Exclusive Q&A with Tangled Producers and Sneak Peek at Tangled Before Ever After
Tangled fans are in for an absolute treat with the new Disney Channel original movie Tangled Before Ever After and the new Tangled Series. During the #BeOurGuestEvent we had the opportunity to screen the original movie and chat with Executive Producer/Supervising Director Chris Sonnenburg and Supervising Producer Ben Balistreri. The movie answers questions for fans about what happens after Rapunzel reunites with her family. How she and Eugene’s relationship grows, and so much more.
TANGLED: THE SERIES – “Tangled Before Ever After” – Set between the stories told in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ acclaimed film “Tangled” and its short film “Tangled Ever After,” the Disney Channel Original Movie “Tangled Before Ever After” makes its debut on FRIDAY, MARCH 10 (8:00 p.m., ET) leading to the highly-anticipated premiere of “Tangled: The Series” on FRIDAY, MARCH 24 (7:30 p.m. ET). (Disney Channel)
After our screening of the movie, we had the opportunity to sit down with the producers to talk about the movie and the upcoming series. The first question, of course, was the reason they choose to continue with Rapunzel’s story.
CHRIS SONNENBURG : For me it really kind of came down to 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 and years of asking and asking she finally said yes. You know, there’s a kind of fun line that he says there which you might be kind of you know, joking about but I also think maybe there was some time in between there.
And 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? 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 like how is this character that I love 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.
We were wondering about where the producers found inspiration for the movie and the series when writing the stories. Chris shared with us how his family helps provide inspiration.
You know, in any kind of story specially, telling stories the way Disney always tells stories, there’s such a wonderful truth to the stories and there’s always magic and excitement and kind of like the fairy-tale aspect of our stories. But what really is the driving force between any Disney, hopefully, the best Disney stories is the truth of them, right.
So, when we’re telling these stories, of course we‘re going to have the long hair and the mythology and the magic and what’s going to be happening in the fun part of it. But if we don’t tell that heart story and that real story about these real characters, then we’re missing our opportunity. So, whenever I go home and my daughters are telling me about their friends and boys they’re dealing with and they’re arguing with me about something and my wife and I are talking disagreeing about how to do something with them, those are the things that hopefully we’re pouring into the stories that the kids are going to have fun watching the magic but the parents are going to, and hopefully the older kids and even all the kids will have a better view into, into the stories, the emotional sides of it.
You may have noticed that Rapunzel’s long hair is back again in the new Disney Channel original movie. Of course we wanted to know the reason for bringing back the golden locks, and how will they change back to the short brown bob that she married Eugene with in the Tangled short.
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 it 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 kind of 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.
Chris on how Rapunzel hair becomes short again towards her wedding to Eugene.
It’s in the journal that we made with Claire. We know exactly how everything is going to happen. And again not to make too small a point on it, everything exists for a very specific reason in our show. And the reason we set things up is to pay them off. So, yeah, we know exactly how that is going to happen. Now, there’s going to be a lot of surprises for us as, you know, kind of as we wander through it but the big major things that happen throughout the show we have a very good understanding of what those are going to be.
We had a blast taking photos with Pascal after the interviews, during the chat though we asked Chris about him carrying Pascal around with him. Be sure to follow Pascal on Instagram to see all the people he meets.
Chris S: Oh, he’s right here. He’ll will get a picture with everybody. So, I have an Instagram account, follow Pascal. So, you can either go to follow Pascal on Instagram or hashtag follow Pascal if you get a picture of him, where we take him, this guy, he’s in my bag right now. He’ll come out in a second. But he goes with us to all of the records and all of the events that we do with you guys. He’s been there with every single celebrity that we get for the show. And as those characters come up during that week I’ll put up the picture that we had of whatever their special guest of the week is. So, you’ll be able to see Pascal. And I only have one and he goes with me everywhere and you’ll be able to see the fun things that different celebrities have done with him.
There’s a scene in the movie where Rapunzel’s mother presents her with two journals. One she had used and filled with all sorts of adventures and an empty one with the inscription – Plus est en vous – we wanted to know the story behind that idea.
CHRIS SONNENBURG : Sure, yeah, it’s two things. Number one, again, I’m very much fed by my daughters. My my older daughter, Arianna, Queen Arianna I named to 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 again, she was 14 and had just turned 14, and she was going on this big trip. And she went and she had come back 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 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. 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 record of her travel’s because she’s going to want to paint on the road.
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 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?
And he says well, in the movie, 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.
Be sure to tune in to Disney Channel on Friday March 10th at 8 PM/ET for the premiere of Tangled Before Ever After. Check out the first five minutes below:
About Tangled The Series:
TANGLED – “Tangled,” an animated series for kids, tween and families, based on Walt Disney Animation Studios’ acclaimed feature film, has begun production with Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi reprising their roles as Rapunzel and Eugene (also known as Flynn Rider). The series will premiere in FRIDAY, MARCH 24 (7:30 p.m. ET) on Disney Channels around the world.
I absolutely loved the original movie Tangled Before Ever After. I’m excited for my daughter to see it and develop a sense of adventure like Rapunzel. It answers so many questions for fans of the movie and we get to see characters we’ve fallen in love with over the course of the film and the short. There’s even a few new characters to get to know and love, so I think it’s going to be a hit with anyone who enjoyed the movie and the short.
Disclosure: Thanks to Disney & ABC Studios for providing me with an expenses paid trip to attend the #BeOurGuestEvent. Any opinions expressed are my own. Photos and some content were provided by Disney.