Rapunzel is my favorite Disney Princess, so my first thought when I heard about Disney Channel’s, Tangled Before Ever After and Tangled: The Series, was Best.Day.Ever.! My second thought was please don’t screw this up. I’m delighted to tell you, they didn’t mess it up! Rapunzel and Flynn (Eugene) are just as wonderful as ever, and I’m thrilled that Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi still voice the characters.
When Does Tangled Before Ever After Take Place?
“Tangled Before Ever After” is set after Rapunzel meets her prince, but before they get married. There are so many questions that need to be answered. This then leads into the highly-anticipated premiere of “Tangled: The Series” on FRIDAY, MARCH 24 (7:30 p.m. ET). But you don’t have to wait that long to get your fix in, because the Disney Channel Original Movie “Tangled Before Ever After” makes its debut TONIGHT, FRIDAY, MARCH 10 (8:00 p.m., ET)! Check out the first 5 minutes!
When I saw the promo, I was like wait, she has brown hair, no, she has blonde hair! After watching Tangled Before Ever After it will all become clear why. According to Executive Producer/Supervising Director Chris Sonnenburg and Supervising Producer Ben Balistreri, “Everything has a why.”Spoiler alert: It’s uncuttable. We learn about how this character that we love is coming to grips with her new life. Because, come on, it has to be an adjustment after spending your whole life locked in a tower.
Not only will you find your favorite familiar characters, but you’ll meet new ones, too. We sat down and had a Q&A with Chris Sonnenburg and Ben Balistreri, so I’ll give you a little more scoop on the how and why of Tangled: The Series and Tangled Before Ever After. These guys are super nice and a trip! Notice Pascal on my shoulder. He travels with Chris all the time and even has his own Follow Pascal Instagram account!
“What made you decide to continue with Rapunzel and her story?”
Chris – “For me it really kind of came down to, I had two daughters at the time that are now 15 and 17. And there just seemed to be this idea… just looking at the story, there was this moment at the end of the movie where they meet and they fall in love and then there’s the short, Tangled: Ever After, where they get married. And just looking at the two of those moments I was wondering well, what happened? Did they get to know each other a little bit more? Like what happened in between that time?… And it started to become what do I have to say about this time in these people’s lives, and young people’s lives about getting to know yourself, getting to know the people in your lives, getting to understand your relationship with your parents? And if the kids that had seen the movie in 2010 were maybe 10 at the time or eight, then they’re probably getting to be about 17 years old and they might want to know how is this character that I loved so much as a kid coming to grips with this part of her life? And that was kind of for me the in of why to tell the story and how to tell the story.”
Plus Est En Vous
That is a phrase on a journal that Rapunzel’s mother gives to her write down her adventures. I know! We learn more about her mother! Plus est en vous means,“There is more in you.” Chris Sonnenburg explains why he chose this phrase and what it means to him.
“Right when we were breaking the story, [my older daughter Arianna] had gone on this trip to Mexico with a huge group of people to build houses for kids in Mexico. She had just turned 14, and she was going on this big trip. I didn’t know if she was ready for it. I didn’t know if I was ready for it. My wife and I would [ask] is she old enough to go by herself? And there seemed to be this questioning of “Is she prepared for this? She’s our little baby. Is she ready for this life of traveling beyond the borders and all this huge life excitement?’ They had given her these journals to take notes and get to know people. And when she had come back the little journal was completely covered in drawings of the little girls that she met and how she learned how to put a hinge on a door and she learned how to do all this fun stuff and she dropped her phone in water and…She kept all these drawings of her journey. And I was like that’s what Rapunzel would do.
Then the added element of the inscription came very much from the movie. Glenn Keane, who created the character of Rapunzel for the film, had come and I was talking to him about what we wanted to do with the show and he had done this quick drawing for me – that’s going to encourage me for years as we go into the show. And he had done this picture, this beautiful drawing of Rapunzel and on it he wrote, ‘Plus est en vous,’ and I was like what is that? In the movie, we had this phrase that we were using just in the story rooms. At the end of the movie all of her magic is gone but she squeezes out one last drop of magic out of her. And he said the meaning behind that is that we all have more in us, that we can push through it. When you feel like you’re at the end of your ropes, if you can’t give any more, push through and there’s always more inside of you. And I thought that was such a beautiful sentiment.
The phrase means there’s more in everybody. There’s more inside of Eugene. There’s more inside of Pascal. There’s more inside of Corona than everybody just sees on the surface. As we go into the season, there’s even tunnels underneath Corona. And even the tunnels have that thing; there’s more in Corona. We try and put that [phrase] into every aspect.”
Everything Has A Why
This was a recurring theme in the interview. They wanted to honor the original and be true to the character. It was such a pleasure learning about the whys. The storytelling is intentional, it comes from experiences. The qualities that Rapunzel possesses are exactly why she’s my favorite Disney Princess, and my girls ages 12 to 4, love her, too! My oldest still has a framed picture of Rapunzel and Flynn Rider hanging in her bedroom. That speaks to the timelessness of this character. Rapunzel’s also a bad-A, so there’s that.
I’m off to pop some popcorn and make treats to watch Tangled Before Ever After on the Disney Channel tonight with my family! See you there!
I was invited to attend the #BeOurGuestEvent in L.A. where transportation and accommodations were provided. All opinions about Rapunzel and her badassery are my own.