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3D Blu-ray Reviews

HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: Tangled (3D/2D Combo Pack)

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#1 of 40 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted March 16 2011 - 10:24 AM

Tangled (3D/2D Blu-ray Combo Pack)
Directed by  Nathan Greno, Byron Howard

Studio: Disney
Year: 2010
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1   1080p   AVC codec  
Running Time: 100 minutes
Rating: PG
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 English; DTS-HD HR 7.1 French, Spanish
Subtitles:  SDH, French, Spanish

Region:  A-B-C
MSRP:  $ 49.99

Release Date: March 29, 2011

Review Date:  March 16, 2011



The Film



The Walt Disney Company has a viable reputation for setting animated fairy tales to music, so its latest Tangled, a hipster variation on the tale of Rapunzel, comes as no real surprise. As the company did with Hercules, the tale has been left in its period but is peopled with characters who are completely modernized in their speech and social habits (though Hercules is funnier and has better songs). So, right off the bat, the film has a somewhat disposable air about it, a movie that will seem dated after a certain time (whereas Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty retain their agelessness due to their writers’ not stooping to this motif to add a comic edge to the movie relying instead on comedy to spring completely from within well written characters).


Having been touched by a drop of magical sunshine which allows her hair to attain magical, healing properties from birth, Princess Rapunzel  (Mandy Moore) is abducted from the palace as a baby by the evil Mother Gothel (Donna Murphy) and locked away in a tower so that her she can be the only one who uses the child’s abilities to allow her to retain her youthful looks. On her eighteenth birthday, Rapunzel longs to leave the tower to see the outside world and is especially eager to see more closely an annual ceremony of floating lanterns which happens on her birthday, something unknown to her that her real mother and father do each year in the hopes that their daughter will return to them. When bandit Flynn Rider (Zachary Levi) stumbles on the tower after stealing the princess’ crown from the palace, Rapunzel sees him as her way to get out of the tower for a few days of exploring the real world. But Rider has the palace guards and his own cohorts (both voiced by Ron Perlman) on his tail, and once Mother Gothel finds out Rapuzel has escaped, she, too, is out to retrieve her prized possession and kill anyone who stands in her way.


With eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken providing the songs for this musical (yes, it’s a musical, something the trailers tried their best to downplay), you can’t help but recognize melodious elements from other more successful Menken creations. Rapunzel’s wish song “When Will My Life Begin” recalls “Belle” from Beauty and the Beast without that song’s complexity and soaring melody. The film’s big production number “I’ve Got a Dream,” staged in a pub where a bunch of cutthroats wax philosophically about their own dashed hopes, has a similar tempo as “Gaston” and the same ensemble flavor, too. Mother Gothel’s “Mother Knows Best” certainly suggests Ursula’s suggestively threatening “Poor Unfortunate Souls.” The love song for the pair, Oscar-nominated this year, is “I See the Light,” a sweet if somewhat unmemorable recognition of their feelings as they attend the floating lantern festivities. The music should have taken the feature to another level as it did in Menken’s best screen tuners, but it doesn’t accomplish the same thing here.


Directors Nathan Greno and Byron Howard do have some great comedy timing with actions and reactions during the film (a running gag with a frying pan gets a lot of use; two non-talking creatures, Rapunzel’s chameleon chum Pascal and the proud, arbitrary horse Maximus who makes Rider his personal project, are both used wonderfully). They stage a hilarious set of sight gags as Rapunzel tries to stuff the knocked-cold Rider into an armoire and turn on the romantic ambiance during the lantern sequence with the really dazzling animation taking our breath away. Rapunzel uses her seventy foot-long hair like Indiana Jones’ trusty whip, superbly drawn in what must have been a nightmare for the CGI animators to control. Elsewhere, though, invention seems to have left screenwriter Dan Fogelman who adds the usual chases and battles to the story without adding anything new to the mix.


