Western Animation / Tangled: The Series

Before the Happy Ending, there was more hair-raising adventure to be done!

Tangled: The Series is an American animated series based on Tangled. It is set after the film but before Eugene and Rapunzel's marriage in Tangled Ever After, and was released in Spring of 2017.

The premise is that Rapunzel is learning about the world and reacquainting herself with her long-lost parents not long after the events of the movie. However during an outing before an important royal event, she ventures outside the castle walls and comes across a strange tablet. Touching it causes her hair to suddenly regain its long golden locks and what's more, it is now indestructible. What follows is Rapunzel delving into the mystery of how this happened, with her curious nature causing her to go on multiple adventures alongside Eugene, Pascal, Maximus, the Pub Thugs, and her confidant Cassandra.

The series premiered under the one-hour Pilot Movie, Tangled Before Ever Afternote , on March 10 2017 and is the first animated series adaptation of a Disney Princess affiliated cartoon since Aladdin: The Series in 1994. Likewise, it'll be the first animated series based on a Disney movie since The Emperor's New School in 2006. It's also notable for being the second series to be greenlit by Disney for an entire show rather than season by season since Star Wars Rebels.

Trailers here and here.

This show provides examples of:

  • 100% Adoration Rating: Criminals and villains aside, almost everyone in Corona adores Rapunzel. Almost.
  • Adult Fear:
    • The King still has flashbacks to when Gothel stole his baby girl, and he could only call the guards for help.
    • Rapunzel thinks she has finally earned her happy ending, only to find that her parents, specifically her father, are overprotective and forcing her into the princess role by necessity, and that she isn't ready to accept Eugene's proposal.
    • The opening scene from "Pascal's Story": Pascal's mother, in order to save Pascal's life from a snake threatening them, makes sure Pascal can escape safely—but she basically sacrifices herself doing so.
    • Red and Angry are two orphaned kids (looking no older than 8) forced into a life of crime, and they are being hunted down by a group of older bandits.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Rapunzel calls Cassandra "Cass," Cassandra calls Rapunzel "Raps," and, just like in the movie, Eugene calls Rapunzel "Blondie."
  • Alchemy Is Magic: Varian is often assumed to be a wizard, but he insists it's only alchemy.
  • Almost Kiss: Rapunzel and Eugene are interrupted quite a few times before getting a moment all to themselves in the pilot movie.
  • Ambiguously Brown:
    • Angry, one of the orphan thieves from "Big Brothers of Corona", may have some possible Asian heritage in her ethnic background based on her facial features.
    • Eugene's old friend Lance seems to be of mixed race, apparently partially white and partially black.
  • Animesque: Heavily borrows a few elements of anime, such as large eyes and speed lines.
  • Ascended Extra: Pascal and especially Rapunzel's biological parents were bit characters in the film but are being expanded upon. Notably, the King and Queen were The Voiceless during the film, but have speaking roles in the series.
  • Art Shifted Sequel: Rather than CGI as in the film and its sequel, the series is 2D animated.
  • Bait-and-Switch: No, Lady Caine didn't want to target Rapunzel; her target was the King, who locked away her father.
  • Bittersweet Ending: In the pilot movie, Lady Caine is defeated and Eugene agrees to wait until Rapunzel is ready to tie the knot, but the King forbids her from leaving the kingdom without his permission. Arianna seems to promise, however, that she'll work on the King and Rapunzel strengthens her resolve to find out the secret to why the magic in her hair returned.
  • Both Sides Have a Point:
    • As to whether or not Rapunzel should have the freedom to do as she pleases. From Rapunzel's point of view, she understands why her parents are worried, but she's been locked away for eighteen years with an abusive woman that stole her. She just wants a bit more freedom to explore and live. Meanwhile, Frederic is worried that with his daughter restored, she's a walking target for criminals and she has to learn to act like royalty so that she can be queen when they are gone. Arianna tries to provide a buffer between the two, but Rapunzel feels stifled with the endless lessons and guard retinue, while Fredric gets more frantic.
