Friday, December 30, 2011

Must Watch Friday: Tangled and Once Upon a Time

Beth Cornelison returns with our last Must Watch Friday of the year to chat about some recent fairy tales on the big and small screen!

What makes the must watch list for this romance writer? Happily ever afters of course! Or the pursuit of them...

Tangled is Disney's take on the Rapunzel story, complete with a handsome hero, great music and the sigh-worthy happily ever after. As a writer, I love analyzing the character development, motifs, character goals, motivations and conflicts in Disney films because the Disney writers are so good at crafting these story elements. Tangled didn't disappoint.

The premise of Tangled is pretty simple. The infant princess of a kingdom is kidnapped by a selfish old woman who wants control of the magic healing and youth-inducing powers of the princess' long hair. Rapunzel grows up trapped in a tower. Her only wish is to go to the kingdom on her birthday to see the awe-inspiring display of lights that fills the sky on that night each year. The old woman, whom she believes is her mother, refuses to let her go.

Enter Flynn, the hero, who stumbles across Rapunzel's tower as he is fleeing the kingdom's guards after stealing a valuable crown and then double-crosses the thugs he's working with. Rapunzel manages to tie up the intruder in her tower and strikes a deal with him. She'll release him if he promises to take her to see the magical lights. And off they go on an adventurous journey together with the old woman, bad guy thugs and the king's guards all in pursuit.

A thieving and conniving bad boy hero falls in love, learns to view the world differently and not be selfish, and ultimately makes a grand sacrifice for the heroine's sake. The heroine transforms from a naive, sheltered girl to a savvy young woman— a true coming of age story as Rapunzel learns who she is and finds her place in the world.

I was saddened to learn that Tangled is the last animated fairy tale Disney plans to make. I grew up watching Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast were put on my keeper shelf as an adult. I believe Disney's adaptations of classic fairy tales are a big part of why I became a romance writer. For me, Tangled is a sweet, clever story with plenty of magic moments to make it Must See material.

The second Must See show I recommend is Once Upon A Time, ABC television's new Sunday night offering. In this modern twist on all the old classic tales, the evil queen has cast a dark spell on the magic kingdom where all the characters of fairy tales lived long ago. Snow White, Prince Charming, Jiminy Cricket, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, and the evil queen herself are all living in Storybrook, Maine, in current day.

None of the characters, save the evil queen and her adopted son, know who they really are or why they are in modern times. The only person who can break the spell and help the character's find their HEAs is Snow White's and Prince Charming's daughter, Emma. Emma, now an adult, grew up in modern times without her real parents, not knowing who she was. She was summoned to Storybrook by the little boy to break the spell and give all the character's their happy endings. Emma stays in the little town but isn't convinced of her role in changing fate. And of course the evil queen, a.k.a. the witchy mayor of Storybrook, is always thwarting any progress toward breaking the spell. The dastardly Rumpelstiltskin is around, as well, to lure unwitting innocents into deals with the devil. Each week we get another little peek into the past lives of the fairy tale characters and see the ripple effects in modern times as Emma and mayor's adopted son work toward breaking the dark spell... in pursuit of the lost happily ever afters!

Once Upon A Time is a surprisingly good saga with adventure, star-crossed lovers, and magic. Check it out! If you haven't been watching, you'll want to catch up on episodes online, then tune in for the next new episode on January 8th.

Wishing you all happy endings,
Beth Cornelison

Rita Award finalist Beth Cornelison made her first sale to Silhouette Intimate Moments in June 2004 and has gone on to publish many more books with Harlequin/Silhouette as well as other publishers. Cornelison has presented writing workshops across the United States, and she currently lives in Louisiana with her husband and son. For more information about all of Beth’s books visit Check out her latest release, Trust in Me.

Kevin Fuller believes he must rescue damsels in distress, and Claire is decidedly out of her element in small town South Carolina. When trouble inevitably finds Claire, Kevin's white knight protection and heroics are exactly what Claire doesn’t want. But his kisses...that's another matter. Available as Kindle, Nook and other ebook formats


  1. I loved Tangled. I bought it for my granddaughter, so when she watches it, so do I.

  2. Merrilee-I don't have grandkids yet, so I bought it for myself! I pull it out every now and then for a feel good mood. :-)