Disney's previous animated feature The Princess and the Frog (2009), despite being popular with critics and audiences alike, was a box office disappointment. Disney felt that the film's princess theme discouraged young boys from seeing it. In an attempt to market the film to a broader audience, Disney changed the title of the film from Rapunzel to Tangled, and promoted it as a comedic adventure. An early trailer for the film focused less on Princess Rapunzel and more on Flynn Rider, the male lead character. It was originally believed that Disney's marketing campaign was a desperate attempt to search for a particular audience. However, directors Byron Howard and Nathan Greno claimed that the title change was to emphasize that Flynn has as much of a role in the film as Rapunzel.
This is the first animated Disney "princess" film to get a PG rating by the MPAA. The previous Disney princess films up to that point were all rated G.
For the scene in which Rapunzel enters the marketplace, the animators were inspired by entrances of Walt Disney World and Disney Land. Rapunzel's excitement towards all the music and people is reminiscent of children at the parks.
The character design of Flynn came from the process called the "hot man meeting" by Nathan Greno and Byron Howard, during which they set up a meeting with all of the female employees of the studio in one room and asked them for their opinions of what made a man good-looking, in order to create Flynn's character design with features such as eye color, hair color and style and body type. Video footage showed concept art and photos of various male celebrities, including Johnny Depp, Hugh Jackman, Brad Pitt, David Beckham and Gene Kelly, on the walls of the room.
Zachary Levi auditioned for the part of Flynn Rider and got it, with an English accent. Later, this was dropped and Levi read the role in his own American accent instead.
Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel both auditioned for the role of Rapunzel. Three years later, they both starred together in Frozen (2013) as Anna and Elsa.
In the Kingdom Dance scene there are over 3,000 people present, the largest crowd scene out of any other Disney film.
Pinocchio can be found in the Snuggly Duckling, right after the cupid is swung to the right of the screen. He is in the top right corner in the rafters. In addition, Pumbaa from The Lion King (1994) (visible in the same scene) and Louis from The Princess and the Frog (2009) (one of the puppets used later in the song) can also be found. It can be inferred that they are all involved in this scene due to them all having dreams (Pinocchio: real boy, Pumbaa: accepted despite bad gas, Louis: jazz musician).
Composer Alan Menken reported that he based the film's musical score on 1960s rock.
Studio trademark: Habitually barefoot character(s): The character of Rapunzel is constantly barefoot, something she shares in common with her voice actress Mandy Moore, who loves to perform barefoot. Bare feet are also symbolic of innocence.
Mandy Moore only met her co-star Zachary Levi once when they came together to perform their duet in the film. Moore never got to meet Donna Murphy who voiced her character's mother.
In the marketplace, when Rapunzel looks at the mosaic of herself, the camera cuts from her eyes to the tile eyes of the picture and, very briefly, there is a clarinet musical motif that is exactly the same as the motif in Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986), when Cameron is looking at the pointillist painting and the camera cuts between Cameron's eyes, and that of the child in the painting. The moment is just a fraction of a second; just after that, Rapunzel looks at the clarinet player walking behind her, and smiles.
The teaser trailer for the movie showed the first meeting between Rapunzel and Flynn quite differently. After hitting him with the pan, Flynn comes to appear but Rapunzel stays out of sight, while her hair punches and grabs him, and drags him around the room in slapstick fashion. When Flynn is tied to the chair and tries his smoldering look on her, she throws him out of the tower while still tied to her hair. There is also an unused scene where Flynn waits at the foot of the tower and gets the full weight of Rapunzel's hair thrown on him, which greatly amuses Maximus, the horse.
When Flynn and Rapunzel are looking at the books, one is the opening from Sleeping Beauty (1959).
From the beginning, Glen Keane intended that the film looked and felt like a traditional hand-drawn film, but in 3-D. He hosted a seminar called "The Best of Both Worlds," where he brought in fifty Disney animators (both CGI and traditional artists) to discuss the techniques used in each style and how to, in his words, "bring the warmth and intuitive feel of the hand-drawn to CGI."
In the tower, Gothel's bedroom has a door while Rapunzel's bedroom doesn't; only curtains. This means that Rapunzel can never shut Gothel out while Gothel always has the option.
