Flynn "theyjustcan'tgetmynoseright" Rider.
There are a lot of Aladdin and Price Eric fans out there – and while I’ll admit I’m a fan of both – neither come close to the swashbuckling (and smouldering) perfection that is Flynn Rider. He’s heroic, hilarious and has more than enough personality to share with the pre-1989 Prince’s. He is, by far, my favourite Disney prince – and for the life of me, I can’t understand how people so easily overlook him. And that is exactly why I’m writing this article – to give credit where credit is due.
I’ve divided this article up into 4 parts – Heroicness, Humor, Personality & Character Development and Relationship. There is a fifth, but it’s completely my biased opinion – so it doesn’t really count. Also, I know it's alot of reading, but everything here is important - I know it might be tempting, but try not to skim. Anyways, let’s begin :)
I almost find it hard thinking of people like Flynn and Mulan as princes and princesses – because to me – they’re first and foremostly heroes. Flynn is so much more than a physically fit guy who looks good on a horse – he’s brave, clever, determined, courageous, selfless and sacrificing. He never gives up and he never backs down. He’s the only prince to literally die for his princess – and while not all princes had the opportunity – only a handful, if any, would actually be willing to do this. Flynn, knowing Rapunzel will be unhappy for the rest of her life, begs her not to save him – even though he knows that he will die. Sure, many other princes do heroic things – but all have something to personally gain out of it
. Flynn, on the other hand, has nothing to gain from dying besides the short lived satisfaction that Rapunzel, the love of his life, is safe. Sure, Phillip battles a dragon (with some help from the fairies) – but he’s doing it so that he can marry Aurora. And yes, Eric jumps in the water after Ariel and saves her – but let’s not forget the line “I lost her once, I’m not going to do it again” – he’s saving her so he can have
her. He can’t have her if she’s dead (hense the heroic act), but he also can’t have her if HE is dead – so the possibility of him willingly
giving up his life for her seems highly unlikely. And that’s the other thing about Flynn’s circumstances vs. that of many other princes – others are in dangerous situations fighting for a prize, but Flynn KNOWS he will die, and still goes through with it. He has nothing to personally gain, but just knowing Rapunzel is free and safe is more than enough motive for him. Basically, while most princes are motivated by what they personally can gain out of a heroic act – Flynn is selfless, sacrificing and the ultimate hero.
I hate to quote Titanic (actually that’s a lie, I love to) – but Flynn saved Rapunzel in every way that a person could be saved. He saved her from a miserable life, he saved her from a certain death, and he saved her from being manipulated, neglected and used. Boy, did Rapunzel luck out. Of all the princes – Flynn was definitely the most deserving of a happy ending – he worked for it, he more than earned it, and I’m so thankful that he finally got it.
BEST. FACIAL. EXPRESSIONS. EVER!
This section is self-explanatory and straightforward. Flynn is the funniest Prince, hands down. When he’s on screen, I’m literally laughing out loud – when Genie and Mushu are on screen, I grin, but I’m certainly not busting a gut (although “dishonor on you, dishonor on your cow” always makes me laugh). Flynn is voiced PERFECTLY – sometimes just the way he says thing (“surrounded by enormous piles of money”) makes it funny. Also, I absolutely LOVE his facial expressions. They are unrivaled.
Flynn's face alone is worth a MILLION words - never mind the rest of the picture.
His humor adds another dimension to his personality. There is no such thing as a person who is hilarious AND bland – and Flynn is certainly no exception. His hilarity alone one-ups all the other Princes, and with that, we translate into the most important part of the article…
Personality & CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT
Foils don’t need character development, plot tools don’t need character development, stereotypes don’t need character development and symbols don’t need character development – but a rounded character certainly does – and I can’t even begin to stress how important that is. The Prince, Prince Charming, Prince Phillip and (I can feel the hateful comments coming already –) Prince Eric, show absolutely no character development whatsoever. They are 1 – maybe 2 – dimensional characters at best. They don’t have developed personalities or original characteristics – and while people can take trivial events and twist them into redeeming qualities – it still doesn’t change the facts
. Shang and John Smith are just a step up, while Aladdin, Naveen, Beast and Flynn (YAY!) are far more development characters with helpings more of personality – whether you like to admit it or not. Personally, I dislike Naveen and Beast (and many dislike Aladdin as well), but regardless – you cannot compare them to princes like Eric and Phillip who are “perfect” – because in all reality, they are not rounded enough to be anything else. Yes, many people prefer the simple perfection that comes with a less developed character – but personally, I’d rather someone relatable, unique, entertaining, and full of personality over a perfectly crafted prince any day. You cannot compare the two – they are not of the same quality.
