Western Animation / Tangled: The Series
aka: Tangled

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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, 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, to the point that she starts getting obsessive when someone booes her.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Animesque
  • Ascended Extra: Pascal and especially Rapunzel's biological parents were bit characters in the film but are being expanded upon.
  • Art Shift: Rather than CGI as in the film, the series will be 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.
    • 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.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Subverted; while Rapunzel is annoyed and sad about being protected and watched constantly, she's polite enough not to tell her father that he's acting no different from Gothel.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • 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, whom Maximus is shown to have a crush on.
  • 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; justified since Gothel never gave her shoes, so she grew up going barefoot all the time.
  • 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.
  • Dramatic Irony: Fredric decides, at the end of the pilot film, that Rapunzel is no longer allowed to leave the kingdom without his consent, putting her in a similar situation to when she lived back at Mother Gothel's tower. Once again, Rapunzel knows she isn't going to quit.
  • 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.
  • 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 Fredric 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • "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.
  • Karmic Jackpot: And Eugene knows that he's earned it. After 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.
  • 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 few guards are given names and serve as Recurring Extras, and 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 sabotages his attempts to become a royal guard and while it seems the King likes him, he isn't totally on board with him marrying the Princess of Corona.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: When Eugene was recruited into the Royal Guard, he was given the worst one of all—dungeon duty. He took a 10 minute break 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 so that he washes 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.
  • 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

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