Sunday, April 17, 2011

Disney's Got It Right

I absolutely adore this film! Great animation, amazing music, hilarious dialog...what's not to love? And what's more, it has terrific gospel symbolism. They've got practically the entire Plan of Salvation in there. Here's the breakdown:

Mother Gothal: Satan
She is selfish and wants to keep the regenerative power of the flower for herself. Sound familiar? "Give me thine honor." ~Moses 4:1. She keeps Rapunzel locked in a tower, kind of like sin keeps us captive. She is manipulative, convincing Rapunzel that she can never leave - repentance is not an option, we have to remain in sin. She is very patient, willing to wait for the opportune moment to get what she wants. She pretends to love Rapunzel until it is no longer useful for her own purposes. She twist the truth about those who care about Rapunzel - Satan is the master truth-twister. Her most valuable tool is guilt, yet she has no power unless Rapunzel gives it to her. However, she ultimately meets her doom, just like Satan will ultimately fail.


Rapunzel: Us
She is the product of the Sun, a lost princess, daughter of royalty and light. She is endowed with power and virtue that she must protect, that is most precious of all her possessions, analogous to the sacred powers of procreation we possess. She embarks on a journey of self discovery, prompted by small revelations and feelings that there is something bigger out there. As she comes to realize who she is, evidences surface in all aspects of her life. She "sees the light" and her understanding of the world completely changes. Eventually, she makes it back to her true home.

Pascal: Holy Ghost
He is still and small and you really have to be in tune to understand what he has to communicate. He guides Rapunzel in evaluating decisions and is always there for comfort. Whenever Mother Gothal is around, however, he has to hide, just as the Holy Ghost cannot be with us in bad environments. He makes your heart feel warm and fuzzy.


Flynn/Eugene: Missionary/Eternal Companion
Without him, Rapunzel could never have discovered the light aka the gospel nor her true identity. He knew what the lanterns were and what they meant as well as the path back to them. He was also necessary for her to make it safely back home. We can't get to the Celestial Kingdom without a companion. True, at first he is only superficially motivated to help her, but he still respects her and helps to protect her hair and all that it embodies. He comes to care about what is important to her and together they become their best selves.

Other small tidbits of truth:
  • The Vikings are just like all the good people in the world that may not necessarily belong to the church. They are still good people with worthy goals and dreams and we can, like Rapunzel, get over our initial fear and aversion and make friends that may turn out to be powerful allies.
  • After the lanterns on the water scene where Rapunzel's eyes are opened to the reality of the world, analogous to a significant personal revelation, she is almost immediately plunged into a foggy, dark experience fraught with doubt and uncertainty. It seems that an experience full of light is always followed by a season of more intense hardship and temptation.
  • Mother Gothal is constantly shrouded in darkness. She only uses the smallest pieces of light to lure us in, but it is tainted from it's pure white form. Similarly, she snuffs out the small candles that Rapunzel tries to keep lit, just as Satan snuffs out every bit of truth and hope he encounters. She knows what the lanterns are, but uses every tactic to conceal the poignant message they embody. Satan knows, perhaps more deeply than we do, the ultimate Plan of Happiness, but makes every effort to blind us. Mother Gothal powerfully presents the plan of Satan in her last scene. He wants to chain us up and drag us down to Hell where no one will be able to find us ever again. But we should keep fighting him, no matter how bleak the odds seem to be.
  • The King and Queen, our Heavenly Father and Mother, were truly devastated at the loss of their precious daughter and never gave up hope of her returning. They continued to send out small tokens of their affection in hopes that she could find her way back. That scene where they are about to send out the lanterns for the eighteenth time is so tender. That tear of his gets me every time. Heavenly Father truly weeps for His children. (Moses 7:28) He will also meet us with a joyous embrace when we return to His presence.
So there you have it, the Plan of Salvation as presented unwittingly by Disney. Go watch it - I bet you'll find even more symbolism. You'll see the light. :)

1 comment:

Heidi Wilder said...

That's a very good perceptive to have :) congrats :D