Getting along... kind of.
Character development and personality go hand and hand – which is why I grouped them together. When we meet Flynn – he is self-absorbed, dishonest and manipulative. But somewhere over the course of an hour and a half, he makes the transition to selfless, truthful, and heroic – while still keeping his original qualities of unmatchable humor and intelligence. This is truly beautiful – it's not only a commendable and relatable example, but an entertaining ride for the viewer. "Don't judge a book by it's cover" – it's beauty & the beasts message – only more subtle (and reversed). But what sets Flynn apart is that – unlike the other princes – he doesn’t TRY to change, it just happens – organically and realistically. He doesn’t turn goodie-goodie quickly either, it’s a slow and natural transition. All-in-all, Flynn is a lot of incredible things – brave, kind, funny, romantic, heroic, charming, forgiving, quick-thinking, self-sacrificing, original and realistic – but most of all – Flynn is selfless, which to me, is the greatest quality of all. He has his flaws – but they only make him human. He's not a God, and he's not some animators idea of perfection either. He's not a symbol, a foil, a plot tool or a stereotype – which unfortunately – can't be said for many of the other princes.
Ah, friends at last.
Lastly, I have one more thing to point out: Of the rounded Disney princes – Flynn is the only one I really like. And just as I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way, I’m also certain that others can process the above facts and begin to admire the substantial leap in character development that is Flynn Rider.
Those of you who’ve read my "Rapunzel vs. Ariel" or "Best Disney Couples" articles have already heard my rant on how truly amazing Flynn and Rapunzel’s relationship is, especially in comparison to the others’. But brace yourself – because here it comes again. Basically, the more I think about Rapunzel and Flynn’s relationship, the more perfect I realise it is. They don’t fall in love instantly, which is a welcomed relief. And personally, I loved watching their relationship progress and witnessing all the little, individually brilliant moments they shared together. Flynn didn’t fall in love with Rapunzel the moment he saw her (unlike Cinderella & Charming and Aurora & Phillip). In fact, he tried to get rid of her. And if he liked her only for her looks, it should have been love at first sight – but clearly, it was not. Flynn doesn’t try to make Rapunzel fall in love with him either (Ariel, Beast, Aladdin), which I really appreciated. Their relationship is mature and realistic. And unlike so many other couples (Mulan & Shang, Snow White & The Prince, Cinderella & Prince Charming, Ariel & Eric, and Aurora & Phillip) Rapunzel and Flynn actually had the necessary communication to build a meaningful and lasting relationship on. But what I like most about these two is that their relationship progressed organically and realistically, with plenty of comic relief inserted along the way. They didn’t lose themselves but grew as people throughout their relationship. Flynn and Rapunzel are the perfect combination of love and passion. They’re perfect – no one can even come close to them.
And now – as promised – the completely biased (and arguably stupid) part of the article. And while it would be pointless on my part to go in depth on the features that make him attractive, I’m definitely not above bombarding you with pictures of him. Enjoy! ;)
I know we swoon at the “attractive” princes like Eric, Aladdin, Naveen and Phillip – but it seems only rarely that people ever look at the character behind the beauty. And unfortunately, when they do, it seems a lot more like an extrapolation of trivial details in attempts to justify a girlish crush. Flynn could honestly look like Quasimodo and he’d still be my favourite prince – his appearance is merely an added, but ultimately irrelevant, bonus.
And of course, no article about Flynn would be complete without the infamous "Smoulder" ;)
I know Disney princes can be a touchy subject, and I am fully aware that the comment section will soon be bombarded with hateful remarks – but that didn’t stop me from writing this, and it won’t stop me from standing behind it. As I’ve said before, if this is what the future of the Disney prince holds, then count me in.
I sincerely hope this article has brought some well-deserved attention to a truly incredible – but underestimated – character. Yet if you are to take only one thing away from it, let it not be love for Flynn Rider, but an open mind.
Thanks for reading and check out my other articles :)