    • At the end of the pilot movie, Rapunzel's freedom is still in question. Fredric is less than thrilled to find out his daughter sneaked out at night, past the wall, without his permission. He points out that not only did she disobey him, and is hiding an accomplice, but her actions led to her long golden hair, the thing that led to Gothel stealing her, returning. Thus, while she can move as she likes within the Corona walls, she can only leave the kingdom with his permission. Rapunzel before running off in tears points out that she's just proven she can protect herself by stopping Lady Caine, and that her father is underestimating her.
    • Initially, as to whether or not Eugene should know how Rapunzel's hair has grown back. Rapunzel thinks that she trusts Eugene with her life, and they've saved each other. Cassandra has pointed out that she doesn't trust Eugene because she doesn't know him, her job could be in peril, and Eugene Cannot Keep a Secret. Eugene eventually does find out, but he promises to keep his mouth shut for Rapunzel's sake.
  • Brutal Honesty: Rapunzel is ignorant of what it means to be booed by someone, so Cassandra explains:
    Cassandra: It means someone hates you.
    Eugene: Way to sugarcoat it, Cass.
  • Call-Back: As a sequel series to Tangled, the cartoon contains more than a few references to the movie:
    • Eugene continues the Running Gag of opening the narration by claiming that this is the story of how he died.
    • The opening song of Life After Happily Ever After is thematically similar to When Will My Life Begin?, a song that has a catchy and upbeat tune but with lyrics that reveal Rapunzel isn't as happy as she claims she is. The last verse in both songs is slowed down and takes a more contemplative and melancholy tone.
    • During both openings, Pascal indicates his desire to go beyond the boundaries of their home.
      Rapunzel in Tangled: Yeah, I don't think so. I like it in here, and so do you.
      Rapunzel in Tangled: Before Ever After: I know, Pascal. We'll get out there soon.
    • During both opening( song)s, Pascal gets covered with a dusty substance: in the movie, with dust Rapunzel is sweeping from the floor; in the series, with make-up (presumably powder foundation) that court ladies are applying on Rapunzel.
    • Rapunzel and Eugene end up together on a boat, discussing whether their dreams lived up the reality after all.
    • Rapunzel pausing at the Corona Wall, taking a glance back at her home and then jumping down is reminiscent of her glancing back before steeling her resolve to leave the tower for the first time.
    • Rapunzel's weapon of choice, when not using her long hair, is a frying pan.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Subverted; Rapunzel is annoyed and sad about being protected and watched constantly, but keeps quiet about it. She almost does it after returning to the castle in "The Wrath of Ruthless Ruth", but her father's overjoyed reaction to her returning and blatant showing of how much he fears losing her again makes her decide against it.
  • The Cameo: At Rapunzel's coronation, one of the attendees wears the uniform of a Weselton ambassador. Considering Rapunzel's and Eugene's previous cameo in Frozen, this further hints of a Shared Universe.
  • Cannot Keep a Secret: Eugene is terrible at keeping secrets, which is just one more reason why Cassandra doesn't want Rapunzel to share the details of how her hair grew back. Rapunzel ends up telling him, and he promises not to reveal it.
  • Canon Foreigner: One of the new characters is Cassandra, Rapunzel's lady-in-waiting and the daughter of the captain of the guards.
  • Captured on Purpose: Lady Caine has her cronies purposely commit crimes and be captured for them so she could then free them from inside the cells inside the palace later.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Starting with "Queen for a Day", the series has gotten much darker than it was before, especially in regards to everything involving Varian.
  • Character Title: A season 1 episode is named "Fitzherbert P.I.", after one of the main characters.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The Duchess of Quintonia is one of the guests Rapunzel has to greet at the beginning of the pilot movie, and leaves after making a snide remark. She returns in the narrative much later, because she's the infamous Lady Caine in disguise, who was spoken of a lot but never seen until this moment.
