Disney has a long track record of taking classic fairy tales and turning them into something that can be enjoyed by a modern audience. Tangled, released in 2010 and based on the classic German fairy tale Rapunzel, was no exception.
It deviated from the original in that it gave Rapunzel more agency in her own story, as well as adorable, non-verbal animal sidekicks. Again, that’s something Disney is a master of. The fan-favorite movie was followed up in 2017 with a Disney Channel series called Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure, a series that had some incredible positives and negatives.
10 DON’T LOVE: Aimed At Kids
In addition to adapting fairy tales and making cute animal characters, Disney is normally quite good at making animated series that appeals to both adults and kids. This was definitely true of Tangled, a movie that was actually Disney’s 50th animated film. But with the follow-up TV series, they kind of missed the mark on this one. Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure is good but it’s definitely aimed at a much younger audience. While there are some adults who would (and did) enjoy it, the series did not appeal to as wide an audience as the movie it was based on.
9 LOVE: Brought Back Original Film Voice Cast
Disney often translates their animated features into animated TV series. Big Hero Six, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Hercules and dozens more have all made the jump. But they don’t always make the switch with the same voice cast as the original film.
In the case of Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure, that was not the case. Mandy Moore, the voice of Rapunzel, and Zachary Levi, the voice of Eugene, both returned to lend their talents to the series’ main characters. For any fans of the movie, this lent a feeling of authenticity to the series it otherwise would not have had.
8 DON’T LOVE: Plot Deviates Greatly From The Fairy Tale
In this day and age of film making that features a virtually non-stop stream of movies adapted from other media forms, it should come as no surprise when something deviates from the course material. Tangled certainly had to, as it only had a short fairy tale to work from in developing a feature-length animated film. Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure was an even bigger issue in that regard. There are 60 episodes over three seasons, meaning that the creators behind it had to get extremely liberal with the source material for stories.
7 LOVE: Maintains The Fun
The key to the popularity of Tangled is that it’s a genuinely fun movie to watch. On their own, both Rapunzel and Eugene are fantastic characters but together they have undeniably delightful chemistry. Add into that sidekicks like Maximus the horse and Pascal the chameleon, and the vibe is only enhanced further.
That whimsical attitude towards storytelling is maintained in the TV series quite well. This is due in large part to the smart decision to bring the same voice talent back to the main characters.
6 DON’T LOVE: The Overbearing King Frederick
At the core of Rapunzel’s story in this world was her kidnapping by Gothel, a vain woman who sought Rapunzel’s magical hair to stay young and beautiful. But by the end of Tangled, a grown up Rapunzel returned to her birth parents, Queen Arianna and King Frederick of Corona. Understandably, they were quite happy to be reunited with their daughter and were quite protective of her, the King in particular. But King Frederick was almost absurdly overprotective of her, a ridiculously overused and tired character trait in fathers with daughters in a variety of media.
5 LOVE: Tangled: Before Ever After
To launch their new animated series, the Disney Channel premiered an original movie called Tangled: Before Ever After. It served as a pilot for the upcoming Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure. The movie debuted on March 10, 2017 and was set six months after the events of Tangled.
In broad strokes, Before Ever After focuses on Rapunzel adjusting to her new, and very different, life while investigating why her magical hair had returned. It was well received and gave the TV series solid ground to start from.
4 DON’T LOVE: Didn’t Need To Be Tangled
As previously mentioned, the story of Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure deviates incredibly from the classic German fairy tale it’s based on. Frankly, it deviates greatly from the animated movie it’s based on. It takes a much more traditional good versus evil approach. That is certainly there in the story and movie but it’s more overt in the TV series, an arc more similar to something you might see in Adventure Time. The story was decent but it didn’t have to be Tangled to work. Really, any variety of characters, both new and existing, would have worked in this series.
3 LOVE: An Interesting Choice In Story
All of that being said about the story, the creators at least made some really interesting choices. To sustain 60 episodes, you need an ongoing arc to work with, and you need to get creative with the source material. That’s especially difficult when you don’t have access to the main villain from the first movie.
Delving into the power behind Rapunzel’s hair made for good TV, as did delving into Pascal’s origins. That little chameleon is an incredibly interesting character for someone with no lines.
2 DON’T LOVE: The Evil Demon
The main villain of Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure is Zhan Tiri, an otherworldly demon searching for ancient power. Half of that power is what makes Rapunzel’s hair so magical. Like the story, Tiri is more reminiscent of something you’d find in Adventure Time and is a huge departure from what was laid out in the 2010 film. It seems like a threat could have been created that fit better into the established world. Keeping all of that in mind, at least Tiri was a more threatening villain than Gothel was.
1 LOVE: Pascal And Maximus
Maximus was originally a police horse on the hunt for Eugene until they overcame their differences and became friends. When locked in Gothel’s tower, Pascal the chameleon was Rapunzel’s only friend and confidant, a relationship that continued throughout the series. Both Maximus and Pascal were absolute scene stealers throughout Tangled, a trend that was maintained in Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure. Every great Disney story needs cute, funny animal friends, and these are two of the best.
Disney did some great work with Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure, but it's not exactly perfect. Here are the best and worst things about it.