Disney’s latest fairytale effort has been in the works since at least early 2005. But this version of the Brothers Grimm’s Rapunzel hasn’t exactly enjoyed the smoothest route to the screen. Now it looks like it’ll finally arrive, since the teaser trailer, featuring the voices of Zachary Levi and Mandy Moore, is online and you can see it below.
Way back in the distant, misty past of the mid 21st century (about five years ago), this was still called Rapunzel, was going to be directed by Disney veteran Glen Keane Dean Wellins, the hero was called Bastian, and the lead voices were Kristin Chenoweth and Dan Fogler.
How things change – fast-forward a few years and, with Disney Animation overseers John Lasseter and Ed Catmull in place, the movie has undergone a fairly hefty transformation. The original title has been ditched, partly because Catmull and co worried it would be perceived as a girls’ fairytale, the hero has been changed to the dashing Flynn Rider, Bolt’s director Byron Howard and that film’s head of story, Nathan Greno, are the top dogs, and the heroine’s famously long hair has been gifted with powers that seem more Doctor Octopus than Disney princess. Because that’s what boys like, right? At least it appears she’s assertive and cool.
The storyline finds Finn Ryder, the kingdom’s most famous thief, pitching up in Rapunzel’s tower, figuring it’ll make a good hiding place. But he has no idea that someone already lives there – a young princess who was kidnapped and locked in there by an evil witch. Initially wary of the new arrival (see the abuse he suffers at her… strands… in the trailer), she soon comes to see Ryder as her ticket to freedom and a chance to reclaim her rightful royal life.
There isn’t really enough of the landscape on display to judge whether the new team have kept to Keane’s idea to base the visuals on Jean-Honoré Fragonard painting The Swing, but it does look like they’re at least trying to look a little more like hand-drawn animation despite the 3D CG production.
Tangled climbs into our cinemas next January.