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Mother issues - Tangled vs. Into The Woods

ETA: also editing like nuts because my vids keep not showing up. Hope this one works.

I recently watched Tangled and thought I'd do a fun little comparison of the twisted mother/stolendaughter relationship in both. I just couldn't stop thinking of it.

Perhaps it's because I grew up without a mom, but I always feel strangely interested in dysfunctional mother/daughter relationships. Single dads are often rather disinterested parents. I mean, mine was great, but he always gave me lots of space, whereas I think if I had a mom, I'd have had a lot more interference. Perversely, I sometimes want this and feel fascinated by the idea.

Anyway, watching Tangled, I kept thinking of Sondheim's Into The Woods (I'd upload the whole thing for your viewing pleasure if my wireless was better. Youtube does not let me) and comparing them. In one, the mother holds onto the daughter in order to stay young and beautiful. In the other, the mother wants to be young and beautiful because she thinks it will help her hold on to her daughter.

In these two songs, the message is the same, but delivered with different intent and with different needs.

From Tangled. Mother Gothel tries to warn Rapunzel away from leaving her tower for her own selfish reasons:

By the way, that's Donna Murphy you hear, one of my Broadway girlcrushes. She is amazing and I could tell her voice from the first line she spoke when not putting on the old lady voice. She is so distinctive and lovely and gives every song she sings so much depth. LOVE HER!!!!!!

In Into The Woods, the Witch tries to warn Rapunzel as well, also selfishly, but because she's lonely. And here we see my oldest, longest-lasting Broadway girlcrushes, Ms. Bernadette Peters. She captivates me with every note she sings, even though she isn't, technically-speaking, the greatest singer. She has such range and emotion and I adore her.

Sorry. Crying. Love this. Though I love the overbearing mother comedy in Tangled, I also love this bald plea to just "stay with me." God!

Anyway, both numbers had a reprise. Here's the Tangled one:

Damn it, Donna Murphy! Stop being so awesome!!!!

It's still a warning, whereas BP's reprise is after the event of Rapunzel's death and is more a bitter eulogy
But before that, here's where she meets Rapunzel next:

Of course, that's act one, which ends with happy endings for everyone (but the villains). Act two is where the supposed good guys suffer consequences (I LOVE ACT 2).

Just skip to 3:45 below and you get the rest of the Witch/Rapunzel stuff, including the lovely lament after Rapunzel's death.

There! Just couldn't rest till I did this post. Obviously, I enjoy both versions, but ITW kind of wins me over more because the love of the witch is deeper. I wish Tangled had had that little something more because I felt, until the end, Mother Gothel really loved her and not just for what she could give her. She can still be the villain. She was still wrong. I just wanted a line, a little something that suggests that she needs Rapunzel for more than eternal youth and beauty. I mean, who else does she have in her life?

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You must be psychic. Or I am. I JUST finished watching "Into The Woods" for the whateverth time.

"I was raised to be charming, not sincere."


Best. Line. Ever.

I still haven't seen "Tangled" yet, but I've been putting it off because I get the feeling it isn't going to be the Disney version of "Rapunzel" that I'd always imagined in my head- I kind of wanted it to be "classic" rather than campy, but oh well, can't judge what I haven't yet seen.

The mother dynamic does sound really interesting, though. Truthfully, I think EVERY mother/daughter relationship is, to some degree, dysfunctional. Most people would think my mom and I get along great, and we do, but they also don't know that my mom's favorite pastime when we're together is to give me a hippy-dippy dissertation on the status of my chi and my chakra and the connectivity of the energy in the cosmos; MY favorite pastime when we're together is to get her to try a rotating combination of vitamins so I can experiment on what will be the optimum health supplements for myself when I reach her age.

See what I mean? We should BOTH be locked in a tower. :-)

Maybe you can pull a Grey Gardens (my other favorite creepy mother/daughter dynamic) and hole up in a rotting estate and try your evil experiments until the county shuts you down.

I think all modern Disney has some camp in it. It's just too tough for them to fully shut out pop culture these days. This has some slapsticky moments and shout-outs, but it seems to mostly stay period. It's not too bad. I'll take it.

