On Friday 10th March, Disney Channel debuted a tv sequel to one of the best Disney movies of recent years. No, not Frozen… Tangled! Rapunzel, Flynn/Eugene, Pascal and friends are back in a traditional 2D animated adventure Tangled: Before Ever After.
This original Disney Channel movie is only around an hour long, but boy was it long overdue. Tangled was released back in 2010, and although we did get Tangled Ever After as an animated short where Rapunzel and Eugene eventually got married, Tangled: Before Ever After takes place six months after the events of the first movie, and as it turns out, Rapunzel isn’t quite feeling happy in her happily ever after ending.
Rapunzel is now living in the castle of Corona with her true parents (the King and Queen), Eugene, Pascal and Maximus, joined by a new friend, Cassandra, who is Rapunzel’s trusted lady-in-waiting. However, after living in a tower for 18 years, Rapunzel is having a hard time adjusting to palace life; she is not free to venture anywhere by herself, she has yet to learn the correct mannerisms expected of a princess, and she still hasn’t got in the habit of wearing shoes. Eugene, on the other hand, is perfectly contempt. He has everything he’s ever wanted; a lifestyle of peace, luxury and he has his true love, Rapunzel. So, what could possibly go wrong?
As it turns out… Everything!? Eugene decides that a royal family dinner is the right moment to propose to Rapunzel. Punzie, feeling torn between exploring the great, wide world and settling down with her beloved dashing rogue Flynn Rider, surprisingly rejects the proposalv(doing what no Disney princess has ever done before) and runs off to her room to be alone. Cassandra, who just happens to be the daughter of the Royal Captain Of The Guard and the bestest friend a girl can have ever, sneaks Rapunzel out of the castle to clear her head. They head out beyond the Corona wall, and come across some strange, glowing rock spires in the same spot that once grew the magic golden flower that healed the Queen. When the curious Rapunzel touches them… Her 70 feet of blonde hair mystically grows back, and this time… It’s literally unbreakable!
But that’s not all. In the sewers of Corona dwell wicked criminals led by the notorious Lady Caine who are out for revenge on the royal family for locking them up years ago after Rapunzel was kidnapped as a baby. Lady Caine’s mysterious identity isn’t revealed until the near-end of the movie, so you’ll be guessing throughout!
I’m really happy that the production decided to revert to traditional hand-drawn animation for this movie and the upcoming series. While I love the beauty of the classic Tangled, the 2D stylised direction definitely freshens up the story, the characters and the vibrant colour palette. It is also a true homage to the ever-nostalgic 2d Disney Channel tv series’ of the 90’s. The new music is absolutely brilliant, “Wind In My Hair” is set to become a new classic with Punzie fans of all ages, and “Life After Happily Ever After” is a great treat to hear more of Rapunzel and Eugene singing a wonderful duet together as they did with “I See The Light“, although this time from opposite points of view. But the real magic is in Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi who reprise their roles from the original movie and sound every bit as happy that they did as we do to hear them again – their voice chemistry is outstanding!
Tangled: Before Ever After also doesn’t shy away from portraying realistic relationship issues despite being of the animated fairytale genre. Eugene and Rapunzel experience natural differences in opinion and Rapunzel’s father, King Frederick, is far too over-protective of his now adult daughter (remind you of anyone, King Triton?) over the guilt of once losing her. However, despite his playful demeanour, Eugene is portrayed as mature and patient as he admits he made a mistake of rushing things, and Rapunzel goes through the motions like any teenager, eventually asking that Eugene be patient with her as she wishes to venture out, a chance she never had being locked away all her life. Eugene and Cassandra frequently clash heads as it’s obvious they both care for our princess heroine, and have perhaps a slight subtle jealousy towards each other as Rapunzel opens up to Cassandra about her ambitions before doing so with Eugene, and Cassandra just doesn’t seem to share Rapunzel’s attraction to the former-thief. Oh, and Maximus even gets a new love interest in the lovely new horse pal Fidella, of whom he has a very obvious crush on. How cute!
Now all that remains is the short wait until Tangled: The Series begins on Disney Channel… Just what adventures await? Find out on Friday 24th March!
What are your thoughts on Tangled: Before Ever After? Let me know in the comments!