  • Compressed Hair:
    • After her hair reverts back, Rapunzel tries to hide it under a giant wig and has difficulty balancing because of it.
    • As in the film, Rapunzel eventually goes for the massive braid to keep her hair manageable, which still reaches down to her heels.
    • She tops herself in "Rapunzel's Enemy" where she somehow manages to hide her hair in a small brunette wig, though it's implied from the hoop dress she's wearing that she's stuffed most of it below her waist.
  • Cool Horse: Rapunzel has her own horse named Fidella, on whom Maximus is shown to have a crush.
  • Dark Reprise: "Queen for a Day" seems to end with one for Varian, who after losing his father in crystal, vows not to let anyone stand in his way.
  • Demoted to Extra: Maximus has a much less prominent role in the series than in either the movie or Ever After.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Lady Caine with fans versus Cassandra with a candleholder. Caine manages to disarm Cassandra at one point, but Cassandra still wins the fight.
  • Discard and Draw: The healing properties of Rapunzel's hair don't seem to have reappeared with it, but it's now Nigh Invulnerable, with nothing so far being able to even come close to cutting it.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Ever since Rapunzel disappeared, the King cracked down on all vice and crime in the kingdom, even petty crooks. This was a tad overkill, and became Lady Caine's motivation for revenge when her father was arrested.
  • Does Not Like Shoes:
    • Rapunzel still doesn't, and it gets a lot more lampshading here than it did in the movie. She's forced to wear them sometimes, much to her displeasure, and she willingly wore them when she was trying to disguise herself, but that's it.
    • Rapunzel's aunt Willow also doesn't wear shoes. This is just one of the traits the two have in common.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": To Rapunzel's surprise, Cassandra's owl is named "Owl". It could be because he is more of a tool for scouting than a pet.
  • The Door Slams You: Lady Caine decides to make her exit once Rapunzel, Eugene, and Cassandra take out her thugs, and chooses to exit through the door the soldiers are currently trying to bash open. Cue said door being knocked down right on top of her.
  • Driving Question: What caused those indestructible spikes to form, and why did they make Rapunzel's hair grow back? Who's the figure that's taken an interest in them? The mystery deepens.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Eugene's comb, the first thing he ever stole, appears in "Eugene vs. Cassandra" before being properly introduced as a plot point in "Big Brothers of Corona."
  • Easily Forgiven: Poked at with Eugene's relationship with Cassandra. While he's respected in the castle as Rapunzel's trusted companion, Cassandra doesn't live down the fact that he was a criminal, and calls him out on how he's looking at his relationship with Rapunzel from a more selfish perspective than he realizes.
  • Evil Counterpart: Lady Caine, the villain of the opening film, is this toward Rapunzel; her own father was taken from her as a result of Frederic cracking down on criminals, mirroring how Rapunzel herself was left without her father (or any of her parents) for a majority of her life, being a free spirit, and relies on the same tactic Rapunzel had in the pilot to avoid letting her parents know about her hair to disguise herself, covering her own hair with a huge wig.
  • Eviler Than Thou: In a surprising twist, Axel, a horse, proves to be this to Lady Caine, betraying her just as she did to her minion, and in a more potentially lethal way.
  • Extra Digits: Robin the 11th, a past Corona king, had 11 fingers.
  • Femme Fatale: Lady Caine, the Big Bad of the opening movie.
  • Foil: Rapunzel struggles with her new obligations as princess and as part of a Gilded Cage. She wants her freedom, and a chance to live. Eugene in contrast goes with the flow of royal life and enjoys the perks, while promising to respect Rapunzel's wants and needs.
  • Foregone Conclusion: By the end of the series (or sometime after), Rapunzel's hair will lose its magic again, since it's unmagical and cut by the time of Tangled Ever After. Also, she will marry Eugene.
