Featured Characters: Rapunzel and Flynn Rider (Eugene Fitzherbert)
Rapunzel and Eugene Fitzherbert (also known as Flynn Rider) have one of the most beautiful and well-developed love stories in all Disney Animation films. Tangled takes a fairytale romance to a new level that pulls from classic romance tropes wrapped up in a fantasy adventure born of a dream from humble beginnings. In the two-hour film, they have an incredible journey that allows them to get to know each other deeply. They both help the other grow and are unwaveringly supportive of each other’s journey.
Tangled is full of gorgeous animation, fun side characters, and songs that never take away from the heart of their story and Rapunzel’s journey. The film includes circumstances that push Rapunzel and Eugene to emotional depths that feel natural amidst the fantasy world they are in.
Rapunzel and Flynn Rider: The Thief and The Lost Princess
Two people who might have never met if fate, destiny, or a horse, hadn’t intervened, throwing Rapunzel and Flynn from their everyday routines and into each other’s lives. Rapunzel longs for a life outside her tower, and Flynn Rider longs for a life of comfort. It was easy for Rapunzel to see how Flynn (Eugene) could be the key to her finally leaving her tower, but she was not ready for what he would come to mean to her. Even in forcing Eugene to help her, he becomes a wayward guide and source of safety in an unfamiliar world.
Flynn Rider reluctantly helps and is forced into a situation that makes him question his life choices. He didn’t dream of being a thief when he read the tales of Flynnigan Rider in the orphanage. The idea of freedom and adventure drew Eugene Fitzherbert to those tales. Just how Rapunzel wished for freedom from her tower. They both took different paths to take hold of their freedom. Being with Rapunzel reminds Eugene that there are other ways to be free. He can be a good person and still reach his dream. When Eugene tells Rapunzel his real name and sheds the guise of Flynn Rider, there is a significant shift in the love story. He opens up for the first time, cementing their bond, as does escaping certain death together.
Eugene becomes vulnerable first in an effort to comfort Rapunzel, and she responds in kind, telling him her deepest secret and, in a sense, trusting him with her life. Shedding the name Flynn Rider, with the easy acceptance of Rapunzel, helps him think back to what he truly wants and not who he became as a shield to protect himself from life’s disappointments. They choose to continue their vulnerability around the campfire, away from certain death. It sets Rapunzel and Flynn Rider down a path together as a true team.
Seeing the Light
The journey to the kingdom breaks down Rapunzel and Flynn Rider’s walls and allows them to fully be themselves, inspiring them to look at what they want from life. Eugene’s past was lonely and unstable, but spending this time with Rapunzel as a true partner and being forced to take responsibility for his actions, changes something in him. He also recognizes a little of himself in Rapunzel — that same lonely part that longs for more.
Rapunzel’s day in the kingdom is fulfilling, joyous, and scary. She is living out her dream and more. She has experiences she never knew existed, and Eugene is by her side, showing her all of it. He could have just shown her the lights and gotten the crown back, but the vulnerable night they share changes everything for them. Eugene wants to show her all he can, and his feelings for her deepen. Throughout their montage, you can see them both falling deeper through their shared experiences and being genuine with each other. He planned to get a row boat and give her the best view, making it as special as possible. He gives them privacy and allows Rapunzel to fully experience it just for her, which then turns into being for them. She is bearing her soul to him; he is accepting, supportive, and maybe a little in love.
Their time together sheds light on what Rapunzel and Flynn Rider want from life beyond their youthful dreams. What they desired as children lays the foundation that morphs into each other throughout their journey and turns into something real.
He might have had a dream of comfort on an island with everything he physically needs. Still, that dream pales in comparison to being with Rapunzel and receiving everything he needs emotionally. Being challenged and supported by an amazing woman reminds Flynn Rider of what he has always truly wanted outside of self-preservation. Both of them were ready to make enormous sacrifices in order to keep the other safe, even if they couldn’t hold onto their new dream. But, by the last of the magic left from the golden flower, as Eugene is saved, their dreams are saved too.
Rapunzel wants a future with Eugene in it and whatever that may bring. It goes a bit further than I love you because the sentiment of a new dream suggests a lot of thought on both ends about their futures. It is more than him being the first person she has met. It is about Flynn Rider/Eugene being the right person that Rapunzel connects with in unlikely ways. As the narrative peels back from the surfaces of both of them, you find more similarities than expected, which leads to them understanding each other in ways no one else could.
Throughout Disney Plus’ Tangled the Series, we continue to get a look at the amazing team they make. Rapunzel and Flynn Rider are a power couple who prove they’re stronger together, ready to face whatever obstacles that come their way while always supporting each other and talking about the issues they face. Rapunzel and Eugene easily fit among the classic Disney characters and shine brilliantly together.