Having started the beginning of its 100th anniversary commemoration of bringing joy and wonder to all, Disney recently released some exciting updates regarding some of their beloved movies; zootopia gets a sequelAnd Frozen, a threesome. The saga of the anthropomorphic fox and rabbit featuring their buddy-cop beat and our charming Arandelle friends will once again take audiences on a cinematic experience into the future. In light of this fantastic news, some can’t help but think of other splendid Disney animated films that deserve the same sequel treatment because, truly, some of them are long overdue, like the young 13 years old. Tangled.
Before the animated feature film came to fruition, six full years of challenging work worth $260 million had been expended, primarily due to the complexity of combining CGI with non-photorealistic rendering and the animation of Rapunzel’s long, luscious, golden hair. However, the positive reviews, the plentiful box office raw, and the overwhelming fan love the film received made all the effort and money worth it. It would be a shame to see such an elaborate masterpiece without a sequel, wouldn’t it? But, on the technical side, there are more important reasons why the sequel Tangled should happen.
It’s too engrossing a story not to have a feature-length sequel.
Although based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, Tangled was not a carbon copy of the original story; it’s also been tweaked around the modern, comedic twist, which thankfully was the right call to make in the 21st century. In 2010, Tangled created and received immediate critical acclaim for its writing, which is downright delightful and inspiring.
The leading lady with the 70ft magical golden locks is not a helpless maiden, or as many call her, a damsel in distress, even though she was kidnapped as a baby by a wicked and exploitative woman and is imprisoned in a tower for 18 years. No, Rapunzel is a tough, skillet-wielding, high-spirited girl who dreams of seeing the outside world and asks unlikely help from an intruder, Eugene Fitzherbert. But here’s the most interesting part, he’s not a prince or any nobility – the guy is a thief going by the alias of Flynn Rider. At best, it was entertainment, seeing these two mismatched individuals embark on an adventure together. Thrill, drama, action and romance follow the duo’s journey; everything played out in perfect harmony.
As much as Tangled is a uniquely adventurous tale, Rapunzel and Eugene’s journey is filled with both weirdness and danger. Gothel, Rapunzel’s evil mother, Slash’s kidnapper, and Eugene’s angry ex-partners in crime; the Stabbington brothers are there to get both for different purposes; the former manipulates the latter to return Rapunzel, or more accurately, rejuvenating hair with healing power. A royal household guard, Maximus breathes Eugene’s neck since, well, he’s a wanted man, but eventually has a change of heart and saves him from jail with the help of the Snuggly Duckling rogue squad at the tender heart that the two met along the way. Let’s also not forget Pascal, Rapunzel’s loyal chameleon pet, who can sometimes disappear but will never leave her, even during the most dramatic moment when the princess’s hair is cut by dying Eugene to rid Gothelwhich Pascal supports as he trips her with the longer locks of the cut locks.
So yes, although the film retains the classic “once upon a time” at the beginning and “happily ever after” at the end, the plot is nothing like any other idealized and clichéd fairy tale. Instead, the filmmakers managed to accurately take the essence of the tale and develop it into a refreshingly original story, as well as masterfully integrated elements of modern authenticity. No wonder the film became a hit among the Disney fan community soon after its release. Of course, fans then wondered what the sequel to this incredibly contemporary folk adaptation would be. It deserves to be developed further, perhaps even in a sequel more inspiring than the first. And thanks to the perpetual plea of dedicated enthusiasts for a sequel, it was granted. Well, sort of.
Short follow-up and TV series aren’t quite the expected sequel
By strict definition, sequels pick up on the narrative of their predecessors. But if we were to look at it from a simpler angle, the sequels pick up where the original left off. Tangled showed us a rewarding ending scene where Eugene told the closure of every character, including his own and Rapunzel. The biggest question of whether they got married was answered with a resounding “yes.”
Therefore, naturally viewers would like to see the next page of Tangled, what happens next to their marriage, what kind of adventure they’ll embark on as royals and, more importantly, whether their “happily ever after” will turn out the way they claim. And, of course, another major item on fans’ wish lists was to watch the wedding ceremony. 2012 Tangled foreverofficially labeled as Tangled‘s follow-up, gave us exactly that for 6 minutes. So really, it was more of a quick look at Rapunzel and Eugene’s wedding, which, needless to say, was filled with a huge pile of silly mishaps thanks to Maximus and Pascal’s clumsiness. While the short was technically a sequel and very entertaining, it didn’t bring us anything new.
Prayer answered, a brand new tale was delivered five years later in a television series titled Rapunzel’s Tangled Series, which ran for three seasons. The longer overall runtime, i.e. compared to a movie, was truly a blessing for the fans. Moreover, the show had such a well-written story that it proved to be impressive and captivating for many discerning audiences. Once again it follows Rapunzel, whose 70 foot blonde hair regrows (this time, indestructible) and therefore seeks to unravel the mystery behind the Sundrop, the force behind her originally magical hair, with the help of Eugene, Pascal, Maximus, and other new friends the princess made along the journey full of shocking twists and wonderful fun.
However, Rapunzel’s Tangled Seriesalso, cannot be purely classified as a Tangled sequel because although it delves deeply into Rapunzel’s life after Tangledit ends up leading us to an all-too-familiar conclusion: Tangled forever. Make no mistake, the creators of the show have done a magnificent job creating a narrative that seamlessly connects the past and present of Rapunzel’s world. Only one thing left to complete Tangled timeline: the future. It’s time for the dynamic story of Rapunzel and Eugene to get an additional sequel in the medium that can truly capture the beauty and charm of it all, a feature film.