Zachary Levi and Mandy Moore both do worthwhile voice work as their hip characters (Levi’s varied assortment of comic shadings in his voice and his delivery of veiled sarcasm is especially winning). Donna Murphy, of course, gets the juicy villainess role and does everything but eat it for breakfast, a triumphant performance. Brad Garrett as the hook-handed bad guy with a soft, creamy inside scores superbly with “I’ve Got a Dream,” and Jeffrey Tambor and Richard Kiel also contribute neat little bits to the song and to that pub scene.



Video Quality


3D quality – 4/5


The film has been framed at 1.78:1 and is presented in 1080p using the AVC codec. Sharpness is wonderfully achieved throughout the 2D presentation with detail so sharp that Rapunzel’s individual strands of hair are easily discernable. Colors are rich and excellently mastered without blooming or gross oversaturation. Indeed, because much of the film takes place in dimly-lit interiors, colors here aren’t quite as much of a standout as they are in other CGI films. Black levels are strong, and there is no evidence of banding in the image to spoil its purity and solidity. The film has been divided into 12  chapters.


In 3D, the sense of depth is much more impressive as the interior scenes have a real fullness missing from the 2D presentation. Two shots from on-high looking down add such scope to the visuals that they’re rather staggering to the eye and a bit dizzying, too. Colors seem a bit more pumped here, possibly as a way of compensating for the tinted eyewear, and greens in particular seem a bit more electric. There are only a few instances of projectiles extending out from the screen (some flying wood chips, several instances where water hurtles toward the viewer, a sword that extends outward), but they’re all quite effective. There are almost no problems with ghosting with only one brief encounter with a sword offering a double image.



Audio Quality



The Blu-ray has been outfitted with a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 sound mix, and it’s a very effective one especially impressive in its use of the LFE channel on several occasions. While dialogue is mostly relegated to the center channel, there are some welcome instances of directionalized dialogue, and one particular moment when Rider is being swung around in a 360 degree turn swoops impressively through every surround channel in the fronts and rears. Menken’s music score gets the royal treatment in its placement throughout the soundstage with key orchestral sounds quite noticeable in front and rear projections.



Special Features



All of the bonus visual material on the two high definition discs is presented in 1080p.


The 3D disc offers only a 3D trailer for Cars 2.


On the 2D Blu-ray disc, there are three deleted scenes with introductions by directors Nathan Greno and Byron Howard. They can be watched separately or in one 12 ½-minute chunk. The material, of course, is only in rough animation form with temporary voice tracks.


There are two extended versions of songs from the movie, again with animation that is not finished. “When Will My Life Begin” runs 3 ½ minutes. “Mother Knows Best” runs 4 ½ minutes.


Two storybook openings are presented, neither in finished form, and both introduced by directors Nathan Greno and Byron Howard. Each of them runs 4 minutes (they must be chosen separately).


Alternate Opening (Bonus- Deleted Scene)

“50th Animated Feature Countdown” is a quick montage of the fifty animated features that have been theatrically released from the Disney animation studios. This runs 2 minutes.


“Untangled: The Making of a Fairy Tale” is a very disappointing 12 ½ minutes with stars Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi offering trivia about their movie and other animated movies in the Disney vault, showing very quick bloopers from the animation process, and hearing from some of the other actors who gave voice to the characters. Almost nothing is contributed by the production staff about the making of the film.


Tangled Teasers” is the disc’s best bonus feature, 9 ¼ minutes featuring nine quirky teaser ads about some aspect of the movie in infomercial contexts.


The disc offers 1080p trailers for Cars 2, The Lion King, Tron:Legacy, Winnie the Pooh, Tinker Bell and the Pixie Hollow Games, The Incredibles, and Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure.


The third disc in the set is the DVD edition of the movie.


The fourth disc in the set is the DisneyFile digital copy of the film with enclosed instructions and code number for installation on Mac and PC devices.



In Conclusion

3.5/5 (not an average)


Tangled may not be the foremost animated musical in the Disney canon, but it’s an agreeable and entertaining addition to the family of Princess musicals. For those with the capability, the 3D edition is much preferred for its exciting sense of depth, but the 2D version offers an excellent visual and aural experience as well. The bonus package is the set’s most disappointing aspect.




