Reflections on a Kid Movie | “The King’s Lantern”

In the movie Tangled, Rapunzel and Flynn Rider have finally arrived to see the moving “stars.” They share this exchange about what will happen after the lanterns go into the sky. Rapunzel is afraid that the moment will not live up to the expectations that she has had for 18 years. But, then there is another thought, what if it is everything that she hoped it would be? What would she do then? Flynn’s response is wonderful in its simplicity. He says, “That’s the good part I guess. You get to go find a new dream.” That is such a wonderful demonstration of what it means to have dreams, live them and then move on to newer dreams.

What makes this scene even more powerful is that the king and queen continued to release their lantern every year in the hopes that there daughter would never forget that she was loved. The expressions on their faces, the hurt and love all mingled together. And then, as they approach the lantern the camera pans over the courtyard and you see the people of the kingdom. They have come to participate and help the king and queen commemorate this painful reality.

I am struck by these two dreams. Rapunzel’s dream of being close enough to the lanterns to know what they meant and to experience them for herself had pushed her to escape her tower prison. Her parent’s dream of finding their daughter were also being expressed in their faithful dedication to remember their lost daughter. The parent’s dream was feeding and stirring the dream of their daughter.

This complex scene is so powerful because of the simple way that it was done. Even the subtle hint of the lanterns reminding you of Rapunzel’s hair is hard to escape.

The video is below. (You may have to follow the link to see it.)

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