January 27, 2011

Zachary Levo Provides Voice of Dashing Bandit in "Tangled" (Opens Feb 2)

Ultra-confident bandit Flynn Rider is his own biggest fan, and he has long relied on his wit, charm and good looks to get out of even the stickiest situation. Zachary Levi (TV's “Chuck,” “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel”) provides the voice of Flynn in Walt Disney Animation Studios' enchanting comedy adventure “Tangled.”

Flynn is a thief looking for the one last, big score that will allow him to finally live the life he’s always dreamed of. He's never been closer to having it all when he meets Rapunzel (voice of Mandy Moore), an odd girl with ridiculously long hair. An unlikely alliance with this girl from the tower sends Flynn on the adventure of a lifetime. “He’s a dashing bandit,” says Levi, “but I like how they turned it on its head—he’s a selfish thief while at the same time being a very charming dude. Comedy plays a huge part in this film, which is so much fun.”

Levi says, “I have always been a huge fan of animation and have genuinely wanted to do a voice for Disney my whole life. Donald Duck was my favorite and I was convinced at one point in my life that I would try and get a job talking like him. There’s a level of energy that you have to bring to the recording process, and you really have to just let loose and put a lot of emotion into what you’re doing. I love that this film is such a great comedy adventure that takes you through a whole world with all kinds of different landscapes and characters. There are chases and fights and a little bit of magic. Mostly, there’s a real connection between Rapunzel and Flynn, some great one-liners and lots of heart, which makes the movie so real and memorable.”

“When Zac came in to record, he immediately understood who the character was,” says co-director Nathan Greno. “He was this likeable swashbuckling thief and he could really pull it off. Zac really helped us find the character. Once you’ve got the character’s voice going, you know exactly what to do with him in the next sequence. He was so effortlessly funny and clever, and it was exactly what we needed for Flynn. The character is kind of a bad boy, and yet you feel like you want to hang out with him. We were a little bit nervous when it came time to ask if he could sing, but he blew us away with his singing performance.”

Asked how does Disney turn well-known fairytale of Rapunzel upside down, Levi explains, “It’s a really cool—I hate using words like `hip' and `modern'—I’ll say relevant take on an old classic. I like how they turned it on its head a little bit. I don’t believe that Flynn was a part of the original story, but that’s one of the improvements. And Flynn helps get Rapunzel out of that tower so they can go on this really dynamic journey together.

“It’s not about a damsel in distress who needs to be saved,” continues Levi. “It’s about a young woman who has dreams and aspirations and needs a partner in crime to help facilitate that throughout the course of the film. So you get all kinds of adventure with someone who’s as unrefined as Flynn is; he’s a thief. They get into a lot of trouble. There’s a lot of people chasing them for different reasons. Flynn can’t help but put his foot in his mouth over and over and over again. And yet, because of Rapunzel’s goodness, she can see past all that and still see the good guy that’s there, and that helps him change a lot too. Plus, there are near-death escapes at least every ten minutes, great animal characters that bring so much life and comedy to the film, swash-buckling, and swinging from either hair or ropes or vines or what have you. There are great chases, great fights and battles. And it’s in 3D. So all of your thugs and ruffians are just jumping off the screen at you.”

Opening across the Philippines on Feb. 2 in Digital 3D and regular cinemas, “Tangled” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International.

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