Matt Hough

Charlotte, NC

#2 of 40 ONLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted March 16 2011 - 11:38 AM

Thanks Matt.  We don't take the kids out to many movies, but we did to this one (2D).  It got a thumbs up from my 5yo daughter, two thumbs up from my 5yo son and a big thumbs up from my wife.  I enjoyed it as well.  Its interesting that you really felt the interiors befitted from the 3D.  I'll be looking forward to watching that on Blu-ray.  This is the first movie I can recall my wife actually saying she wants to see in 3D Blu-ray.  She thought the scene with the lanterns they released would be spectacular in 3D.  How was that scene in 3D?

#3 of 40 OFFLINE   Brisby


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Posted March 16 2011 - 02:38 PM

What a horrible collection of "extras". Even Bolt had more.

#4 of 40 OFFLINE   Jason_V



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Posted March 16 2011 - 03:36 PM

I'll be honest: I didn't love Tangled when I went to the theater last year, but it certainly wasn't horrible, either.  An amusing film, to be sure, though not in the realm of the best Disney ever.  I agree with Robert...very disappointing extras.  There's no way I expect a double dip on this one for a while, so I'll be grabbing it on the 29th.  It's Disney and I'm a sucker for their animated stuff.

#5 of 40 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted March 19 2011 - 12:34 AM

I took part in a virtual roundtable interview with the directors of Tangled on March 17th, and the following is a transcript of that interview:

Q - Congratulations on the film's success. Have you given any thought to making a sequel?
A - Nathan Greno: We'd only do a sequel if there was a great story to tell. The movie buttons up really nicely... but we do love those characters... I guess we'll have to wait and see. Again, we'd have to have a great story already in mind if we wanted to do a sequel...

Q - Are you pleased with the film's title change from "Rapunzel" to "TANGLED"?
A - Byron Howard: When Nathan and I figured out that this film was really about two characters, Flynn and Rapunzel, we knew that changing the title would be a good idea. We like that TANGLED as a title sounds smart and intriguing, while also relating to the tangle of plot, characters and emotion in the film.

Q - Having worked in both mediums, what do you prefer about computer animation and what do you miss about traditional 2D animation?
A - Nathan Greno: I really love both 2D and 3D animation. 2D is really graphic and classic. 3D has amazing textures and cameras to play with. It all comes down to your story... some tales work best in 2D, some in 3D!

Q - I loved the characters of Pascal and Maximus. Was there ever any discussion about giving them voices? (I'm glad you didn’t.)
A - Byron Howard: Nathan and I are huge, HUGE fans of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, and we thought, "Wouldn't it be great to have someone like that as a character in TANGLED?" Time and time again, people who have seen the film have said that they liked the fact that we kept them silent. Pantomime acting is a great challenge for our animators.

Q - How early in the production process was it decided to make this a musical instead of a romantic comedy-adventure?
A - Byron Howard: We knew it could be both. Music can be more effective than the most brilliant dialogue at conveying emotion, so we were very excited to have someone as skilled as Alan Menken writing our songs and score. And just because it had songs didn't mean that the film couldn't be an action filled roller coaster ride. We like that.

Q - You have both worked on several films prior to TANGLED. Please explain the process of transitioning into the role of Director…
A - Nathan Greno: I came from the story department. I was drawing story boards for over a decade before I started directing. I was always at the start of the process, but now I get to follow the ideas all the way through to the finish frame. It's an incredible process. I feel like I've become a much better artist. And I still get to storyboard... so I'm happy.

A - Byron Howard: Being an animation director is an amazing job. We are surrounded by the most skilled artists, composers and craftsmen in the film business. Nathan and I start at the very beginning of a film when there's only an idea and thousands of blank storyboards, through to the end when the film premieres in theaters all over the world. In working with so many brilliant people along the way, we both become better filmmakers ourselves. I love my job.

