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What Could Have Been / Tangled

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Some of Rapunzel's older designs.

  • The film started production as a conventional retelling of Rapunzel, but after Shrek became a huge hit, it was retooled into a Fractured Fairy Tale, Rapunzel Unbraided, in which a witch turns Rapunzel and her prince into a squirrel and dog respectively. As a side effect of the spell, a girl named Claire and a pizza delivery boy named Vincent are transported from modern-day San Francisco into the fairy tale world as replacements for Rapunzel and the Prince. This video shows the original opening, as well as a chase sequence with the delivery boy driving a chariot drawn by winged horses. This test animation shows Claire-as-Rapunzel with Rapunzel-as-a-squirrel (it also suggests the involvement of fairies). However, Disney decided to go back to a more traditional adaptation.
  • Until rather near to release the movie was named Rapunzel, however it was changed to Tangled to appeal more to general audiences.
  • The film was originally meant to be much darker. However that changed when Glen Keane stepped down as director. It was supposed to be a Genre Throwback to the 40s-50s era of Disney. Elements from this stage include:
    • Mother Gothel was not the passive-aggressive Obviously Evil antagonist we know, instead she was meant to seem as a genuinely good mother at first (until over time it became obvious she wasn't). This was reflected in her having a tamer design.
    • Rapunzel's biological parents wore warrior attire. This was because they were warring against a nearby country after mistaking the rulers of having kidnapped their baby.
    • Rapunzel's original love interest Bastion (mentioned below) wasn't able to convince Rapunzel to leave her castle until 2/3rd-to-3/4th way through the film; this was changed, along with adding more action scenes, due to fears that viewers would get bored of the slowburn pace. Unlike in the final film where she desperately wants to leave her tower, Rapunzel was too afraid of the outside. Gothel had taught her too well from a young age that the outside world was a dangerous and horrible place. Gothel would notice Rapunzel's interest in the outside world over time when Rapunzel would start doing little things, like keeping a diary or humming unknown tunes after meeting Bastion.
    • Painting was a bigger part of the film, and Rapunzel's room was covered in paintings such as one of a little girl running into her mother's arms while being chased by monsters. The castle itself was originally designed as far more intimidating and bleak as well.
    • Pascal was not a character. Rapunzel had no pets, her only interactions being with Gothel until she met Bastion. This made her a much more isolated and lonely character.
    • Instead of Rapunzel threatening Flynn with a frying pan when they met, Rapunzel threatened Bastion with a crossbow.
    • Rapunzel's hair wasn't naturally brown (or at least the flower's powers were permanent). She was meant to cut her hair, however it would start growing back by the end.
    • Rapunzel was meant to marry Bastion at the end. In the final film, Flynn and Rapunzel are engaged at the end, but not married yet (they instead got married an unknown time later in Tangled Ever After).
    • A scrapped character was a black man, and ally of Bastion, named "Xavier". Another was an enemy of Bastion's named "Griffol". Xavier was reused in Tangled: The Series.
    • Maximus was originally a Basset Hound. When he was changed into a horse he kept his personality as per Rule of Funny.
    • Rapunzel was once essentially a Cute Mute, as she has been stuck in the tower her entire life with only Gothel to speak to (and only barely). She could speak but spoke very little.
  • The film was originally meant to look like a "watercolor painting come to life" feel heavily influenced by Rococo artwork like Fragonard's "The Swing." His daughter and fellow Disney artist Claire did several production design paintings in this style. The technology however was, and still is, considered too new and too expensive for a feature film. The same technology has been used in shorts though, most famously Paperman, and a similar watercolor style would be used for Tangled: The Series.
  • As mentioned, before there was Flynn Rider there was "Bastion". He was scrapped because they wanted a more attractive male character to appeal to women, though Kristoff from Frozen (2013) greatly resembles him. He was a Gentle Giant in sharp contrast to the street savvy Flynn. Bastion was orphaned at a young age and forced into a life of thievery to survive, though he hated it. He was later edited into a Jack Sparrow-esque design before becoming Flynn.