It's sad in a way, taking what you can get from your princess tales. The days of classic Disney are over. I was watching Sleeping Beauty the other week and it's just so gorgeous and, for the most part, takes itself seriously. Plus Tchaikovsky (LOVE!). I don't think they've done anything as classy since. And Maleficent was the last Disney villain I actually found scary.

Oh and that line is too awesome. Also both "Agony" songs. Every bit of them.

Sorry, I'm not stalking your journal or anything, it's just that I had been curious to see whether anyone else had drawn a comparison between Tangled and Into the Woods, as I had...and your entry was one of the few relevant results in the top ten for those two titles together. :3

I'm a musical/theatre/Broadway nut who basically became fully obsessed when I studied Into the Woods in my 8th grade English class. Girlcrush would be a fine way to express my adoration of Bernadette Peters, too. I'd already been a fan of hers thanks to Animaniacs (Dang, that awesome cat can SING!) and a few films. She was definitely among my earliest favorite actresses and singers. Then my hot teacher went and assigned me the part of the Witch to read--I'm thinking it was because my hair greatly resembles Bernadette's, since he couldn't really have known much about our performing abilities or anything at that point. XD

Anyhow, I loved Tangled. What can I say, I'm Disney obsessed as well, and one of my ultimate employment dreams is to work for them and/or Pixar. And Tangled (along with The Princess & the Frog) was an approximate return to the classic, musical, Disney Princess film. I liked both a lot, though I preferred Tangled slightly, and neither can displace my favorite Disney movies of the past. But Mother Gothel had to be my #1 character; Donna Murphy's voice brought her to life brilliantly, and she was quite fascinating. (Not to mention the gorgeous curly hair that helped call Bernadette's Witch to mind even more quickly.)

So...yeah, having a mother myself, I can pretty much say that you're right on to assume that there would likely be a lot more interference. Naturally, for the person who has it, it ranges from being great, in the sense that you can be close and act like girlfriends and have a very deep something absolutely resented and detested, that you long to escape.

Also...Act II IS THE BOMB. Just hadda second that point. It absolutely blew me away when I first watched it. I'd been absent the day my class saw it together, and when I borrowed the tape and then returned, I just remember being like, "Holy crap you guys, was that not the most amazing thing you've ever witnessed?" I totally wished we could put it on for the rest of the school, I was that taken with the show.

The ITW Witch/Rapunzel story/dynamic is just absolutely heartbreaking and haunting. I COULD NOT AGREE MORE about Gothel, 100%. My thoughts precisely. The entire time, I was waiting for that moment when she revealed that she truly did care about her "adoptive" daughter. I had been getting that sense, and felt somewhat sad and disappointed when it seemed to turn out that she had been completely selfish and unloving all along. It's impossible to deny the Witch's genuine love; Mother Gothel's degree of attachment to Rapunzel is debatable. I felt the exact same way you did, and wanted the same thing...just a little hint, a little something we could take as a sign that what we feel is true.

Heck, you could stalk my journal if you wanted. I LOVE when people comment on my silly broadway posts as my f-list is very sci-fi/fantasy oriented and these posts just kind of sit all by themselves, unloved :(

I'm so glad other people immediately leapt to ITW. Because they really are comparable up till the ending. I was just very disappointed at that end. I remember Bernadette's "You're all I have. Come with me." And Rapunzel is all Mother Gothel has. That had to be worth something, along with the hair. Just wish they'd included a moment of that instead of making it so black and white.

And I am insanely jealous of your Bernadette hair. I have very curly hair as well and a lot of it, but it's so fine that it tangles too much for me to keep it long. Whenever I look at Bernadette's, I sigh with envy at all her lovely volume and piles of perfectly-formed curls.

And please tell me you've seen the latest Sondheim birthday special. If not, you can probably find most of the clips on youtube. It's amazing and has everyone you ever wanted to see singing Sondheim.

