Guess what? They are. Just not in their princess movies.
I'm here to talk to you today about Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure, also known as Tangled: The Series before the name got changed.
Oh, my gosh. I just found and watched this show over the last couple of weeks. It's a continuation of the movie, going into what happens after "happily ever after." I heard it was good, and I was bored, so I gave it a shot. I was expecting something cute and fun, and sure, I got that. It's based on Tangled, after all. But I was not expected how quality this show is.
Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure is doing everything I've been upset that Disney's latest princess movies haven't. It's definitely marketed to kids, and I wouldn't call this show "dark" (though it has its moments), but there are some complicated and serious discussions in the show.
For example, in one episode Rapunzel is left in charge of the kingdom and everything goes wrong. Her parents go missing, a blizzard strikes Corona and evacuation may be needed, and Rapunzel's friend comes to beg her to leave the kingdom's problems and help him. And there's no easy solution. There's no simple dichotomy like fear=bad/love=good, or a simple solution to fixing everything. There is no false choice: if Rapunzel chooses to do one thing, she can't do the other. If she stays to help the kingdom, she can't help her friend. If she evacuates the island, she still might not save the kingdom.
(Kid's show, right?)
And, there are real, serious consequences for her choice.
Because it's a kid's show, the episode works out. But the consequences of her choices last through the rest of the season, and maybe even through the rest of the series (it's only on its second season, so there's a lot left to be written).
YES! This is the kind of writing I've been looking for! I want to see Disney give us well-written stories with complicated problems that don't always have a clean, easy solution.
I want to see interesting villains that are threatening but complex, and guess what? This show has that too. No more details because this is a part of the show I will not spoil, but I will say that I am very pleased with how this show handled the villain. It's so much better than the so-called villains in Moana and Frozen.
Characters are well-written and likeable; the first episode is mostly filler episodes, but I didn't mind because I enjoyed the characters. The thugs from the movie are still around, and they've added a bunch of new characters, some of which are, for me, new favorites. The king and queen are bigger characters in the show, as well, and you get a lot of material about what it means to them to have their daughter back after 18 years. We also get more backstory on some of the other characters, like Pascal and, of course, Flynn Rider/Eugene Fitzherbert. And let me tell you, that boy has a past.
As for the plot itself, there's a strong mystery element that develops and evolves over the show. Personally, I like it and I find it super-interesting and I look forward to what the writers do next. Myth and fairy tale elements are strong, of course, and that also makes me very happy. And, well, there is some beautiful romance...
Writing is great. Well done, very well done. But the animation is also cute:
Kind of a hand-painted feel, right? I've missed this kind of animation.
Also, the voice actors are the same as the movie, and the music is done by Alan Menken. Alan Menken, the king of Disney songwriters. On top of that, the actors can ALL sing. So many of them are from Broadway. One new character is voiced by Jeremy Jordan, and another by the man who played the original Genie in Aladdin on Broadway (who also won a Tony for that role).
The music is amazing. Seriously, this show almost has no right to have music this good. But I'm not complaining!
All in all, this is a great show! Light, fun, and innocent, but not afraid to deal with some serious problems and situations where there isn't an easy way out of the problem. Not afraid to give the characters consequences for their actions that haunt them for a while. And it's all done well, all quality. I'm just very pleased with this show and will keep watching it.
As for me, writing is going well. I'm deep into edits, which is fun because I get to juggle three marked-ups drafts at once while I alter my own (fourth) draft. But I'm looking forward to the final product!