she chained Flynn up inside the tower to make sure he couldn’t follow her when she escaped with Rapunzel. The problem is, if Flynn couldn’t get out of the tower after the events of Tangled, he would slowly starve to death stuck in the tower.
Ultimately, this would have been a much worse way to die than from the stab wound, but no one seemed to consider this. It wasn’t even as if anyone would find him in the tower anytime soon. It was 18 years before Flynn happened upon it, so the chances of this happening again were slim. It could be that, given Flynn’s status as a successful thief in Tangled, Rapunzel might have been confident that Flynn would be able to pick the lock, and Gothel might have assumed that it would have still taken him long enough that he couldn’t follow them. Still, it was a big risk.
4 Flynn Rider Could Have Cut Rapunzel’s Hair After He Was Healed In Tangled’s Ending
The moment that Flynn reached up and cut Rapunzel’s hair to sabotage Tangled‘s villain was one of the most impactful of the movie. It demonstrated that he valued her freedom over his life, which perfectly contrasts Mother Gothel’s selfishness. The film had already made it clear that once Rapunzel’s hair was cut, it would lose its magic and stop growing, so Flynn knew precisely what he was doing. Still, there was no real reason for him to make his move at the precise moment that he did—he could have waited just a moment for his wound to be healed.
It took him only a split second to use the glass from the broken mirror to shear through Rapunzel’s magical hair. So the question left by Tangled is, why didn’t he hold the shard ready for the moment he was healed? Of course, he can be forgiven this oversight since he was only moments away from death (and it was sweet that he was willing to do this for her). However, it was a bad idea on his part, especially since he was actually putting Rapunzel in a worse position by cutting her hair and letting himself die.
3 Tangled’s Rapunzel Was In More Danger After Her Hair Was Cut
Mother Gothel made it clear with her affection in Tangled that she didn’t care about Rapunzel herself. All she loved was her kidnapped daughter’s golden hair and the way it kept her young and beautiful. Therefore, when Flynn cut this hair, intending to die right after, he potentially placed Rapunzel in even more danger. He had no way of knowing that the Disney villain would deteriorate and die (especially since this itself didn’t make any sense), so for all he knew, he was taking away Rapunzel’s value and leaving her with her violent kidnapper.
Thankfully, it didn’t come to this, but it’s easy to imagine that Gothel would have killed Rapunzel if her hair had been destroyed. She wouldn’t have known that the girl’s tears still held the power of the Sundrop flower, and Gothel couldn’t risk anyone finding out about her past crimes. Since Rapunzel knew the truth at that point in Tangled, she would have been too dangerous to keep alive. By cutting her hair before he was healed and could protect her, Flynn was (for all he knew) putting Rapunzel in worse danger than she had ever been.
2 The Sundrop Flower’s Power Wasn’t Destroyed, So Gothel Shouldn’t Have Died
Thankfully for Rapunzel, Mother Gothel rapidly aged and turned to dust once her hair had been cut—so she didn’t have to worry about her Disney villain mother trying to murder her while she mourned Flynn. Still, this never should have happened, given the Sundrop flower’s history. The idea here in Tangled was that since the flower’s magic had kept Gothel alive for hundreds of years, all that repair and healing was taken away once the magic was destroyed. However, the fact that Rapunzel’s tears still contained the magic and brought Flynn back to life proves that the Sundrop’s power was still very active.
It could be that since Rapunzel’s hair was cut, only the magic that the strands had performed was undone. However, this doesn’t line up either. Mother Gothel used the Sundrop flower to keep her alive for centuries more than Rapunzel’s hair. Yet, the witch only aged slightly after the flower was picked and crushed to make medicine for the queen, and the timing for this seemed consistent with the Disney witch‘s typical degeneration anyway. Therefore, it can be assumed that as long as the Sundrop flower’s magic exists in some way in Tangled, Gothel shouldn’t have turned to dust.
1 Rapunzel Got Over The Death Of Mother Gothel Too Easily In Tangled
Of course, even though it made no sense in Tangled for Mother Gothel to suddenly disintegrate while the Sundrop flower’s magic was still active, it was more convenient for her to die. As stated previously, the witch would have been a great danger to Rapunzel since she no longer had magical hair. Still, it was a brutal way to go, and Rapunzel would have been devastated. Gothel might have been evil, but she was the only mother that Rapunzel had ever known. In a short time, she learned that the woman was a liar, kidnapper, and murderer—but that didn’t mean the Disney Princess would want her dead.
The few short days surrounding Rapunzel’s 18th birthday in Tangled would have been both confusing and traumatizing for the heroine. Sure, it was considerably less so than the Brothers Grimm fairytale, but after watching the woman who raised and abused her die, Rapunzel should have had a lot to deal with. Of course, this is a Disney movie, and watching the central character process the grief of losing a woman she had thought was her mother and then meeting her real mother shortly after wouldn’t have been keeping with the “happily ever after” tone. Still, it’s something Tangled could have acknowledged in its ending.
MORE: Why Disney Made Tangled So Different From The Original Rapunzel Fairy Tale