D'awwww...! *hugs them*

=D Exactly, exactly, exACTly. Gaahh. I frequently find myself a big fan of the villains, and seemingly villainous characters, and it irks me when I'm left feeling that I saw more deeply into one of them than the storytellers themselves did. =[

Ahh, I think I know how you hair has always grown like a weed, and in earlier times I disliked it because of how difficult it was to manage, as it seemed to have a mind of its own and want to turn into a clown wig of sorts not long after each cut. As I got older, I figured out how to better control it (I recommend the book "Curly Girl," by Lorraine Massey.) That book explained to me that naturally straight-haired people tend to have more hairs per head, since it takes more of those to give the impression of the same volume as on a natural curly-head. 0: Still love when it's short or straight, but now I'm just letting it grow as long as it wants, since I've *finally* achieved my "mostly one length, just needs occasional thinning" goal. Phew. Still doesn't always look as glorious as Bernie's...she's the ultimate image of the *perfect* curly girl. *w*

*bouncing* Oooh, yes, I saw it, and 'twas magnificent. I decided when I first saw Into the Woods that Sondheim was an utter genius, and everything I've seen and heard since has totally borne out that belief...;3

Same with the villains! IMO, some of the best villains are the ones who are explored as to why or who have a great story behind them or motivation. Vanity? Wanting to be pretty? Just not enough motivation for me. Even Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty (still the scariest Disney Villain) was, at the root of it, angry to feel like an outcast. Have you ever seen The Tenth Kingdom, by the way? It's a bit cheesy, but one of my favorite fairytale retakes.

Bernadette is, I think, very lucky in that her hair seems to be thicker, strand by strand, so she probably has less tangling issues and can keep it long. I can just imagine how long it would be straight, probably past her knees.

I go to this website called when I want some tips. The site isn't organized as well as I'd like, but the forums always have nice tips.

As for Sondheim, I cried like a baby several times and especially when Bernadette and Mandy did "Move On" - which might be the song that most runs through my head in life. And when Elaine Stritch did "I'm still here," I died.

*nodnodnod* I am sooooo with you on all that. Totally. Ahh, yes, Maleficent...terrifyingly wicked, wickedly terrifying...I love her. x-) And the Evil Queen from Snow White, whose surface motivation was "wanting to be the fairest in the land," obviously had deep-seated psychological issues, being a control freak/attention whore and needing to remain worshiped and venerated above all others. Vain and narcissistic, sure, but I think there's a bit more to it. Anyway, I unfortunately didn't see The Tenth Kingdom, but from looking it up, I certainly wish I had. Interesting concept, and great cast. :D

Probably so. Oh, heavens, I'd like to see her hair straightened--that'd be wild! It must be so long. I didn't fully realize how long mine had gotten until I had it straightened a couple months ago. The stylist turned my chair around, and I literally did a double-take in the mirror! XD It was shocking. :3

Oh, cool site. I think I've referred to it in the past.
I like how this link identifies some curly celebrities by hair type...Bernadette and I are definitely in the same category. L-8

Gawds, I choked up at "Move On"...such a tender performance of such a gorgeous, inspiring song. "I'm Still Here" was equally incredible. Speaking of Sondheim, I do plan to see Follies this fall (with Berndatte, whom I last saw in Gypsy, and Elaine Paige! My favorite Grizabella!)

There's a new Follies coming??? What? When? How? Where? Who's Bernadette playing?

I wanted to go see Company in the movie theaters, but I fudged up on dates and got to my local art house theater to find it was all over. Stupid me! But I'm sure they'll put it out on DVD, so I'm not too broken up. I want to own every Sondheim DVD I can.

YES!! And to answer all those questions, behold:

She's the star! ~^.^~

Aw man, I wanted to as well, but alas, it didn't appear to be playing anywhere around here. =[ But I'm sure you're right about DVD. I'll have to watch it then for sure, too.

I've got Sunday in the Park, Passions, ITW, and the concert DVD. Can't wait to add that one. Plus the cast looks amazing. Not many people know Katie Finneran, but she used to be on my favorite canceled show, Wonderfalls, and I bet she'll make a fabulous Amy.

Marvelous. I also watched Company on Netflix the other night. :) And some of the music for my new favorite TV series (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic--yes, I'm part of the brony phenomenon) is inspired by Sondheim. Well, most of it has a blatant musical theatre flavor, but one of the songs is literally based upon "Putting It Together," and another contains hints of the "Into the Woods" theme. When a friend picked up on them by himself as well, I knew I had to be right and wasn't wishfully hearing things that weren't supposed to be there. x3

I remember hearing of Wonderfalls, but don't particularly recall seeing it. =[

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