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Not a lot of people know this, but Disney actually made a bunch of other films before Frozen. It’s true. In fact before the $1.2 billion juggernaut had us singing "Let It Go," the $600 million Tangled was actually considered a huge hit at the box office. Well, it appears somebody else remembers this film that has been tragically overlooked, and Disney has announced that a Tangled animated series is on its way to Disney Channel.
In a press release sent out by Disney Channel, the series was announced with a premiere date set for sometime in 2017. Most exciting for fans of the film, both Zachary Levi and Mandy Moore will be reprising their voice roles as Eugene/Flynn Ryder and Rapunzel respectively. Other key members of the production include the movie’s original musical team of Alan Menken and Glenn Slater. The film was developed by Chris Sonnenburg and Shane Prigmore, who will act as executive producers on the show.
The series will take place between the events of the original film and Tangled Ever After, the 2012 short film which was shown in theaters prior to the 3D release of Beauty and the Beast. The show’s focus will be Rapunzel getting to know her parents and realizing that her thus far sheltered life has not prepared her for her royal destiny. In order to experience more of life, she seeks out new adventures. It’s a strong setup for the show, and there’s plenty of opportunity for kid-friendly adventures while potentially exploring some more grown-up ideas, like trying to get to know your daughter when you literally missed her entire childhood.
In addition to Flynn Rider, the rest of the film’s sidekicks - Pascal the chameleon, Maximus the horse, and the thugs from the Snuggly Duckling Pub - will all be returning. There will also be a major new character, Cassandra, described as a “tough-as-nails handmaiden” who will be a confidant for Rapunzel.
Possibly the most intriguing news is the return of Menken and Slater. While it’s possible they are only “returning” because their music will likely be used in the series, Disney uses the word “reuniting,” which implies they will be writing new songs. This would be a first for Disney stalwart Menken; while several of the Disney films he composed for have been turned into series, like The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Hercules, he has never been part of new music for the television versions.
2017 is an awfully long way off for Tangled fans, but patience will likely be rewarded here. All the pieces appear to be in place to make this show a strong companion to the film. Now who do we speak with about the Pascal/Maximus spinoff buddy cop series?