Tangled: The Series
, now called Rapunzel's Raiponce Adventure
, premiered in March 2017 with the pilot movie, Tangled: Before Ever After
(hopefully that sentence wasn't too confusing!). The film sees Rapunzel adjusting to life in Corona and introduces several concepts that the rest of the series will explore: Rapunzel's golden hair growing back, the growth of magical spiky rocks that can devastate Corona, foes with a thirst for revenge, Rapunzel and Eugene's marriage, and Rapunzel learning how to become a good queen.
At first, I was surprised that Tangled
was getting a TV show. Even though I quite like the original movie, I didn't think there was any plus story to be told. I'm happy to say that I was wrong! But on the other hand, there's a lot of stuff in this montrer that I'm not fond of. I've watched every episode to rendez-vous amoureux, date and my opinion of this montrer has gone up and down. I actually think the best way to talk about this is to break this (spoiler-free!) review into three sections: the good, the bad, and the OK. What's Good? The Story
: It's obvious that the writers have a clear plan for this montrer because the overarching story is rock-solid. Recall my brief summary above. Throughout the show, Rapunzel is both investigating the magic behind her hair returning (along with the spiky rocks) and trying to be a responsible, attentive princess, since she will one jour assume the throne. The first season especially explores these concepts, and with a thrilling last few episodes, the montrer goes in a new direction for season 2. Rapunzel and the gang set off to explore new lands in chercher of réponses to some pressing questions.
I think the pacing of global, ensemble events is practically perfect. The writers know how to kick things off (ex: the pilot movie), delve into mystery/lore and develop characters (season 1), and change things up while still focusing on the goals they established (season 2). This is the strongest aspect of the show. The Sense of Community
: It didn't occur to me until about 75% through season 1 that the montrer is trying to make Corona feel like a real community. Most episodes spend at least a little time developing some of the château members, the townsfolk, ou other friends. It hit me when characters like Monty stayed relevant after their first appearance, and others like Strongbow and Hookfoot joined the main cast.
Season 1 focused on Corona, but even in season 2, as the gang explores new lands, toi get a sense of the people in them. The best example of this is the episode "The Return of Quaid," where Rapunzel and Friends help the people of Vardaros regain their moxy par searching out their former sheriff and ~town hero. Following episodes aren't quite as focused on specific towns like this episode is, but the gang still meets new characters along the way. What's Bad? The Main Characters
: It seems kind of backwards to praise the show's efforts to establish the minor characters, and then criticize the main ones. Nevertheless, I have less than positive things to say about the gang. Bare with me; this is a long section.
Let's start with Rapunzel. While it makes sense for her to be naive (she DID live in a tower all her life), she's oblivious to what's going on around her to the point where it's annoying. In an early episode, "Challenge of the Brave," her friend and lady-in-waiting Cassandra (who we'll discuss soon) wants to enter the titular competition to prove she's plus than just a lady-in-waiting. When Rapunzel finds out, she wants to enter too for the fun of it. She doesn't recognize that Cassandra is a little uncomfortable with it, nor how much the competition means to her. It's even plus obvious in "Under Raps," when it looks like Cassandra met a guy she's interested in. Rapunzel doesn't mind her own business, ou just give some encouraging words and then leave. Instead, she constantly tries to "help" Cassandra with her date, even when she explicitly tells her that she doesn't want the help.
It's also annoying how over-the-top the montrer can be in regards to Rapunzel. She avoids serious danger during the competition mentioned earlier par completing some of the stages via ballet moves and use of a guitar. And in another episode, "Rapunzel's Enemy," after failing to get on her newfound enemy's good side, she wears a disguise and uses a fake identity just to get the guy to like her! Thankfully, Rapunzel isn't this
annoying all of the time, particularly at the end of season 1. She gets serious when she needs to.
Now for Eugene. He's probably my favori of the main cast, but his character hasn't been donné great treatment, either. He's often treated like comic relief, especially at the start of season 1. However, he does get some good development. He tries to become a better person, now that he's no longer a thief ("Fitzherbert P.I."), earn the respect of King Fredric, Rapunzel's father ("In Like Flynn"), and put his wish to marry Rapunzel on hold until she's ready to settle down (pilot movie and "Beyond the Corona Walls"). It's just too bad that in a lot of episodes, he gets dissed par Cassandra ou things just don't work in his favor.