The song that activates the power of the magic flower is only sung the whole way through, without breaks, twice--once when Rapunzel heals Mother Gothel (though it was very quickly), and another time when Rapunzel heals Eugene's hand. The rest were separated by scenes or never completed.
According to production manager Doeri Welch Greiner, the original script was a quasi-sequel to Enchanted (2007), and had Rapunzel turned into a squirrel and her place taken by a girl in the real world. Glen Keane eschewed in favour of a more fun and fantastical fairytale that Disney is famous for: "I think that's what Disney needs to do right now. No one else can do it. We should not be embarrassed or make excuses for doing a fairytale."
In the "When will my life begin" sequence, Rapunzel says she'll "take a climb" and climbs up her hair. The way she climbs is an actual aerial silk climbing technique.
Natalie Portman was considered for Rapunzel and her audition recording was used for a pencil test.
When Mother Gothel is first seen in the tower with Rapunzel, there are several items that reveal Mother Gothel's true intentions, including a spinning wheel (as in Sleeping Beauty (1959)), a pattern of an apple (as in the Evil Queen's apple in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)) on the bottom newel post of the stairway, and her lantern emitting a green color (reminiscent of Maleficent's magic, also in Sleeping Beauty).
"You Are My Forever" was a deleted song that was meant to be sung to Rapunzel, at different times in the film. Originally, it was to be sung by Mother Gothel in a maternal way. Flynn would later reprise the song in a romantic way. "You Are My Forever" was eventually replaced with the songs "Mother Knows Best" and "I See the Light."
The sword that Maximus uses to fight Flynn at the dam is a Roman gladius. This would normally be an anachronism to the time-set of the movie. However, in this case, it is very fitting because the name Maximus is also a Roman name.
When Mother Gothel is looking for her bricked-up doorway into the tower, the plant covering the base of the tower resembles Campanula rapunculus, commonly known as rapunzel (or rampion) - this plant is the one that the Brothers Grimm used in their original story to give their main character her name. However, rapunzel is not a climbing plant as shown in the movie (it appears to be growing like ivy up the base of the tower) - the animators appear to have taken some creative license with it.
David Schwimmer and Burt Reynolds were cast in roles that were eventually deleted in the pre-production stage.
In the Snuggly Duckling tavern, the ruffian, "Greno," who leaves to get the guards, is named for and modeled after the film's co-director, Nathan Greno, only much bigger but with the same van Dyke-style goatee and the same arm tattoos.
The dagger Mother Gothel takes with her when she leaves to look for Rapunzel is identical to the dagger Frollo carries in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996).
The colors of the main characters' clothes are meant to reflect their personalities. Rapunzel wears purple, a color often associated with royalty. Flynn/Eugene wears blue and white, colors that often stand for goodness. Mother Gothel wears red, a color that often symbolizes evil.
Walt Disney first toyed with the idea of making a film about Rapunzel back in the 1940s.
Glen Keane credits animator Kyle Strawitz for achieving the painterly style of the film, saying, "Kyle helped us get that Fragonard look of the girl on the swing. He took the house from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) and built it in CGI, and painted it so that it looked like a flat painting that suddenly started to move, and it had dimension and kept all of the soft, round curves of the brushstrokes of watercolor. Kyle really helped me start to believe that the things I wanted to see were possible--that you could move in a Disney painterly world."
The song "When Will My Life Begin (Reprise 1)" and part of the song "Mother Knows Best" are omitted from the movie. However, the complete renditions can be found in the soundtrack album.
The third-highest-grossing animated film of 2010, after Toy Story 3 (2010) and Shrek Forever After (2010). This is however the highest-grossing animated non-sequel of 2010.
According to Glen Keane, the technique of non-photorealistic rendering was extensively used to make the CGI surface look like it is painted, but still containing depth and dimension. He also mentioned the use of subsurface scattering and global illumination and "all of the latest techniques" to render, in computer-generated imagery, convincing human characters and rich environments.
The algorithm that manages how Rapunzel's hair moves appears to be based on a similar algorithm for cloth. This is noticeable, for example, at the end of the "When Will My Life Begin" montage as she tosses her hair around her in a spiral.
When Rapunzel heals Flynn's hand, she says "Don't freak out," a line often said to Chuck, title character of the TV series Chuck (2007), played by Zachary Levi, voice of Flynn.
