When Rapunzel was a baby, she was kidnapped from her parents by the evil witch Gothel and placed in a manor, hidden in the deep forest behind the enchanted wall. She spent seventeen years in captivity, as a servant thinking Gothel had saved her as a baby when she was young. With her, in the castle were two animals: a dragon named Penelope, and a rabbit named Hobie. In between doing all the jobs around the manor Gothel had her do, Rapunzel spent her free time painting.
One day, when Rapunzel was doing Gothel's tea, she discovered a secret room where Gothel kept everything that reminded her of her past. She finds many ball invitations as well as a picture with a face cut off. Among other things, Rapunzel found a box with a silver brush in it. On the brush, it was written, "To Rapunzel on her first birthday. Love, Mother and Father." The message made no sense, because Gothel had said to her that she was abandoned days after her birth.
After giving Gothel her tea and leaving her, Rapunzel found beneath the floorboards of the secret chamber a dark and narrow passage. She bravely followed it and discovered a small village. As Rapunzel strolled through the valley, she came across three young girls and helped save one of them, with the assistance of the girls' older brother. Rapunzel realized the time and left before introducing herself to the handsome man (whom she didn't know was actually the prince). When she returned, she told Penelope and Hobie about the village and the man. Unknown to her, Gothel's ferret Otto had seen her and told Gothel about what Rapunzel had done. When Gothel questioned Rapunzel about the man she met, Gothel called her a liar for not telling her the man's name (despite Rapunzel telling her that she didn't know it) and extended the height of Rapunzel's tower, trapping her (with the intent on punishing her for "lying").
Rapunzel soon received some paint from Penelope and Hobie trying to help her, which she used alongside her hairbrush which had been turned into a paintbrush by a shooting star. Using her imagination, Rapunzel ended up painting the village and got transported there through the painting. When she arrived, she met the prince again and revealed her identity to him, though told him to not give her his for his safety. Showing him the paintbrush, Rapunzel asked for his help in finding whoever made it so as to find out about her parents. Unfortunately, she wasn't able to find out much. Following this, Stefan (the prince) gave her an invite for a masquerade ball that was being held for his eighteenth birthday. During this, Penelope came through the painting to convince Rapunzel to return or Gothel would hurt her father, Hugo (which she did, whilst also telling Stefan that she'd see him that evening).
After Gothel still failed to get Rapunzel to tell her Stefan's name, Rapunzel told Penelope she and Hugo needed to escape Gothel. Using her paintbrush, Rapunzel started painting herself dresses for herself to wear for the masquerade until she found one and was also given a mask by Hobie and Penelope. Unfortunately, Gothel found out about this, took Rapunzel's hair and mask to disguise herself as Rapunzel at the ball whilst also punishing Rapunzel for not answering her questions by putting a spell on the tower to "never release [it's] prisoner with a lying heart". However, Hugo and Penelope worked out that the spell wouldn't work on Rapunzel (since she never lied) and she was freed (for which Rapunzel thanked Hugo). Penelope then flew Rapunzel and Hobie to the ball where Rapunzel realized that Gothel had actually kidnapped her because Gothel had a grudge against her father. When Rapunzel intervened, Penelope ended up scaring away Otto while Rapunzel had Gothel pursue her until Gothel got tricked into walking into the tower herself (where she was forever imprisoned by her own magic for being the one "with a lying heart").
Rapunzel soon reunited with Stefan and then her Father, King Wilhelm, who made things right with Frederick (Stefan's Father), whom Wilhelm had believed had stolen his daughter. Rapunzel, meanwhile, married Stefan sometime later and the two moved away to their own castle (where Penelope, Hugo and Hobie ended up living with them).
Rapunzel is very kind, courageous, adventurous and most of all honest. She helped Katrina, the little sister of Prince Stefan. She was also a dreamer and a good artist too. She would paint all the time if there was nothing to do or when she finished all of the jobs Gothel has assigned her. She's quick thinking, leading Gothel to the magic portrait of the mansion. She’s also very patient with Gothel, and hardly ever complains. She’s rather optimistic about most things.
Rapunzel has light skin, blue eyes, and very long blonde hair. In the first part of her story, her hair was as follows. Both sides of her hair at the front were pulled back to meet in the center of the back of her head. They then descend into an extremely long braid that rests a few inches above the ground. It is knotted at the end so it won't tangle and is light blonde.