  • Foreshadowing: When Varian is about to tell Cassandra the name of his new element, a Guard interrupts him by calling out her name. At the end of the episode, it is revealed he named the element Cassandrium in tribute to her.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: A ship can briefly be seen when the spikes seemingly react to Rapunzel and her hair regrows, hinting at the figure in The Stinger.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Varian. Initially introduced as geeky and honest, after his father is imprisoned inside a crystal block caused by the black rocks it causes him to completely snap, setting him up as the Arc Villain for Season 1.
  • Fun with Homophones: Eugene thought King Frederic wanted his help to prank King Trevor by stealing a document known as the Royal Seal of Equis. It turns out to be King Trevor's pet seal instead.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • In "The Return of Strongbow", Lance Strongbow recounts a story from Eugene's thief days involving Eugene and a warlord's twin daughters, which Eugene is quick to interrupt. Rapunzel's response:
    Rapunzel: Oh, come on, Eugene. I may have grown up in a tower, but give me a little credit.
    • "In Like Flynn" has the opposing king declare that he'll have King Frederic be paraded around the streets in only a jester's hat.
    • The series takes place in the kingdom of Corona. Innocuous on its own, but two of its neighboring kingdoms are named (Dos) Equis and Sapporia (Sapporo).
  • The Ghost: A mastermind known as "The Baron" has been mentioned, and Eugene and Lance have had many run-ins with his men. However, he himself has yet to make an appearance.
  • Gilded Cage: Rapunzel is feeling a little stifled at the palace. Her father's protectiveness is a significant part of this. She lampshades this at the end of the movie.
  • Godzilla Threshold: In the pilot, Cassandra actually using her fighting skills and revealing herself to be a secret warrior was seen as an absolute last resort, as this double life of hers is a threat to her position as a lady-in-waiting.
  • Hair Reboot: Rapunzel's hair once again qualifies as Rapunzel Hair despite getting a haircut during the climax of Tangled, and her new hair, instead of its magnificent healing, is indestructible. Some sort of indestructible black spikes have sprouted where the flower once grew, and touching them restores her hair and gives it the same properties as the spikes. Her goal for the series is to find out why this has happened.
  • Headbutting Heroes: This is the existing dynamic between Cassandra and Eugene. Cass, being the daughter of the captain of the guard, justifiably has some suspicions regarding a former rogue, especially one so close to the princess and a criminal record longer than Rapunzel's absence. Eugene of course has left that life behind and is trying to prove he doesn't care about riches anymore as long as he has Rapunzel.
  • Immediate Self-Contradiction: After learning that Rapunzel has her golden hair back but won't explain how that happened, Eugene urges her not to keep secrets from those she loves. Moments later:
    Queen Arianna: (Calling from outside Rapunzel's room) Rapunzel, honey?
    Eugene: (without missing a beat) Hide. Your. Hair. Woman! You gotta hide yo' hair!
  • Interquel: Takes place between Tangled and Tangled Ever After, as the name of the pilot movie indicates.
  • Irony: Throughout the pilot movie, King Fredric spends time speaking about threats from outside the kingdom to his daughter, but the whole ordeal has greatly demonstrated that the real danger comes from within, and despite his best efforts to curb it, he woefully underestimated the threat that posed.
  • It's Always Spring: Most notable during "Queen For A Day". While Rapunzel mentions she had never been outside while it had snowed, all the snow is gone the day after the storm is completed.
  • "I Want" Song: Rapunzel has a new one called "Wind in My Hair," all about her desire to explore the world and its wonders, just as she's wanted her whole life. It serves as the opening theme.
    • Varian gets a pretty epic one in "Let Me Make You Proud," which is about his desire to have his dad see him for the intelligent, capable person he is, rather than the immature, accident-prone troublemaker he believes his dad sees.
