Sunday, March 12, 2017

'Tangled: Before Ever After' Series Kicks Off with Original Movie (& Life Gets Hairier)

The world, universe and adventures of Tangled have been begging for exploration ever since its theatrical success and the follow-up short, Tangled: Ever After, wasn't quite what fans were looking for. The fan market has remained strong, almost a decade later, but apart from a wedding only being good for so many laughs for kids, once the 'hairy adventures'  aspect was over, with Rapunzel's hair being bobbed and not quite as potentially weaponized, what was there to watch that could be quite as magical and exciting?

Slight trivia aside: the first thing Rapunzel paints in her new room is the (fairy) tale of what happened in the 2010 movie. Neat huh?
The creators were stumped for a while until they decided to look at the themes of Tangled and, essentially, reboot them in series form. The trick was, to do that without redoing the movie's story and all that mythos and hard-earned happy ending, and they found an interesting way to do just that: turns out, in some ways, Rapunzel traded one prison for another. OK. Maybe that's a bit strong, since nothing quite adds up to being stuck in a doorless tower for most of your life, but it turns out Rapunzel is indeed chafing under the weight and stifling responsibility of her new position, not to mention the duties and the expectations everyone has of her.

Rapunzel sets out to fight that stifling...

[Here's a clip in which Eugene discovers she's slipped out of the castle, defying her father's orders. It illustrates the sense of fun we can expect to see in the coming series as well.]
... and is magically 'helped' along the way by getting back the means by which she was able to explore her freedom before: her magically long hair. (It's not her choice, to get back her 70 feet of blonde-ness, but it's one she embraces pretty quickly.)

Here's the scene in which Eugene tries desperately not to freak out when he discovers The Hair is back:

The series was introduced this weekend, with a special Disney Channel Original Movie, which fills in the gap between the end of Tangled, the movie, and Tangled Before Ever After (which is the new series showing what happens between Tangled and the Tangled Ever After short aka the wedding, got it?)

Confusing, yes. Here it is in story-chronological order:
  1. Tangled - feature film 2010
  2. Tangled Before Ever After Disney Channel Original Movie - just aired this weekend
  3. Tangled Before Ever After series - first episode to air March 24, 2017
  4. Tangled Ever After - short (2012)
The movie’s official description reads:
“It’s just the beginning of happily ever after for Rapunzel and Eugene. As Rapunzel reacquaints herself with her parents, her kingdom and the people of Corona, she comes to realize that there is so much more she needs to learn about the world and herself before she becomes Princess of Corona. With the help of her handmaiden and friend, Cassandra, and Eugene, she begins to find the adventure she desires right outside her door. Life is about to get a little hairier!” 
In addition to Moore and Levi, the cast includes Ashley Judd, who plays Rapunzel’s mother Queen Arianna, and Broadway actress Eden Espinosa as Rapunzel’s handmaiden and close friend Cassandra.
As you can see from the promotional artwork and clips, the movie and series are no longer CG but very stylized traditional animation, returning to more of a storybook quality. Turns out fans are really happy about this, feeling like they'll be getting fairy tales again. (Nice to know!) In fact, the response has been so positive, the series has been confirmed as renewed for a second season, even before the first has aired. That's fairly unusual, so you know what that means: people want their fairy tales!

Here's a little more behind-the-scenes info, giving you an idea of how this developed and what they'll be doing with the series.

It's clearly adorable, has a very fun sense of humor and is wonderfully artistic. Though we'll have to see how the individual episodes pan out story-wise, the series looks very promising and is delighting fans of Disney fairy tales everywhere already. Looks like something we should be checking in with regularly when it gets rolling.

Note: The Tangled Before Ever After Original Movie will be available on DVD April 11th, 2017.
It will include four 'Tangled Short Cuts': 
Checkmate
Prison Bake
Make Me Smile
Hare Peace

1 comment:

  1. I saw the Before Ever After movie and thought it was really good. Better than it probably had a right to be. I'll probably post something about it some time in April, after Beauty and the Beast Month is over.

    It's kind of interesting actually, that Disney's animated shows are kind of mirroring the ones I grew up with. There's a new Duck Tales series coming this summer and while they certainly didn't have a Tangled series back then, they did have ones based on The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Hercules.

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