In the first part of the film, Rapunzel is Gothel's servant. The bodice of her dress is pink with a hint of violet, and it is gathered at the chest. The stomach area is pink and ends at a point with gold braiding along the bottom edge where it joins the skirt. The neckline is a boat neck shape, edged with a gold braid. The sleeves are a leg of a mutton sleeve with the top part in a darker pink with gold braiding along the bottom. The bottom part is a lighter pink and ends at her wrists. The skirt is full and gathered at the bodice, in the same shade of pink/violet as the bodice. It has a gold braid running along the hem at the bottom of the dress. Her hair is as previously described. When Rapunzel dreams about Prince Stefan, she wears her hair straight with the sides pulled back into a ponytail. Her hair is long enough to wrap around the column on the window and drape down the side of the tower. She wears her servant dress.
Rapunzel then discovers her hairbrush magically turned into a paintbrush. The brush can paint anything she wants it to. She first painted a simple purple and white dress, which she identified as "too simple". The bodice was again a boat neck shape with ruffles, in lilac color. The sleeves are mutton of lamb sleeves again but with bigger and gathered puffballs at the top. The straight part of the sleeves is darker lilac, and it descends into bishop sleeves. The bottom of the sleeves are loose at the top and tight at the wrist, and they are lilac. The top layer of the bodice is darker lilac, and there is a v neck, ending at her mid-chest with a purple stone. This darker lilac material then continues onto the top layer of her skirt. The skirt's bottom layer is pale lilac, gathered, and A-line. The top layer is the same darker lilac material as the bodice and sits on either side of the lighter lilac skirt. The edges of this overlay are scalloped and wavy. Her hair is the same as when she is a servant.
The next one is rejected by Penelope and Hobie because they say it is "a bit much". The bodice has a boat neck neckline as before, and it is lilac again. Along the bottom of the bodice are three lemon yellow bows where it joins the skirt. The sleeves are full cap sleeves with a straight sleeve underneath. The cap sleeves are lilac. They have a border of yellow and orange circles along the bottom edge and have lilac bows near the shoulders. The starlight sleeves are lemon yellow and end at her wrists. The skirt is extremely full and pale pink on the top layer, with lilac bows in a line. The bows have ruffled pink fabric with a lilac border coming out of the bottom of them. The bottom layer of the dress is lemon with a lilac scalloped design running along the bottom. There are lemon bows in each of the scalloped pink indents. Rapunzel also wears a huge lilac and pink bonnet covered in lilac and pink flowers. It ties around her chin with a lilac strap and a lemon bow. Her hair is again the same as when she is a servant.
Another gown she painted is a colorful and unusual dress but Penelope and Hobie reject it again because it was "ahead of this time". It is in a colorful cubist style. The bodice is dark pink. There are triangular shapes over the shoulders. The left shoulder is bigger and yellow and orange with stripes of brown. The right shoulder is a smaller triangle in orange. The sleeves are straight and end at the wrist. The left one is dark blue and the right one is yellow. There is a huge triangular shape on her right hip in dark blue with a small yellow triangle. There are more triangles pointing towards the hem of the dress in various colors. The main skirt is dark pink, yellow, and orange.
The final gown took a long time to transform. Rapunzel wears a glittering lilac and pink dress. The bodice is glittery, pale pink, and lilac. It has a sweetheart neckline. The bodice center is pink, with the side panels in lilac and gold braiding along the seams. The top of the neckline is also framed with gold braiding. The sleeves are a more exaggerated leg of mutton and lilac. The bottom of the puff on the sleeves is again trimmed with gold braiding. The puff of the sleeve is long and reaches just above the elbow. The straight sleeve ends at her wrist and is lilac with a gold braid along the cuff. The skirt is full. The bottom layer of the fabric is white and gathered. The next layer is pink to match the bodice.
The top layer of the skirt is a sheer, glittery material that covers the pink fabric. It is edged in a gold braid along every edge. Her hairstyle changes too. She now has long, straight hair reaching nearly to her feet. Two sections of hair from each side of her head are pulled back, along with the hair from the top of her head. The ponytail is then sectioned into two long, plaited braids with knots in the ends. The two sections from the side are made into two braided plaits at either side towards the back. The rest of her hair is straight. She wears a gold necklace with a pink stone, and Penelope and Hobie make a mask for her to match the gown. The mask is simple. It is a pink mask with lilac tassels and a matching dark pink gemstone, to the one on the necklace, on the center top edge.