Because many of the techniques and tools that were required to give the film the quality Keane demanded of did not exist when the project was started, the WDFA had to make them on their own.
Glen Keane's ambition with this film, technically speaking, was to make the computer "bend its knee to the artist" instead of having the computer dictate the artistic style/look of the film, and make the computer become as "pliable as the pencil."
There were at least three different character takes on Flynn. In one he 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). Soon he was conceived as a British farmer named Bastian, who 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 the Flynn seen in the movie.
During the reprise of "Mother Knows Best" (where Gothel manipulates Rapunzel into believing that Flynn doesn't return her feelings), fog surrounds the characters. This is meant to reflect how Gothel is clouding Rapunzel's mind with doubt.
Six years in production at an estimated cost of $260 million. If this is true, Tangled (2010) is the most expensive animated film of all time, and the fifth-most expensive film ever made at the time.
Flynn Rider and Rapunzel are seen at Elsa's coronation in Frozen while Tiana and Naveen are in the crowd below the balcony.
Kristin Chenoweth and Dan Fogler were the original choices to voice Rapunzel and Flynn.
Scored an Academy Award Nomination for Best Original Song with "I See The Light", but it didn't get a Nomination for Best Animated Feature. It was later widely considered a snub in the category, particularly because the foreign film few people knew existed, "The Illusionist" (2010), was nominated alongside How to Train Your Dragon (2010) and Toy Story 3 (2010).
Clay Aiken was, at one point, confirmed for the role of Flynn Ryder during the film's pre-production in 2005.
Glen Keane and Dean Wellins were serving as directors of the film, but due to other commitments they stepped down and were replaced by Byron Howard and Nathan Greno.
Glen Keane first started working on the film in 1996. After several years he stepped away from the project, mainly because he had suffered a heart attack.
This is the second of Disney's computer-animated films to have a female main antagonist after Meet the Robinsons (2007).
All the actresses who auditioned for the voice role of Rapunzel were required to perform a song.
Mandy Moore, as a child, had often dreamed of being a princess so being cast as the voice of Rapunzel was literally a dream come true for the actress.
"Pascal" was also the name of a character in the 1980s drama Beauty and the Beast (1987), which starred Ron Perlman, who voices the Stabbington Brothers in this movie.
Rachel Rogers provided the voice for Young Rapunzel during the initial scratch phase.
The main setting of Tangled (2010) is the fictional kingdom of Corona. The actress who voices Mother Gothel, Donna Murphy, was born in the Corona neighborhood of Queens, New York.
Walt Disney Animation Studios' second film to not be nominated for the academy award for best animated feature after Meet the Robinsons (2007).
This is the first of Disney's computer-animated films to have a female protagonist.
As Rapunzel has never left her tower and only ever known Mother Gothel, this therefore means that Flynn is not only the second person she has met, but is the first male she has ever seen.
In a way, Mandy Moore started out with long blonde hair, early in her career, but she since cut and dyed it.
This film, along with Zootopia (2016), Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018), Toy Story 4 (2019), and Frozen II (2019), are the only animated films from Disney of the 2010s to not be accompanied by a short film.
The song that would eventually become "When Will My Life Begin" ran through several widely varied drafts. One early concept was called "Absolutely Right" which, according to lyricist Glenn Slater "followed little Rapunzel through a series of birthdays, each of which finds her just as happy but starting to ask questions and realizing things don't add up, leading up to her current 18th birthday."
The original song pitched for the rowboat scene was a grandiose Broadway-style number titled "Blaze of Light," but directors Nathan Greno and Byron Howard feared that the largeness of the song would compete with the splendor of the scene's visuals. They opted for a more tender love song in its place, resulting in "I See the Light," which appears in the finished film.
Alan Menken and Glenn Slater wrote a song to be featured in the kingdom festival sequence called "Glorious Day," but it was decided that the song stepped on the toes of "I See the Light," so the scene remained wordless.
At 47:06 you can hear the orchestral score bring in a choral voce who clearly sing "whoosh" at 47:10 when Maximus just misses Rapunzel.
Donna Murphy, the actress who voices Mother Gothel, is from Corona, Queens, New York, as noted on her IMDB profile. Corona is also the name of the kingdom in Tangled.