Q - How long did you each need to prep for the roles of Thug #1 and #2 and Guard #1 and #2?
A - Byron Howard: I feel like I've been preparing for the role of Thug #2 for my entire professional life. It's really the role of a lifetime.

A - Nathan Greno: It takes YEARS of practice to pull off roles like "Thug #1" and "Guard #1". Kids, please don't try that at home.

Q - Where did you folks find Donna Murphy? She stole the show.
A - Nathan Greno: New York City. She lives there.

Q - How do you feel about TANGLED being the last of the Disney Princess films (for a while anyway)?
A - Nathan Greno: I've heard that rumor. Not true! If we wanted to do a Princess movie as our next project, John Lasseter would be ok with that. There is a lot in development at Disney Animation... I wouldn't rule out the idea of seeing another Princess movie!

A - Byron Howard: Honestly, I'm very happy that Disney Animation's upcoming slate includes vastly diverse projects. That keeps the studio healthy. And, believe it or not, that slate does still include some great fairy tales.

Q - How has the animation process changed through the years you have been working on Disney films?
A - Byron Howard: When I first started at Disney animation, CG animation was really just a tiny blip on the radar. Lion King had just come out to huge success, and Disney had a long slate of traditionally animated films in production. I actually remember seeing some of the first scenes from Toy Story, when the Army Men leave Andy's room to spy on the birthday party, and I was like "Wow. This is going to change things from now on." Now CG is the expected route for animated films, and the scope of the stories get bigger and bigger with each release.

Q - In both of your last two projects, you’ve had to take over for another director. Was that challenging for you?
A - Byron Howard: It's very challenging to step in on a project after another director has put his stamp on it. We've learned that the best thing to do is to tear the existing film down to the foundation and start with as much of a clean slate as possible. In doing that you can find the core ideas that made the films appealing in the first place.

Q - What was it like to become a director after having run the storyboards?
A - Nathan Greno: In the past I would pitch my storyboards and ideas and sometimes they would change by the time they hit the big screen. I didn't always understand why. Now I can follow ideas through start to finish. They still change... but at least I now understand why they are changing!

Q - What was it like working with Alan Menken?
A - Byron Howard: Alan Menken, and our lyricist Glenn Slater are two genuinely brilliant guys. In a few minutes on the piano, Alan can create a tune that you will remember for the rest of your life, and Glenn's diverse talent shows from the hilarious pub song to the heartfelt ballad in the gondolas. We're very honored to have worked with them both.

Q - Did you always have Zach and Mandy in mind for the roles?
A - Nathan Greno: In the very beginning, we try to create very appealing characters. We have friends around the studio do the temp voices for our early screenings. At some point (before animation begins) we begin the casting process. We saw hundreds of people for the role of Flynn and Rapunzel. Hundreds! It was crazy. It seemed that all of Hollywood wanted these parts. There were a lot of amazing auditions, but in the end Mandy and Zac totally nailed it. They were incredible. People are always surprised to hear they didn't record together because their characters are so charming on screen. Mandy and Zac were the perfect fit.

Q - Did you have any real life locations in mind when designing the Kingdom and its surrounding environments?
A - Byron Howard: Yes. We take our research very seriously. Knowing that we wanted Rapunzel's story to take place in central Europe (Austria/Hungary) we did exhaustive research into local architecture, artwork, even flora and fauna. Every tree you see in TANGLED's forest actually grows in those regions of central Europe.

Q - What prompted you to include Pascal, Rapunzel's chameleon side kick, in the cast?
A - Byron Howard: Pascal came from the need to have someone for Rapunzel to talk to in that tower. We knew we needed that character, but we didn't want to do the typical squirrel, chipmunk or bird that you see so often in these tales. We thought a lizard sounded like a quirky pet for a quirky young woman.