  • Karmic Jackpot: And Eugene knows that he's earned it. After nearly dying to save the Lost Princess from Gothel and restoring her to the throne, he's been pardoned and is considered part of the royal family now. For him, though, the best part is having Rapunzel by his side.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Promos refer to Flynn by his secret birth name, Eugene and that Rapunzel had initially lost her long hair after the movie. The series proper uses the name Eugene more often than his Flynn Rider moniker.
  • Master of Disguise: Lady Caine cleverly disguises herself as a duchess to get into the castle and get closer to the King.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Rapunzel implied she's been having visions and nightmares about Mother Gothel for a while since that night with the spikes. It's not explained why, but it's either a consequence of her touching the spikes or a likely sign she has PTSD from being kidnapped as a baby.
  • Mauve Shirt: A couple guards are given names and serve as Recurring Extras. They're referred to as Stan the Guard and Pete the Guard.
  • Meaningful Rename: Flynn Rider has gone back to his birth name, Eugene. However, his reputation as Flynn Rider exceeded him that people like Varian think he's a storybook hero come to life. The captain, however, still refers to him as Flynn Rider. That goes for anyone else he's ever met before Rapunzel.
  • Mugging the Monster: It's a good thing Lady Caine didn't know that Rapunzel is a Pintsized Powerhouse and has experience in hand to hand combat.
  • Myth Arc: Much of Season 1 consists of a broad arc where Rapunzel has to solve the mystery of the strange rock spires and the regrowth of her long blonde hair.
  • Nigh Invulnerable: A year before the series started, unbreakable black rock spikes came out of the ground where the the sun flower was. When Rapunzel touched them, more shot up, and her hair regrew with the same property.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: When Rapunzel is fretting over Uncle Monty booing her, Eugene tells her to let it go and points out that if Cassandra is actually agreeing with him, then it must be worth listening to.
  • Painful Rhyme: Acknowledged in-universe as Eugene tries to sing something that rhymes with his surname of 'Fitzherbert'.
  • Papa Wolf: Frederic, having just found his daughter after over a decade of fruitless searching, is a bit protective of her. He gets even worse once he discovers that Rapunzel is still having dangerous adventures within the kingdom. The other fathers of the heroes seem to be this as well. The five seconds we see Varian's father in the first episode, two are spent looking for his son after an accident, and when we see him later he becomes frozen in crystal rock as a direct result of pushing Varian out of harm's way.
  • Posthumous Narration: As is standard for the franchise, the pilot movie plays it for humor. Eugene declares it's the story of how he died...and went to heaven, with Rapunzel objecting to the hyperbolic description of their new life.
  • Precision-Guided Boomerang: Rapunzel gives Eugene a frying pan, which he uses a shield against one very large thug's sword. When two more thugs show up to surround him, he throws it Captain America style, somehow bouncing it off their heads to knock all three thugs out.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • While Rapunzel is a Magnetic Hero and overall nice person, she has never had proper social interactions with anyone other than Pascal and Mother Gothel for eighteen years, and six months after that, she's only interacted with her parents and Eugene. So, when she meets visiting aristocrats she does some mildly inappropriate things.
    • The king and queen try to give Rapunzel constant princess lessons to make up for eighteen years of lost time. It's not enough to make her Silk Hiding Steel.
    • As many a statistics expert can say, cracking down on parents that commit petty crimes will not endear people to the authorities or offer much familial stability.
    • Having spent eighteen years not knowing where his daughter was or if she was even alive can do a number on someone's psyche. King Frederic's over-protectiveness may be overkill, but it's not unrealistic given the circumstances.
    • Eugene may have turned over a new leaf and been formally pardoned for all the crimes he committed, but people still remember he was the most wanted thief in the kingdom. The Captain of the Guards dislikes him and attempts to sabotage his attempts to become a royal guard. While it seems the King likes him, he isn't totally on board with him marrying the Princess of Corona.