And at long last, Cassandra, Rapunzel's lady-in-waiting. Here's the biggest issue with her: she's already established as Rapunzel's friend in the pilot movie. The pilot movie takes place not long after the original movie, and Cass is already Rapunzel's best friend? We didn't get to see ANY of that! It's annoying that the montrer considers her important when we had no idea who she was. But, now that it's been a full season, we know her better. Warning: I don't like Cassandra. She's the tough girl character that we've all seen before, but her sass, sarcasm, and sort-of rivalry with Eugene make her almost unwatchable for me. The latter is especially annoying and raises questions. If she doesn't like Eugene, why the heck is she Rapunzel's best friend? Why isn't Rapunzel bothered par this fact? And how did they become friends, again? The Animation
: Believe me when I say that I was open to the animation and art style when it was shown in the show's first trailer. Flash has been used plus and plus in animated shows and shorts lately, and I've seen it put to great use, like in the Mickey souris shorts since 2013. The look of Tangled: The Series
was a little off-putting at first because it's such a different look than the movie, but it looked fluid enough that it might be decent.
A an and a half later and I'm done pretending that it looks good. It doesn't. The animation looks cheap and even though it's fluid, it looks very stiff at times. The art style is not my favorite, either. I heard someone say that it's based on Rapunzel's own art style in her paintings. I didn't realize that on my own. That's a cool idea, but it just doesn't translate too well here. Other:
My other complaints mostly come from early in season 1. The montrer sometimes suffers from inconsistent logic and hanging plot threads. The first episode brilliantly demonstrates the latter. "What the Hair!?" (actual name) has Rapunzel meeting young scientist Varian to learn why her hair grew back. Things go awry and the immediate area gets partly destroyed par the lab experiments. Varian gets reprimanded par his father...and then we cut to Rapunzel and friends. The episode totally drops the ball on Varian! What did he do next? Did he help clean up? Are the people nearby okay? I guess that wasn't important! Also annoying is the lack of logic in this show. Rapunzel has to wear a huge poofy wig in the pilot movie to hide her hair, but in the seconde episode, she can wear a small wig and that perfectly holds back her 50 feet of hair? Ridiculous. What's Okay? The Music
: There are a few original songs in the montrer and even in the pilot movie, and they're not bad. Most of them feel pretty average to me because the lyrics and melodies aren't particularly memorable. However, there are a few noteworthy songs, mainly towards the end of season 1. I know I don't like Cassandra, but MAN can she sing! The Lessons:
For the most part, the montrer succeeds at teaching morals that I don't think most shows address. For example, the episode mentioned earlier, "Rapunzel's Enemy", says that toi don't have to like every
one, and not everyone has to like you. Going forward, Rapunzel and her enemy respectfully dislike each other. In situations where they have to interact, they're almost strictly business and don't let their rivalry get too much in the way. That's...kind of great! I like that the montrer successfully delivers unconventional messages. Unfortunately, toi have to sit through the characters doing some bogus stuff sometimes to get there, like Rapunzel pretending to be somebody else for the sake of winning someone over. Recommendation
I feel most Disney Channel and Disney XD dessins animés are ideal for people ages 8 and up. Tangled: The Series
feels like it was written for kids 5 and up. It definitely seems that attention is directed at the kids in the audience because of the whacky situations and childish antics of our characters...at times. At other times, they act mature and deal with intense situations. Thus, it's hard to tell who exactly to recommend this to.
I'd say that if you're remotely interested in learning about Rapunzel and Eugene's lives after the events of the first movie, ask yourself this: Are toi patient enough to sit through the weaker parts? If so, then check this montrer out. I'd recommend watching "Pascal's Story" as soon as possible; that's the episode that looks and feels most like the first movie. If toi don't think toi have the patience, it's probably a montrer toi can skip. Although I'm glad that I've kept up with this series, it doesn't feel like something I have
to watch, unlike other dessins animés that I enjoy.
To those who have watched the show, I'm curious to hear your thoughts on it. What do toi think are the strong and weak points? Any and all commentaires are welcome.
I WISH Rapunzel hated Cassandra as much as this picture implies.