Wednesday, January 1, 2014

And at Last I See the Light

I promised myself that in 2014 I'd write a lot more about less "significant" things and focus more on simple things that flabbergast me. Of course, the flabbergasting began immediately.

Disney movies are eminently rewatchable. The songs, the characters, the settings, and the plot lines are usually compelling, and the animators typically hide details that are often overlooked, even after repeated viewings.

I was watching Disney's Tangled -- the Rapunzel story, last week, and spotted something I've never noticed before this thirty-eighth playback of the film. In the story, baby Princess Rapunzel is kidnapped from her castle by an evil sorceress. The sorceress hides Rapunzel in a tower for eighteen years. Over the ensuing years, Rapunzel's mother and father (the king and queen) hold a memorial service for Rapunzel by lighting floating lanterns in honor of their lost daughter. At age 18, Rapunzel escapes from the sorceress's tower and attends one of these ceremonies by sitting in a boat, watching the subjects of the kingdom launch the floating lanterns into the night sky on her birthday.

The memorial service begins with the King and Queen lifting a single decorated lantern up from the rooftop of their castle.

The townspeople follow by launching thousands of their own, undecorated lamps. Soon, the sky is full of the bobbing lanterns. 

Rapunzel sings her song about "seeing the light." While she's singing, her parents' decorated lantern swoops down to the surface of the bay. Rapunzel reaches out and lofts it back up into the sky.

Only the audience (if they're clever enough to spot it) knows Rapunzel touched the very same lantern her parents lit that night.

I swear I've watched this movie several dozen times and never noticed that tidbit until last week. Hopefully I'm not the only clueless member of the audience.


  1. I . . . think I noticed that. Not sure if I really did, or if my memory is playing tricks on itself to make me look smart. It's 50:50, really. But that was a beautiful scene in a pretty good movie.

  2. I have seen this movie probably 15 times and only realised it this last time. And googled to see if anyone else thought so :-)