    • During "Queen for a Day", Rapunzel quickly solves three problems of the people of Corona during a song. In the next verse, those same people return explaining how the solution caused new problems.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: When Eugene was recruited into the Royal Guard, he was given the worst duty of all—dungeon duty. He took a 10 minute break (and left the main door unlocked) while he was supposed to be patrolling the block every five minutes, and since the prisoner escaped, Eugene is dismissed for dereliction of duty.
  • Revenge: Lady Caine's father was a petty thief locked up after Frederic went to town on the kingdom's criminal element, and her attack in the opening movie is based off of revenge for that.
  • Role Reprisal:
    • Instead of using The Other Darrin, Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi are reprising their roles as Rapunzel and Eugene again.
    • A press release about the show also revealed that M. C. Gainey, Jeffrey Tambor, & Paul F. Tompkins would be reprising their respective roles as the Captain of the Guards, Big Nosed Thug, and Short Thug (known as Shorty in this series).
    • Donna Murphy also came back to voice Mother Gothel in Rapunzel's nightmare in the first regular episode.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Rapunzel's no less of an Action Girl since becoming a princess, and it's also revealed that her mother Arianna undertook some dangerous diplomatic ventures in her youth.
  • Save the Villain: Maximus briefly stops his pursuit of Axel to save Lady Caine.
  • Shout-Out: One of the episode titles, "One Angry Princess", is an allusion to 12 Angry Men.
  • The Stinger: The pilot film ends with a first-person shot of someone going to the rock the sun flower that empowered Rapunzel originally grew from.
  • Stronger Than They Look: Lady Caine is noted as this.
  • Suddenly Voiced: The King and Queen of Corona were completely silent during the movie, but speak during the series.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Hook Hand went on tour before the series started, so a new character named Hook Foot takes his place.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: When the royal family is in trouble, Cassandra and Eugene will team up without hesitation despite Cassandra's suspicions of Eugene's intentions.
  • Tomboy Princess: A large portion of the plot revolves around Rapunzel's boisterous, carefree attitude driving her on adventures. Though this is somewhat subverted as she is more of a girly girl albeit with a tomboyish streak.
  • Too Clever by Half: The King establishes a guard duty around Rapunzel before and during her coronation, expecting that she will attract unwanted criminal attention. It never occurs to him that he could be the target.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: One episode deals with an old friend of Eugene's trying to get him back to the thieving life.
  • Training from Hell: All recruits to the Royal Guard are given this type of training, but the Captain of the Guard really has it out for Eugene, making it even harder for him in hopes that he'll wash out at basic training.
  • Triumphant Reprise: Following a bittersweet Dark Reprise of "Life After Happily Ever After," Rapunzel sings a determined reprise of "Wind in My Hair" at the ending of the pilot.
  • Unnamed Parent: Subverted with Rapunzel's parents, who are finally given names: Frederic and Arianna.
  • Villainous Valor: Caine allows Cassandra to pick up the candleholder she's using as a weapon in heir fight.
  • Villain Ball: Lady Caine shouldn't have left Rapunzel behind while trying to cart off King Frederic. This gives Rapunzel, Eugene and Cassandra time to go on the offense.
  • Wham Episode: "Queen for a Day". Not only is it the darkest episode so far in the series, but it ends with Varian apparently making a Face–Heel Turn and swearing vengeance on Corona's royal family. Yes, you heard me right, Varian.
  • Xenafication: Rapunzel suddenly becoming a fearless athlete capable of keeping up with the kingdom's most deadly warriors who have fought and trained for years, when in the movie it was established she is afraid when people attack her, and while capable of defending herself, she's far more likely to run away.
  • Your Favourite: When Rapunzel is feeling depressed from the aftermath of the coronation and her father's edict not to leave Corona, Eugene brings her a cupcake to help cheer her up. Notably she responds to this far better than any of Gothel's offers of hazelnut soup.
    Eugene: I believe somebody ordered room service? (holds up the cupcake)
    Rapunzel: (smiles) Eugene... how did you know?

Alternative Title(s): Tangled Before Ever After, Tangled