The sad part of this ask is really that having a cartoon reflect its audience in any way is something that needs to be proven, especially considering there is literally nothing that could be described as “historically accurate” about that film, since it’s not meant to be historical in any way. Since this is one I’ve actually SEEN, I can safely say that there’s really nothing about it that reflects Medieval German society. In fact, the only society or culture that is reflects at all is contemporary American society, with all the people of color “mysteriously” erased.
If you want some resources on Medieval German art, probably the most important and influential subject would be Saint Maurice. You can also just filter for Germany, and look through the works I have posted for various eras in that region.
As for the film itself, it’s blithely based on nowhere in particular, at no time in particular, as analyses of the clothing the characters wear demonstrate. But of course, since that’s not a socially charged issue, no one seems to care about that inaccuracy.
[bigger at source]
The claim that it “takes place” in Germany because it’s supposedly a “German” story, because the Brothers Grimm or whatever, is also pretty dubious. Moreover, many of the Grimm’s tales were of French or other origin, and their purpose was to generate a sense of Nationalism and “purity” of German culture. They heavily modified the tales they wrote down to accomplish these aims, adding morals, antisemitism, christian values, color-coded “good v evil” tropes, and sanitizing certain elements of the tales.
Their version of Rapunzel is actually adapted from an Italian story written by Giambattista Basile in the 1600s, called “Petrosinalla” (Parsley). this in turn was inspired by possibly the Greek legend of Danae, and/or the story of the Martyrdom of Saint Barbara (locked in a tower by her father, beheaded for converting to Christianity), which is depicted in several illuminated manuscripts and paintings I’ve posted here, which sometimes includes a Black executioner:
Or just people of color who happen to be there:
(This executioner is meant to be visibly pagan, as was Barbara’s father. The onlookers are probably meant to be Christian, witnessing the martyrdom to spread the word and whatnot. I’m basing this on similar paintings whose stories match with this kind of composition of a martyrdom.)
Because, you see, it wasn’t a prince who got into Saint Barbara’s tower window, it was God.
What does any of this prove, though, really? Nothing. Because you can’t “prove” historical inaccuracy for something that’s already wildly historically inaccurate. Tangled is not based in history. It’s loosely based off of a Grimm’s tale that was loosely based off of an Italian tale that was loosely based off a tale about a Saint who was locked in a tower by her father and then executed.
The only thing that is supposed to justify the ubiquitously white cast of Tangled in the mistaken assumption that the entirety of Europe was homogeneously white during the entire 700 years or so it *could* have taken place. It randomly has Vikings in it , who are also apparently homogeneously white, so apparently it’s easier to travel from Scandinavia somewhere to Germany than it is to any of these other places the Vikings also visited (or actually built settlements):
So you may ask yourself, why do you even CARE? It’s JUST some kid’s movie, right?
Well, apparently it matters a LOT to white people who are still reblogging this thread with outraged statements about HOW DARE U CRITICIZE A THING. With additional nonsense looking for something, anything to justify it somehow. There should have been white people in Mulan?
Do you really need more white people in kid’s media OR the film industry in general?
That line of reasoning only works if equal representation was already happening. To give a visual on why this is a mistake and hurts real children, I highly recommend this post. To learn more about Diney’s history of racial representation and their history of producing explicitly racist cartoons, this post is also highly visual.
Maybe it’s because it directly and negatively affects real, actual children who are watching movies like these. As well as because racist jerks make “jokes” about the hair of people of color, especially Black women.
As you can see, there really is no “proof” that will ever be good enough for people who are that invested in “keeping white media white”, so to speak. Because that’s what they are honestly supporting. A measurably massive inequality exists and will continue to exist as long as people, including those who consider themselves “good people”, “not racist” and “neutral parties”, continue to support this inequality and viciously silence those who criticize it.