Behind the magic of Tangled: The Series

2017-11-09 06:00
 

Cape Town – The Disney Channel (DStv 303) has just launched Tangled: The Series. 

Based on box office hit feature film Tangled, Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi reprise their roles as Rapunzel and Eugene (also known as Flynn Rider).

Set between the events of the feature film and the start of the 2012 short film, Tangled Ever After, the animated series unfolds as Rapunzel acquaints herself with her parents, her kingdom and the people of Corona.

Here are some behind-the-scenes facts that will blow your mind:

1. TALE AS OLD AS TIME

What can fans expect from Disney Channel’s dazzling new show, Tangled: The Series? “The animation follows the fun adventures of Rapunzel as she gets to know her parents, her kingdom and the people of Corona,” reveals executive producer, Chris Sonnenburg. Bring it on!

2. THE OLD GANG IS BACK

Many of the characters we know and love from the Disney movie Tangled will appear in the new cartoon series. “You’ll get to see Rapunzel’s chameleon sidekick Pascal, her horse Maximus and, of course, Eugene (formerly known as Flynn Rider),” explains Chris. “You’ll also get to see the Snuggly Duckling Pub Thugs and a new character: Rapunzel’s tough lady-in-waiting, Cassandra.” 

3. WORK IT OUT… 

A talented team of Disney storytellers has been working on the show for a number of years. “We have the entire series worked out,” reveals supervising producer, Ben Balistreri. “We have a beginning, a middle and an end. Eugene has a great line in the first movie where he says: ‘After years and years of asking, she finally said yes.’ Well, that line opened up the door to this show. Why? Because our story takes place during those years and years and years of asking!” 

4. MUSICAL MARVEL 

The show features exciting new songs from Academy Award-winning composer Alan Menken and lyricist Glenn Slater. “Alan and Glenn have been involved with the series from a very early stage,” admits Ben. “The songs are superb!” 

5. STEP TO THE BEAT

“We have a lot of fun working with Alan and Glenn,” adds Ben. “We'll say to them, ‘We need a song about Rapunzel finally stepping free. She’s finally stepping outside the walls of the castle.’ Soon enough, they will come up with a song like Wind In My Hair, which can be heard in the opening episode of the series. We don’t sandwich songs on top of the story for no reason at all. We use them to help move the story narrative forward.” 

6. STORY TIME

When the creative team came up with the look of the animated series, they were heavily inspired by classic storybooks. “We want Tangled: The Series to look like a children's storybook that’s come to life in front of your eyes,” admits Ben. “The brush textures and the paint textures lead you into the feeling of storybooks!” 

7. PICTURE PERFECT

The artists had a tough time fine-tuning the design of Rapunzel for the new animated series. “In the movie, Rapunzel is CG (computer generated) – but in our show, she is 2D,” reveals Ben. “We spent months and months transitioning her from the CG world to the 2D world.” 

8. YOU NOSE IT

“In order to come up with her design in our show, we tried to focus on what makes Rapunzel look like Rapunzel,” continues Ben. “She has a slightly upturned nose, which is very sweet – but her biggest and most important features are her big eyes.” 

9. THE EYE’S THE LIMIT

“Rapunzel is such an exciting character to work on,” adds Chris. “She’s been imprisoned in a tower for 18 years – but when she gets out of the tower, she wants to drink in as much of the world as possible. Her eyes are wider than anybody else’s in the show because she wants to see as much of the world as possible. That's a huge part of her character.”

10. ART ATTACK

“In total, we spent about six months nailing down the design of Rapunzel,” explains Chris. “In the early days, we had to decide what style of animation we were going to use for the series, so we tried a lot of different designs. Some were really cartoony. Others were super-realistic.” 

11. CARTOON CRAZY

“We settled on this particular design for Rapunzel because it worked the best – and we’re really pleased with the end result,” admits Chris. “If Rapunzel was too cartoony, then it would be hard to have the character look sad in the story. If the design was too realistic, it would be hard to draw her on a regular basis; it would take too long. In our final version, Rapunzel is incredibly sweet and pretty.”
 
12. DESIGNER DELIGHTS 

 “As soon as we finalised Rapunzel’s design, we could create the rest of the characters in the show,” continues Chris. “It was a lot easier to create Eugene, Maximus, Pascal and everyone else because Rapunzel’s finished look fed into their design.” 

13. TOE THE LINE

Look closely at Rapunzel’s feet when you watch the animation. “Rapunzel doesn’t wear shoes,” reveals Chris. “She didn’t wear shoes in the movie either. Why? Because she doesn't want anything to separate her from the planet that she's been so far away from for most of her life. Any time that she can feel the ground underneath her feet, she takes advantage of that time.”

14. HAIRY SCARY… 

Rapunzel’s iconic long hair returns in Tangled: The Series – and the internet went into overdrive when Disney fans heard the news. “A lot of people want to know how Rapunzel gets her hair back,” admits Ben. “That’s been the source of much internet buzz since the show was announced. People saw the fact that Rapunzel had her long flowing blonde hair back and they went nuts! They were saying, ‘What? Didn’t they see the movie? She doesn’t have long hair any more.’ Well, there is a storyline that reveals exactly how her hair returns, and it involves some mysterious black rocks.” 

15. ROCKY ROAD… 

If you’re looking for answers, you’re in for a treat with Tangled: The Series. “The mystery behind the black rocks will be explained in the first season of the show,” continues Ben. “If you want to know why Rapunzel’s hair came back when she touched the rocks, you’ll have to keep watching – but your questions will be answered.”

16. LISTEN UP

Many of the original movie actors have returned for the hair-raising new show. “Mandy Moore is back as the voice of Rapunzel and Zachary Levi is back as the voice of Eugene,” admits Chris. “It’s a joy to work with them! I was recording with Mandy this morning. We had a really big session with a new song for the season one finale. I can’t wait for everyone to hear it.”

17. MOORE PLEASE 

“Every time I’ve been in a recording session with Mandy, she is exactly like Rapunzel,” explains Ben. “She's very energetic and charming. Zachary is the same way. He’s absolutely hysterical to watch. We also have a number of Broadway stars in the cast, including Eden Espinosa who was in Wicked. The voice cast is absolutely stunning.” 

18. WEDDING BELLS… 

Tangled: The Series will eventually lead up to Tangled Ever After, which was a short animation created a number of years ago. “In the short, Eugene and Rapunzel finally get married – but Maximus and Pascal lose the rings. If you haven't seen it, it's a very cute animation. We have to get Rapunzel back in that position by the end of our show, and we have it all planned out.”

Catch Tangled: The Series Mondays at 16:00 on Disney Channel (DStv 303). 

(Photos: Supplied/Getty Images)

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