Arguably one of the best and most underrated Disney movies of all time is "Tangled." Not only does it have truly one of the best-written soundtracks (sorry, not sorry, looking at you 'Frozen'), but this particular movie is so much more than that. It has hidden life lessons just beyond its surface that teach the young audience to dream big because anything is possible. This movie is more than "damsel in distress meets a charming young prince and saves the day", this movie is unique in ways that set it apart from other Disney movies. I mean, for example, the love interest in the movie is a criminal that gets beat up by the girly main character with a frying pan. That's female empowerment.
I remember seeing this movie in theaters when it first came out when I was eleven. I was nearing the end of my "Disney-princess-days" so arguably I may be slightly biased as this was my last "of-age" Disney movie. Nevertheless, this movie quickly captured my heart to become one of my favorite movies. From the soundtrack to the funny and iconic one-liners and of course, the cute side-kick animal characters like Pascal and Maximus, this movie tops the chart. But this isn't the only reason.
Looking back on the movie now, I see that this movie taught me a major life lesson that still motivates me today. I firmly believe that this movie is an example of how not to give up on your dreams.
Your dreams can be accomplished, you just have to take the steps and "seize the day" to make them come true.
If you've ever seen the movie, you'll know that our main character Rapunzel's dream is the see the floating "lights" or lanterns that she has seen every day from her window in her tower for eighteen years. And instead of giving up on this dream when years went by and when faced by firm opposition from her mother, our heroine remains strong and determined in pursuit of what makes her happy. When destiny lands the love-interest and criminal Flynn Ryder in her tower, Rapunzel not only whacks him with a frying pan in self-defense (you go girl!) but also seizes the opportunity and takes it upon herself to put her dream into action. Instead of just waiting for her mother to take her to see the lights, or just waiting until a future day in hoping that her dream will somehow magically occur, she actually does what it takes to make it happen. Instead of waiting around in wishful thinking "just wondering when will my life begin" anymore, she determinedly seizes the opportunity.
As she seizes this opportunity to make her dreams possible, she goes against her mother's orders, although it might be inconvenient, leading to the lesson:
Sometimes you have to mess things up, do the inconvenient, and risk it all in order to arrive at your goal.
Pursuing your dreams isn't going to be easy, you may face challenges, bumps in the road, people who will try to hold you back, just like Rapunzel did (except hopefully yours don't involve murderous criminals). Those challenges won't hold you back unless you let them. If you feel like they are, don't give up—Rapunzel waited eighteen years but never lost sight of her dream or thought for a minute that it wasn't possible. When you take a leap of faith and courage like Rapunzel you may even meet people along the way that will support you through that journey that are working towards their dreams as well. Rapunzel's dream is like the American Dream, you work hard and you pursue it till the end—her dream highlights the value of hard work and determination.
So instead of "just wondering when will my life begin" anymore, go out and pursue your dream like Rapunzel. Take a page from her book, because everyone has a dream—but are you willing to seize the day to make it happen? Sometimes the truth is that mother doesn't know best, that those trying to hold you back are only doing it to protect you, but you can't let yourself be a "delicate little flower" forever. You only live and you learn once, and you live and you learn by falling down, getting hurt, loving people and experiencing what you're passionate about. We may get scraped up along the way and need a band-aid, but your skin grows back doesn't it? In the words of Disney's "Tangled," "go out and live your dream."