Q - Can you talk a bit about the genesis and evolution of TANGLED?
A - Nathan Greno: The idea of a Rapunzel story has been around the Disney Animation Studios since the 1930's... it was on one of Walt's early lists. It took a long time to bring this film to the screen. The problem is the original tale is a very small story. It takes place in a tower. A girl is waiting around to be rescued. It's all very passive and small. We needed to blow up the scale of the film... turn it into a big event. We really tried to keep what worked in the original. The original icons of the classic story are all there... it's just been updated for a modern audience.

Q - Is it me or did some of the animals seem smarter than Flynn?
A - Nathan Greno: Max and Pascal would agree with that.

Q - At what point during the film making process did you know you had a hit?
A - Byron Howard: I don't think you know anything about how a film's going to do until it does it. It's always our hope that these films will do well; we pour our hearts and souls into every frame, tear the story apart reaching for more emotion and more comedy, but ultimately, it's up to the audience whether they fall in love with a film or not. We're delighted that TANGLED has become so popular, it's a great reward for all that work.

Q - How did you two divide your directing tasks?
A - Nathan Greno: We mostly didn't! We tried to stick together as much as we could. We are both better in different areas... but we like to be there in the same room to challenge each other. We want to make all of our decisions the best they can be. We work best as a team. It brings us the best results on screen.

Q – Rapunzel’s "mother" Gothel was also a very interesting, and rather scary, character. Did you draw on past witches and femme fatales from Disney movies for inspiration?
A - Nathan Greno: Disney does villains better than anyone and we needed to live up to the classic villains of our past films. We think Gothel is mostly scary because she isn't a witch. She doesn't have "powers", but she has a very evil mind. Evil minds actually exist in the real world -- I think that's why she freaks people out!

Q - I’ve noticed that you bear a slight resemblance to Flynn Rider. Is this simply coincidence or directorial influence perhaps…? In all seriousness though, having been a huge part of films like TANGLED and Bolt means that your influence in these films will carry on to future generations of viewers. Does this knowledge play a part in the choices you make during the production of these films?
A - Byron Howard: We like to say that Flynn has my hair and Nathan's strong chin and goatee. Flynn's a handsome guy, so if anyone thinks we look like him, we'll take it. The fact that these films can endure for generations is one of the reasons we work at Disney. Last Halloween, a little girl showed up on Nathan's doorstep dressed as Snow White. That film is over seventy years old, can you think of any other films that have that kind of longevity? It's amazing. We really hope this version of the Rapunzel story becomes the definitive version for generations of movie fans.

Q - What are you most proud of with TANGLED?
A - Nathan Greno: The whole thing! Really. We worked hard to make sure it was all worth watching. The movie had to look great, the story had to be strong, and the characters had to be fun and appealing. There's so much action and emotion in the film... it's really everything I wanted it to be. I'm most proud of the whole thing!

Q - How important was it for you to make sure that the lead in this movie was a strong woman?  It  goes a little bit against the stereotype of a fairy tale princess...
A - Byron Howard: We knew Rapunzel had to have a lot of girl power. She and Flynn are the engine that drives this story, and making her too prissy or passive would have been cheating our audience. We love that Rapunzel's not perfect, she's quirky, funny and real. She has a very bohemian quality about her, painting her walls and running around the forest with bare feet through the mud. Above all, she's much more like a real person, strong, smart interesting and flawed.

Q - How did each of you get your start in the entertainment industry? Was animation always your passion?
A - Nathan Greno: I wanted to work for Disney ever since I was a kid. I was always into creating my own comic strips and comic books. I loved to create my own worlds and characters. I loved storytelling. My mom started taking me to see the Disney films when I was a kid and I fell in love with them. Disney created better stories and better characters than anyone. I wanted to go there and learn. I was in first grade when I told my parents I wanted to work for Disney. I guess things do work out in life if you want something bad enough.

Q - Will you be working together on another Disney animation project, in the future?
A - Nathan Greno: Yep. We couldn't be happier with the results of TANGLED... we felt like we had no choice but to do this again! We pitched a few ideas to John Lasseter and we are currently developing another film... stay tuned!

Q - Which Disney princess is your favorite?
A - Nathan Greno: Rapunzel, baby!

