January 8, 2011

“TANGLED” Takes Adventure to New Lengths

With its incredible cast of appealing human and animal characters, fantastic settings, and spectacular visual effects, Walt Disney Animation Studios' “Tangled” is a contemporary comedy for audiences of all ages that also represents a technical and artistic milestone for Disney and for the art of computer animation.

“Audiences may think they know what to expect from a film featuring Rapunzel,” says co-director Nathan Greno, “but we flipped it on its head to make a movie that’s relevant, fresh and different. My co-director Byron Howard and I both love the classic Disney films, and we wanted to go back to this cool, retro look from the fifties, and mix it with contemporary storytelling, pacing, action and humor. This puts a whole new layer on this kind of story.”

Howard adds, “The scope of this movie is gigantic—with horse chases and sword fights, prison breaks and floods. The story gave us a chance to take modern-day moviemaking sensibilities and pump it into a classic story.”

The story of Rapunzel has long fascinated the master storytellers at Disney; the story has been in development since the 1940s under Walt Disney himself. Directors Byron Howard and Nathan Greno helped steer “Tangled” to the big screen.

Howard recalls, “Nathan was working on the story before we became the directors, and he saw a real spark in Rapunzel that was starting to come out. That grew into our initial conversation about the movie. We asked ourselves, ‘Who is this character, and how quickly can we get her out of the tower?’ We knew that she had to propel the whole story, and if she’s stuck in this room for the whole show, we’re not going to get anywhere. That really affected what we needed her character to be.”

“We wanted to make her a more dynamic character, and that meant having someone else to balance her out,” adds Greno. “She needed someone to be her foil and equal—a character who could hold his own against this quirky, intelligent girl. She’s very smart, but she’s not worldly. She has this limited world view and doesn’t really know what’s out there. She knows she wants to see those floating lights and figure out what they are. That’s where Flynn Rider comes in. He’s the worldly, sharp guy who’s been around the block a few times and knows how the world works. Throughout the film, they both fill in what’s missing in each other.”

“Nathan and Byron had a very clear notion of what they wanted to do with the story from the very beginning,” adds screenwriter Dan Fogelman. “They wanted to tell a classic Disney story in a completely new way that would fit the style of CG animation. This meant pushing the comedy and the characters into a kind of 21st-century sensibility while still keeping many of the elements that audiences have always loved about Disney films. The key was always finding the right balance.

Opening soon across the Philippines, “Tangled” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International.

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