Jan 8, 2011

"Salt" and "Tangled": A Comparative Study

For my first post, I wanted to look at the striking similarities between Rapunzel in Disney's Tangled and  Angelina Jolie's character Evelyn Salt in Salt. While these women look very different, it is amazing the similarities that exist. [Spoilers Ahead]

First, let's look at Evelyn Salt.  She's a thin, waif-like woman with seemingly no upper body strength, yet she continuously engages in acts of derring-do using only her quick wits, keen spacial awareness, and whatever is at her disposal.  She escapes from a locked-down government facility using a table leg crafted into some sort of gun.  Her hair changes color in the film, literally to escape the authorities and figuratively to break free from convention and go over to the dark side (dark hair is evil?). Also, she has a shady lineage and a creepy parental figure, who she may or may not be helping and has certainly been corrupting her since her youth.  For most of the film, she's doing everything for love.
And now Rapunzel, voiced by Mandy Moore (Why does the world hate her?).  In the tradition of almost all Disney princesses, she has approximately a ten inch waist and tiny, spindly little arms. If that weren't enough, she is weighed down by her long, seemingly unending magical hair. Yet, in spite of all that, she is an effective fighter and escape artist. Apart from seeming creepily alive, her hair is a useful tool to get her out of any jam, and it's safe to say that she no longer has any nerve endings on her scalp. Her hair changes color throughout the film, from yellow to gold to yellow to gold to....well, you get the pattern. One of the driving plot points in Tangled is Rapunzel's parents, and where she came from. She also takes orders from a somewhat-loving, somewhat-loathsome parental figure who has been using her as a weapon against aging for years. Also, like every cartoon princess since forever, she's trying to find a place to belong.  Also, it's her birthday, and she wants love.
Look at the two of them.  Can you even tell which one is which any more?
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