Q - What are you most proud of with TANGLED?
A - Byron Howard: I think we're most proud of our crew. Nathan and I asked the world of them during our hectic production schedule and they delivered the most beautiful film anyone could imagine. It's a great reward for all six hundred crew members to see people around the world falling in love with their work.

Q - Did you have the cast of actors and actresses for this movie already planned out - or did you go into this project with an open mind for talent?
A - Byron Howard: Our audition process for TANGLED was un-believe-ably huge. Nathan and I saw over three hundred actresses for the Rapunzel role alone. The benefit to doing that thorough of a search is that when you finally find the right actress, as we did in Mandy Moore, you really know that she's the one.

Q - What artists did you consult for the look of the film? It looks pre-Raphaelite to me.
A - Nathan Greno: We actually looked at the classic Disney films of the 1940's and 50's! We wanted TANGLED to sit on the shelf next to Alice in Wonderland, Dumbo, Peter Pan -- all of those great movies, but we wanted it to be fresh and different and modern as well. By going after a classic Disney look/style... and creating that look in the computer... we thought we could find that balance.

Q - How important is music to an animated film?
A - Byron Howard: I think music is integral to all film. Every animated film shouldn't be a musical, but songs, music or score can do so much to move an audience emotionally, and that's a power we don't take lightly. There are parts of TANGLED's score that still make me tear up.

Q - What were three main challenges you faced making TANGLED?
A - Nathan Greno: The schedule was terrible. Usually you have 4 to 5 years to make one of these films. We only had 2. It was crazy. Lucky for us, we were working with a very devoted, hard-working, talented crew. We all worked around the clock. We worked through weekends and holidays. We all believed in this film. We basically did the impossible. The film looks like it took 5 years to make... and it only took 2!

Q - 2010 was really, according to many, a great year for animated movies... Were you a little bit disappointed when that movie wasn't nominated for an Oscar. Especially this year, where many claimed that there should have been five nominees.
A - Byron Howard: Yes, we were initially very disappointed when TANGLED didn't receive an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature. However, the day before the Oscar announcements we had shown the film at the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, and the reaction from those kids and their parents is worth more to us than one million Oscars.

Q - Seven years of research went into the creation of Rapunzel's hair. Were you satisfied with the final result?
A - Nathan Greno: Without a doubt, YES! The hair looks amazing. You've never seen anything like it in any animated film. It's just incredible. I have no idea how our tech crew made that hair work. I know it was a nightmare to figure out. I couldn't be more proud of the results and of our team. They did a great job.

Q - How was working on TANGLED different to working on Bolt?
A - Nathan Greno: For Bolt I oversaw the story department. I worked with a team of artists - we came up with story and character ideas and sent them on to the next department. On TANGLED, I am one of the directors. I now get to follow those story ideas through the creative process. I love my job. I still get to storyboard from time to time... I'd never want to give that up.

Q - Family plays a very strong role in this film. What prompted you to explore the mother/daughter dynamic through the character of Rapunzel?
A - Byron Howard: Nathan and I were fascinated by this bizarre relationship that Gothel had created between herself and this kidnapped girl. To try to find out more about mother/daughter relationships, we asked a bunch of women from our studio to stay after one evening to have a chat about their relationships with their mothers. It turned into a therapy session! We were amazed at how brutal some of the things that their mothers would say to these women, but it was always coming from a place of "I know what's best for you" or "I'm trying to keep you safe". This push/pull that happens between parents and children is a rich, rich area to explore with classic tales like this.

Q - Do you think that home viewers will miss out on some of the delights of seeing TANGLED on the big screen with all the bells and whistles?
A - Byron Howard: The Blu-Ray looks extraordinary, so beauty-wise, I think the experience will echo the theater experience nicely. I do think there will always be something about viewing a film in an audience, hearing people all around you laugh, cry, and react to the story playing out in front of you. It's a social, human thing that I don't think will ever go away completely.