  • Flynn was supposed to have a British accent according to his casting call.
  • For much of the development Gothel was meant to genuinely care for Rapunzel. In the final product it's up for grabs but it's largely believed she only cares for Rapunzel's hair. The original casting call states:
    Mother Gothel stole Rapunzel from her rightful parents eighteen years ago, and has kept her locked in a tower ever since so that the world wonít steal the power from her magical hair. As for the power of that hair, Mother Gothel keeps herself young and ageless. While itís easy to see Mother Gothel as a Mommy Dearest villain (and she is), sheís more complex than that. She really does LOVE Rapunzel, or at least thinks she does. She sees herself as Rapunzelís protector and believes, that she has to live forever because no one will ever be able to protect or love Rapunzel the way that she can. Thus, we have the most co-dependent mother-daughter relationship in history. And when the teenage girl begins to separate herself, Mother Gothel slowly descends into madnessís and will stop at nothing to get her little girl back in her tower.
  • Concept art shows that Rapunzel's dresses were originally green, not the purpleish-pink of the final version.
  • Disney had plans to make a Tangled 2 after the first film made nearly $600 million at the box office, and apparently got far enough in the planning stages that Mandy Moore was told about it. It was canned when the film makers ultimately concluded that there was really nowhere to take the story after Rapunzel lost her magic hair. A follow-up short Tangled Ever After was made in its place.
  • "When Will My Life Begin?" had a reprise where Rapunzel sings about how she should be thankful for what she has despite wanting to leave the tower.
  • "Mother Knows Best" has an entire cut verse that was partially animated but ultimately scrapped.
  • For a while, Glen Keane was attached to direct, but had to back down due to some minor health issues. He stayed on to supervise the animators in both performance and how to get the kind of "soft" look of his drawing style on the computer models.
  • The original voice choices for Gothel and Rapunzel were Grey Delisle and Kristin Chenoweth. Rapunzel could have also been Kristen Bell or Idina Menzel. While those two were passed over, their audition tapes were taken into consideration and they were subsequently cast as the leads in Frozen (2013). Eden Espinosa also auditioned for Rapunzel, and was later cast as Cassandra in the TV series.
    • Natalie Portman and Reese Witherspoon were considered for Rapunzel. In fact, Portmanís audition work was used to voice for early pencil drawn tests of the heroine.
  • Flynn was originally intended to be a wayward prince hanging out with a group of bandits. Later on he was a sort of "bandit prince" and leader of a group of rogues (the rogues themselves eventually became the Snuggly Duckling thugs). His surname in canon implies he's a royal bastard, but it's not explicitly mentioned. The Series reused this concept, revealing in the second season that Eugene was the long-lost prince of the Dark Kingdom.
  • David Schwimmer, Burt Reynolds and John Goodman were all attached at one point.
  • A gypsy and her fortune-telling monkey had a scene that were removed from the film. Oddly, references to it stay in the credits. The "gypsy with a fortune-telling monkey" concept would eventually be reused for the episode "Vigor the Visionary" in the TV series.
  • In the original trailer, it was planned that Rapunzel's hair, in addition to healing, to be able to move on its own and act like another appendage similar to The Marvel Comics' character Medusa, which Disney later bought as Tangled was nearing its final stages.
  • The film was highly publicized as the final Disney Princess film due to the company wanting to move on from their classic fairy-tale style. Tangled contained many Shout Outs to previous films as a result. Disney however ultimately decided against the decision and thus we got films like Brave and Frozen (2013). That said, while Disney has certainly made subsequent films featuring princesses, none of them have been added to the official Disney Princess lineup, meaning that Tangled is indeed, for the time being, the final Disney Princess film.
  • Glen Keane wanted the kingdom to appear more ethnically diverse, with a few scattered nonwhite citizens, at the behest of fellow animator and friend Bruce W. Smith. Tangled: The Series appears to be amending this.