Rapunzel's wedding dress has a simple design. It has puffy sleeves with sheer white material on the ends, making a straight sleeve to her wrist. The bodice has a round neck and is divided into a center panel. The skirt is full and gathered at the top. Her hair is the same as with the masquerade gown, and instead of a veil, she wears a flower crown on her head.
Differences from the original story
Rapunzel is based on the iconic Brothers Grimm fairytale, but Mattel made several changes.
- She was given to Gothel promised by her father for some plants her mother craved, and Gothel forced them to give her Rapunzel. In the Barbie version, Gothel stole her from her father for loving someone else.
- In the original story, Gothel named her instead of getting her name by birth in the Barbie version.
- In the original version, she isn’t of royal blood, unlike the Barbie version.
- She lives in the middle of the woods locked in the tower like in the Barbie version, but Rapunzel lives in an invisible area around the dark woods.
- In the original version, Gothel climbs Rapunzel's hair, rather than riding on a dragon Hugo. The iconic phrase is "Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair, so that I may use it as a ladder and stair."
- In the original, there is no magic paintbrush.
- In the original version, Rapunzel met the prince when he heard her singing in the tower. In the Barbie version, they met when she saved one of his sisters.
- In the material, the prince asked Rapunzel to marry her when they met. Rapunzel and Prince Stefan married in the end.
- In one revised version, Rapunzel became pregnant and gave birth to two children.
- In the original version, Rapunzel wanted to go and explore the world and the prince visits her every night. In the Barbie version, Stefan visits her in the tower, but it was only in Rapunzel's dream.
- In the original version, Gothel cuts Rapunzel's hair in anger for the prince seeing her and forces her to live in the wilderness. In the Barbie version, Gothel cuts her hair because she thinks Rapunzel was lying to her when she was telling the truth.
- The witch in the original version gives Rapunzel's hair to the prince, much to his horror and he falls into the thorns and he is then blinded. In the Barbie version, Gothel disguises herself as Rapunzel and using her hair to fool Prince Stefan.
- In the original version, Rapunzel and the prince reunited in the wilderness. She restores his sight, and they go back to his kingdom where the prince takes Rapunzel and their children to his kingdom. In the Barbie version, they reunited when Gothel was about to end the war.
- In the original version, Rapunzel's father knows Gothel took the baby from him unlike when King Wilhelm blames King Fredrick for stealing her.
- In some versions of the story, Rapunzel's hair magically grows long and beautiful again, once the prince touched it. Unlike the Barbie version, her hair grows long again in months.
- In another version of the story, the story ends with the revelation that the witch had untied Rapunzel's braid after the prince leaped from the tower, and the braid slipped from her hands and landed far below, leaving her trapped in the tower. In the Barbie version, Gothel is permanently stuck in the tower because she has a 'lying heart.'
- (Reading paintbrush inscription) "'Constant as the stars above. Always know that you are loved. To our daughter Rapunzel on her very first birthday with love forever. Mother and father.' This doesn't make sense. Gothel said I was abandoned when I was just a few days old. Why would she lie to me about that?"
- (Looking at the tunnel) "Maybe this isn't a good idea. (...) But I've never been outside the magic wall. This is my chance. Maybe my only chance. I'm going."
- (To Gothel) "You can't keep me locked away from the world forever!"
- "I'm going to be free."
- (To Gothel) "You kept me locked up my whole life because you hated my father?"
- "All those years, I thought I was alone."
- Rapunzel's name came from the name of Campanula rapunculus, a kind of harebell.
- Rapunzel has some similarities with Rapunzel from the Disney film Tangled, which came out 8 years after Barbie as Rapunzel. Both of them have long blonde hair and a purple dress. They both love painting and they both have a reptilian sidekick. They both long for an adventure outside of their towers, and they're kidnapped as babies from royal families.
- Rapunzel is the first Barbie character to get married.
|Barbie as Rapunzel|
Media: Barbie as Rapunzel
Quote: "Love and imagination can change the world."
Objects: Rapunzel's Paintbrush