Q - Why do you think it’s easier for some to look at stylized characters like the ones in TANGLED instead of the motion capture ones like in Polar Express?
A - Nathan Greno: I personally enjoy the more stylized design because it's not reality... if done well, it's better than reality. You have more control over the appeal of the characters. I see the real world every day, it's fun to watch a movie and be taken on a journey that feels believable... but isn't real. It's all a matter of taste, but I really like stylized characters better. It's just more fun.

Q - How did you arrive at 70 feet of hair for Rapunzel? Is that length something that you guys settled on after some visual tests? Or is that how long someone's hair would get if they didn't actually cut it for 18 years?
A - Byron Howard: Actually, seventy feet is how long the hair had to be to reach the bottom of the tower. It was that simple. That said, there are times in the film where we add or subtract a little length depending on the needs of the scene.

Q - Are there any hidden nods to other films included in TANGLED that you can tell us to look out for?
A - Byron Howard: Look for Pinocchio hidden in the pub and in Rapunzel's tower, each newel post on her staircase is painted with the symbol of Disney's previous five princesses.

Q - At what age did you decide you'd like to work with Disney?
A - Nathan Greno: I was in 1st grade! That was a looong time ago...

Q - The scene in the gondolas is a show-stopper. Where did the idea of the lanterns come from?
A - Byron Howard: The idea for the lantern scene came from John Ripa, one of our story artists. We needed something that Rapunzel could see from miles away, locked up in her tower, that would draw her out to the kingdom. We thought "Fireworks?" But that didn't seem quite right. Then John mentioned this lantern ceremony that they do in Indonesia. We brought it up on YouTube and that was it, we knew that had to be in the movie. It's perfect for CG as well, because we can actually create thirty to forty thousand of these beautiful things for the audience to marvel at.

Q - How were you, as a storyboard director, considered as another director for TANGLED?
A - Nathan Greno: John Lasseter asked me to direct the Bolt DVD short film. Byron helped me on that short -- there were departments I never worked in before and Byron showed me the ropes. John Lasseter really liked the job I did on the short and asked if I would like to direct a Rapunzel film for the studio. Yes! Of course! He asked if I would like to direct with anyone or by myself. I asked for Byron. Byron said yes... and today we have TANGLED!

Q - How was directing this feature with another director beside you? Were there any difficulties or is it a normal occurrence?
A - Byron Howard: I really prefer directing as part of a team. Nathan and I have very good chemistry together and we are constantly pushing each other to make sure the film is as good as it can be. The thing that saves us from any huge disagreements is our shared philosophy that whatever is best for the story, wins.

Q - Why do you think you were able to get boys interested in a “Disney Princess” film?
A - Nathan Greno: Mostly because I don't feel we made a "princess film.”  Honestly, I feel we made a movie that has princess elements in it -- but I wouldn't call it a princess film. TANGLED has a ton of action, a ton of humor, a ton of heart and emotion. It's a film for everyone. Yes, we have a princess... but she doesn't know she's a princess. It was easy to get boys interested in the movie because we made a movie for everyone to enjoy.

Q - Other than TANGLED, what is your favorite Disney movie?
A - Nathan Greno: I love Dumbo! Best. Film. Ever.

Q - What were three main challenges you faced making TANGLED?
A - Byron Howard: 1. The schedule 2. The schedule 3. The schedule. Honestly, the film was challenging in a hundred ways, but the fact that we had to make this film in half the time of other features was the real bear. Happily, the film looks more amazing than we could've ever hoped for, but our poor crew really took a beating trying to hit those deadlines with Nathan and myself being so slavish to quality. We love our crew, and the fact that their work has made such a splash in the world really justifies all their hard work and sacrifice.

Q - Did you get much sleep throughout the making of TANGLED?
A - Nathan Greno: Zzzzzzz... what? Sorry. I missed the question...

Q - Was there a character that was initially in the story, but was removed because they no longer fit within the story?
A - Byron Howard: We had a fortune-telling monkey that was very popular, but eventually we found that he wasn't part of where the story needed to go. You can see a hint of him in the end credits.

