Ever wonder what happened in between the time Repunzel is reunited with her family and the time she marries Eugene? Well, if you did, Tangled: Before Ever After will allow us to see for ourselves. While in LA, we sat down and chatted with Chris Sonnenburg and Ben Balistreri to talk about the new series.
Here’s what they had to say…
What made you decide to continue with Rapunzel and her story?
Chris: For me, it came down to, I have two daughters, and at the time they were 14 and 12 are now 15 and 17. And there just seem to be this idea, that there was this moment at the end of the movie where they meet, right, 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 like well, what happened? Did they get to know each other a little bit more? Like what happened in between that time. And then there’s this great line at the end of the movie where Eugene Fitzherbert, says after years of asking and asking I finally said yes. There’s a kind of fun line that he says there which you might be kind of joking about but I also think maybe there was some time in between there.
It started to become like 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? If the kids that had seen the movie in 2010 were maybe ten at the time or eight then they’re probably getting to be about 17 years old, and they might want to know like how this character that I love so much as a kid coming to grips with this part of her life is? And that was kind of for me the in of why to tell the story and how to tell the story.
I love that Rapunzel is back to blonde. Why was that decision made?
Chris: Well, I mean, ultimately her name’s Rapunzel, right, long blonde hair. You know, if you’re going to tell a story about the Hulk you’re not going to tell like about a dog, right. You know, he’s got to be big and green. And I think Rapunzel has to be long blonde hair for it to just read as the character. But really for me, the trick about it and what ultimately was the trick for the filmmakers in the original movie was to give the hair a reason for being blonde and for being long and in our case, being uncuttable.
So, the big question that we always ask in the story was always why. Why do these things exist? Why are we telling the story? And, you know, her hair represents her personality. It’s bigger than life and bright. It’s long. It shines. It’s magical. It is pretty much who Rapunzel is. And so, and then the added layer of it, which is being unbreakable has its reason for being that we’re going to get into as we go along in the story. But it always should always go back to serving the purpose of why does it exist this way.
The design style is much different than it is in the movie. What was the inspiration for the design for the series?
Ben: So, one of the things that Chris and I both come from old-school traditional, 2-D Disney background. We both started a little over 20 years ago, and so just our passion for that feeling of like a good Disney traditional animated film I think drove us early on to be like hey man, we got an opportunity to push the side of it. And just from a bigger story point, we sat down, and we were like if this is Rapunzel telling her story, by the time this whole series is over, this should feel like Rapunzel told us her story. So, we really embraced the whole ideological side of doing a 2-D series
Why is the journal important?
Chris: …I’m very much fed by my daughters. My older daughter, Arianna, Queen Arianna I mean, I named the Queen after her. And the reason we named her after my daughter is because right when we were breaking the story and figuring out what everything was going to be, she had gone on this trip to Mexico with a huge group of people to build houses for people, kids in Mexico…And she went…and they had given her these journals to kind of take notes and get to know people and stuff.
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. She kept all these drawings of her journey. And I was like that’s what Rapunzel would do. She would keep a like she’s very creative. She’s very much a storyteller, and that’s how she would do it. So, we immediately said well, let’s give Rapunzel a journal that she can keep a record, she’s going to want to paint on the road.
Is there any special meaning behind that quote at the beginning? “Plus est en vous.” (“There’s more in you.” )
So, we gave her this journal, and 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. I said give me a drawing 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?
We had this phrase that we were using just in the story rooms of like you know, 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 reason behind that, the meaning behind that is that we all have more in us that we can push through it and he was telling me like 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 and I thought that the mother would give it to Rapunzel as like listen, everybody has these expectations of you of a princess, of a daughter, of a girlfriend. But there’s more to you than everybody else has expected of you and show the world what that is and keep a record of that in this journal. So, the phrase means there’s more in everybody. There’s more inside of Eugene and more inside of Pascal. There’s more inside of Corona than everybody just sees on the surface.
Apparently Pascal goes with them wherever they go and even has his own Instagram account, so we were honored to get a picture with him.
“Tangled: Before Ever After” premieres tonight, March 10th at (8/7c).
Be sure the watch that and then tune into the “Tangled: The Series” to see all of their adventures starting Friday, March 24th (7:30/6:30c).
“Tangled: The Series,” the visually vibrant animated adventure/comedy series that follows Rapunzel as she acquaints herself with her parents, her kingdom and the people of Corona.