Disney’s 50th animated feature was a great movie but there are probably a few things you didn’t know about it
Disney’s previous animated feature The Princess and the Frog was a disappointment at the box office despite being popular with critics and audiences alike. Disney felt that the film’s princess theme discouraged young boys from seeing it. In an attempt to market the film to a broader audience, Disney changed the title of the film from Rapunzel to Tangled, and promoted it as a comedic adventure.
Tangled was the first Disney “princess” film to receive a PG rating from the MPAA. All other “princess” films by Disney had received a G rating
In the opening scenes you see baby Rapunzel in her cradle staring up at a baby mobile. In a little bit of foreshadowing, you see several items hanging from the mobile that come into play later in the story, namely a chameleon (her pet Pascal), a rubber ducky (The Snuggly Duckling that Flynn takes her to), a cupid (also from the Snuggly Duckling), a horse (Maximus) and a blue bird (that flies around Rapunzel when she first leaves the tower).
According to animator Glen Keane, Tangled’s visual style (a three-dimensional painting) was greatly inspired by the Romantic painting “The Swing”, by the French rococo artist Jean-Honoré Fragonard: “A fairy tale world has to feel romantic and lush, very painterly.” For a clear idea of what was intended, the animators duplicated the picture in 3D to achieve a shot containing depth and dimensions. “The Swing” makes an appearance in Frozen during Anna’s “For The First Time In Forever” song.
Rapunzel’s parents never talk during the entire movie
It’s been calculated that Rapunzel’s hair weighs around 10.4 pounds. Special software was created to animate the 70 feet of hair. If all the hairs on Rapunzel’s head were laid end-to-end, it would be 1,820 miles long.
All around Rapunzel’s house there are symbols from other Disney movies; Sleeping Beauty’s spinning wheel, Snow White’s apple, a rose and a wardrobe that looks like Madame Armoire from Beauty and the Beast, a sea shell from The Little Mermaid and Cinderella’s slipper
Mother Gothel’s Dress is from the Renaissance, which is centuries before the time period of the film (which is set in the 1780s). This is an effort to emphasize how Rapunzel and Gothel don’t match up and also how long Gothel had been living.
According to the animators, Flynn Rider is meant to be 26 years old. This is 8 years older than Rapunzel, and is the largest age gap between any Disney couple.
The character design of Flynn came from a process which was called the “hot man meeting” where a meeting was set up for all the female employees in the studio in one room and asked them for their opinions on various features such as eye color, hair color, style, and body type. Video footage showed concept art and photos of various male celebrities, including Johnny Depp, Hugh Jackman, Brad Pitt, David Beckham and Gene Kelly on the walls of the room.
During the “I Have A Dream” scene at The Snuggly Duckling, you can spot Pinocchio in the rafters as well as Pumbaa from The Lion King and Louis from The Princess and the Frog (one of the puppets used later in the song). It can be inferred that they’re all involved in this scene due to them all having dreams (Pinocchio=real boy, Pumbaa=accepted despite bad gas, Louis=jazz musician).
The song that activates the power of the magic flower is only sung the whole way through once, when Rapunzel heals Flynn’s hand. All other times the song is only partially sung.
For the scene in which Rapunzel enters the marketplace, animators were inspired by entrances of Walt Disney World and Disney Land. Rapunzel’s excitement towards all the music and people is reminiscent of children at the parks.
In the montage at the kingdom there is a scene where Rapunzel and Flynn go to the library. You can see books for other Disney movies like The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Sleeping Beauty.
When Rapunzel looks at the mosaic of herself in the marketplace, the camera cuts from her eyes to the tile picture and, very briefly, there is a clarinet riff that is based on the song “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want” by The Smiths. This is a copy of the scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off where Cameron is at the art gallery staring at George Seurat’s pointillist painting “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte”. Just after that, Rapunzel looks at the clarinet player walking behind her and smiles.
The dance scene along with the lantern scene called for a crowd of 3,000 people which is the largest crowd the studio has ever created for a CG feature
There were over 45,000 lanterns during the “I See The Light” sequence
The descending lantern that Rapunzel lifts back skyward was her parents’. It was the only one with the royal symbol.
The fog that creeps in around Mother Gothel and Rapunzel at the campsite is meant to represent the emotional effect of Gothel clouding Rapunzel’s mind and making her doubt herself.