Thursday, November 1, 2012


Movies always have a cliché message within the story.  What many people do not notice is the problematic messages that lie underneath! They use these hidden messages to instill an idea within the minds of the audience.  Animated movies in particular are used to help “guide” children into believing a certain thing.  One movie in particular, Tangled, had several cliché and problematic messages within its story.  It definitely uses underlying issues within the story to teach young children life lessons.
            Am incredibly common cliché message this movie includes is that every girl has the chance to live “happily ever after.” Every little girl wants a movie with a princess to end with her finding her prince.  That is exactly what Tangled did. However, they added a bit of a twist by her not knowing she was a princess. This movie has a common element with Cinderella of having an evil mother, or stepmother. She prevents Rapunzel from being able to leave the tower for her own selfish reasons.  This movie allows the viewer to leave the movie with the idea that dreams can come true.  Rapunzel had dreamed for years of being able to see the lights and find the true meaning behind them.  This dream of hers in the movie shows children that they should have dreams and do everything n their power to purse them. 
            Other than cliché messages, movies tend to have problematic and underlying messages. These help alter people’s opinions of certain things.  In Tangled, they use this method to introduce ideas such as beauty and youth is everything and happiness comes with wealth.  Many people believe that movies can negatively alter a child’s perspective.  Michael Smith states, “The misguided push for animal rights is all Walt Disney’s fault – he and his merry band of animators. “  While Walt Disney may have intended to give children positive lessons from watching his movies, some believe that they are negative.  They believe children look at it the other way or can see the animalistic characters as human beings. 
In Tangled, the evil mother of Rapunzel spends her whole life trying to be young and beautiful.  She gives off the idea that beauty is everything and in order to be happy you must be young.  By making the evil mother have this attribute, it allows children to realize that it is not a good belief to have.  However, there is the possibility that they could take it the wrong way and leave the movie believing that in order to be happy you must be pretty. At least that is what the people Michael Smith talks about would say.
A final problematic message within the story or Rapunzel is Ryder’s idea that wealth will bring him happiness.  In the movie when he is stealing the crown he states how he wants to have a castle and then he could be happy.  When passing through the “Snuggling Duckling” Ryder states that his dream is to sleep by a giant pile of money.   This is a problematic message because as the story goes on he begins to realize this is not what he needs to be happy.  Lunsford explains, “Appeals to values and emotions might be just as appropriate as appeals to logic and facts, and all such claims will be stronger If a writer presents a convincing ethos.” It is important to have evidence that can affect the viewer’s ethos in order to get the point across.  By the end of the movie, Ryder has learned money is not everything and he truly finds his happiness when he falls in love with Rapunzel. This brings us back to our original cliché message that you can live happily ever after with your “prince”.
There are many messages within movies.  Some are clearly stated while others are not.  Sometimes, you leave a movie learning something you did not even realize you were being taught.  Movies are incredibly important for passing messages along.  Animated movies especially help form the minds of children and future generations so that they hold the values and morals we believe are most important.  

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