What makes Tangled so special?
Tangled is really special. It is, on one hand, classic Disney - yet it’s fresh and contemporary. Tangled is so full of hilarious characters, but it also has tremendous action and a lot of heart.
We wanted to create a unique world and story that evoke the rich, dramatic feeling that is classically Disney, but is also fresh and humorous, and that gives the audience something it has never seen before in computer animation. The filmmakers have created a world that builds on Disney’s heritage but transports us to a land that is completely new.
Tangled is not what audiences might expect. It is our telling of the Rapunzel story, but it has a fresh twist to it. It is so contemporary, so modern. It looks unlike anything you’ve ever seen, it is so funny and the adventure in this film is spectacular.
Why are directors Byron Howard and Nathan Greno perfect to helm this film?
They are some of the most talented young directors I’ve ever seen. They have such incredible story sense, but one of the things that I love about them is their sense of humour. And they really understand what makes a film a Disney film: the heart.
Walt Disney always said, ‘For every laugh, there should be a tear.’ They have such a fresh, contemporary approach to something that’s classically Disney. It looks like a classic Disney animated film, but it’s also in 3D computer animation, so it’s really unlike anything we’ve ever done before.
How would you describe Rapunzel and Flynn Rider?
I always say that there are three things that you have to do to make a really great film. You have to tell a compelling story that keeps people on the edge of your seat, you have to populate that story with appealing characters and place the story and characters in a believable world.
Not a realistic world, but a believable one and Tangled has fantastic characters, especially Rapunzel and Flynn Rider. They go on this unbelievable adventure; they’re quite a team.
Rapunzel is one of the most special characters we’ve ever created. She is beautiful, but more importantly, she’s empowered and she’s talented. She really drives this story.
Imagine if you were trapped in a room for 18 years - she wants to get out and see the world so she goes on this huge adventure. But the guy who gets Rapunzel out of her tower is not your typical Disney hero. He’s Flynn Rider. He’s funny, he’s edgy, he’s clever and, I tell you, he really is hilarious. He’s one of the funniest characters we’ve ever animated.
How does Mother Gothel measure up as far as villains go?
It’s not just your hero and heroine who have to be appealing - your villain has to be appealing also. I get so excited when a story has a good villain and Tangled has a great villain with Mother Gothel. She is theatrical. She is hilarious. She’s way over the top - one of the best villains we’ve ever created.
Who are some of the other favourite characters in Tangled?
Often in animated films, everybody talks about who’s doing the voices, but some of my favorite characters in the history of animation are characters that never talk - the animal characters or the pantomime characters - and we have two characters in Tangled that really steal the show. Maximus, the horse, or Max, as his friends call him, is fantastic.
He’s like a giant puppy dog trapped in a horse’s body. He is hilarious. And he has this great story arc, a great friendship arc with Flynn Rider and with Rapunzel. It’s one of the highlights of the film. Rapunzel has a friend, Pascal, who’s a little chameleon and this is one of the most original characters ever done in animation.
He is so appealing, so cute, so funny; this is one of the things I get excited about. It can only be done in computer animation. He’s a chameleon and he blends in with the background all the time and it’s so special and unlike anything you’ve ever seen. It’s really unique and he is a truly memorable character.
How did the addition of the pub thugs come about?
We set out to make Tangled really funny and I think some of the funniest characters in the film are these thugs that Rapunzel and Flynn Rider find in this pub.
At first glance, they are a scary, horrific set of characters. But they turn out to be hilarious. Some of the funniest characters we’ve ever created.
How has Glen Keane influenced the story and visual style of Tangled?
One of the greatest Disney animators ever to live is a guy named Glen Keane. He is really one of the most exceptional artists I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. I’ve known him since the summer of 1975.
I had just graduated high school and I was going to go to California Institute of the Arts, to the Character Animation Program. Glen had just started at the studio in the training program.
He’d just graduated from Cal Arts. He went on to create the greatest characters - Ariel, the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Tarzan - and they will live forever because of his talent. He has been part of Tangled from the beginning and he has inspired this whole new generation of animators to take a look at computer animation and take it to a new level.
Classic Disney animation, hand-drawn animation - that style of animation that is unique to this studio, which no other studio has - is embodied in Glen Keane. And he worked with the animators.
He worked with the character designers. And it has really elevated this film to a level that no other film has had. It is classically Disney, yet it is so fresh and so new, it’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen.
What do audiences have in store for them?
This movie is for everybody. This is so funny. It’s full of the most amazing action you’ve ever seen. The adventure in this film is spectacular. It’s in 3D. It’s absolutely breathtakingly beautiful and is one of the funniest films you’ve ever seen.
Like all great Disney animated films, it has spectacular music. Disney legend Alan Menken and lyricist Glenn Slater have created a fantastic musical experience that audiences will love. What’s so exciting is that Tangled is the 50th animated film from the Walt Disney Animation Studios. That’s remarkable.
Starting with Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs , this studio never closed its doors; the Walt Disney Animation Studios has never stopped making animated films. And I’m so proud to have Tangled be the 50th film from the studio