Remember Tangled? That wonderful animated Disney classic about Rapunzel that came out ten years ago? Chances are you do and that you enjoyed it. Ever wondered what happens to Rapunzel and Eugene? Yeah me too. If only there was some sort of continuation which delved into new adventures and explored their characters more, right? Oh, wait, there is.
In 2017, Disney Channel released the sequel to Tangled titled Tangled: Before Ever After. This used gorgeous, 2D animation and it served as a pilot to Tangled: The Series. The series revolves around Rapunzel who after touching some mysterious rocks, gets her magical locks back. Now, she along with the dashing Eugene and newcomer Cassandra will embark on many adventures to uncover the secrets behind these rocks. While doing so we are treated to brilliant twists and turns and some epic musical numbers (conjured up by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater who worked on the first movie). If that alone didn’t sell you on why you should watch the show, the reasons below will!
As someone who loves musicals, this show speaks to my dramatic Broadway-loving self with musical numbers that are simply amazing. It’s like it was tailor-made for me, I’m not even joking. What’s astonishing to me though, is how with every new song, it gets better. Menken and Slater produce some truly emotionally powerful music and the incredibly talented cast does it justice by executing it to perfection. As we know by now, Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi are going to deliver and in fact, they have a couple special duets and solos. However, when it comes to the musical numbers, the best belong to newcomers Varian and Cassandra who are truly complex characters with conflict and great writing which is already amazing but with musical numbers, what more could you ask for? Jeremy Jordan and Eden Espinosa (who are both Broadway-trained) exude passion and emotion in such powerful ways with their musical numbers. There is a duet with the two of them which made me geek out more than it should have. Words cannot describe how amazing it is.
Rapunzel and Eugene might have had a pretty happy ending in Tangled but their emotional growth and progressive relationship make for some excellent character building. Their relationship is mature and so healthy, they confide in each other and wait for each other. It’s such a great example for young kids to see and learn from. We get to learn more about Eugene and his backstory as a young thief. His best-friend Lance is a loveable and wholesome guy and I love their antics. We even get a Baby Pascal episode, yes you read it right, A BABY PASCAL EPISODE! As for Rapunzel, we see her gradually become more mature and less naive and be more independent. Again though the stars of the show for me (even though I love everyone equally don’t come at me) are Varian and Cassandra. They have the most interesting arcs and unlike in a movie, the show has multiple opportunities to flesh their inner conflicts out and spread tons of foreshadowing seeds throughout to make the twists and turns earned and more emotionally powerful.
You didn’t think that the lore doesn’t go beyond a magical flower, magical hair and a song which can reverse time did you? If so, prepare to have your mind blown because Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure reinvents and adds a ton to the lore and mythology. You see, Rapunzel wielded the power of the Sundrop which has the power to heal and reverse time (with the right incantation), in the show we discover that the Sundrop has a counterpart called the Moonstone which grants the power of destruction with the indestructible rocks. Along with these, there are new incantations which grant their users different powers. It’s very detailed and it’s handled very well. Outside of all of this, we get to see new cities and islands (yes, there’s an Island Arc and the outfits are amazing). Mother Gothel, despite being, you know… dead, still has a lot to do in this show even though it’s a sequel. She becomes even more sinister, believe it or not.
When you think about great sequels, you think of movies which are darker and expand the world established by the preceding movie. A great example of this is How To Train Your Dragon 2. The entire story Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure has to offer would have never been executed as wonderfully if it were done as a cinematic sequel. The show brings us new fan-favourite characters Varian and Cassandra whose arcs work perfectly in this format since we get to know them before they go on a different path than our heroes. The fact that we have a song where a past villain is trying to talk the current villain out of being the antagonist is brilliant. It develops the characters and it makes for a damn good broadway-esque musical number. Rapunzel and Eugene’s happily ever after gets an incredibly satisfying pay-off at the end of the series with a scene which exudes love and passion like no other Disney couple has. I couldn’t have imagined a better sequel for Tangled and I am incredibly grateful for this show.
Support Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure by watching it on Disney+ or DisneyNOW