Q - Do you think you and Byron will become a directing duo from now on?
A - Nathan Greno: We already pitched new ideas to our boss, John Lasseter and we are currently working as a team developing one of those ideas into a feature film. So... YES!

Q - Who thought up Flynn's "smolder" face? Was it based on anyone in particular?
A - Byron Howard: The smolder is based on my directing buddy, Nathan. He has a way with the ladies.

Q - Nine versions of Rapunzel were created before you settled on the final version. What were some of the other versions like?
A - Nathan Greno: Really? Nine? The idea of a Rapunzel movie has been around the Disney Animation Studio since the 1930's... I bet there has been more than nine.

Q - Who came up with the idea of the Rapunzel emotional whipsaw scene, where she's jubilant to be out of her tower one moment and in tears because she's betraying her mother's trust the next. As any parent of a daughter will tell you, that moment in the movie such Rapunzel such a real. relatable character. So who came up with that story concept?
A - Byron Howard: That scene was storyboarded by story artist Marc Smith. That was one of the earliest scenes we boarded in the film and it held fast as one of the key moments for the audience to connect with this young woman. Many people have commented on how true-to life that scene is.

Q - What is your favorite song in TANGLED?
A - Nathan Greno: I really love them all. I guess if I had to pick one... I would go with the pub song "I've Got a Dream.” It's just silly and fun and crazy. It's always wild to watch.

A - Byron Howard: Mine personally, is "I See the Light." The moment we heard Alan Menken's demo we knew that one would be a classic.

Q - There's some concept art in "The Art of TANGLED" that shows Rapunzel's love interest as more of a muscular commoner / farm boy, rather than a handsome rogue like Flynn Rider. Was this story idea seriously explored? Or just something that was considered?
A - Byron Howard: The burlier leading man was from a previous version of the movie. Nathan and I knew we wanted a dashing thief from the get-go, so Flynn, as you see him in the movie, evolved from that idea. He also evolved from the "Hot Man Meeting" where we asked dozens of women at the studio to bring in pictures of their favorite hunky men to help us design Flynn. Being a guy in that meeting was brutal. Those ladies have high standards!

Q - How did the idea for the "hot man" meeting come up?
A - Nathan Greno: We had a great design for Rapunzel. She was super cute and incredibly appealing. We needed Flynn to be up to that level, so we had this crazy idea to bring all of the women of the studio into a room and ask them what they thought made up a "hot man". It was a crazy meeting. Crazy. Photos of all the hottest men in Hollywood being thrown around a room. Photos being torn in half and pasted back together. Eyes were ripped from one picture and put on another. Heads were torn from photos. I've never seen anything like it. I'm happy to be alive.

Q - What was your favorite animated film growing up, has it inspired you up and until today?
A - Byron Howard: The animated film that made me want to be an animator was The Little Mermaid. Ariel was the first Disney heroine I had ever seen where there seemed to be a real soul behind those eyes. As soon as I saw that film, I knew I wanted to be a part of Disney Animation. Little did I know that I'd wind up working on TANGLED with Ariel's creator, legendary animator Glen Keane. Life's good.

Q - In what way was Rapunzel inspired by Ariel in The Little Mermaid?
A - Byron Howard: I think Rapunzel is like Ariel in that they come across as very real young women. That was very important to us for Rapunzel, because the more you can relate and identify with these characters, the greater your emotional response will be to the journey that they take on screen.

Q - How do you think Rapunzel stacks up against the long line of Disney princesses? And what do you think she's brought to the table which is fresh or new?
A - Nathan Greno: Rapunzel is the most modern of all the Disney Princesses. She is full of GIRL POWER. We love that about her. She doesn't wait around to be rescued. She takes matters into her own hands. She's a fun, funny and silly girl. She's very talented and smart. We wanted to make a role model for modern kids. We were really happy with the way she turned out.

Q - Was TANGLED always going to be Disney's 50th animation film? Or, did it just come about like that?
A - Byron Howard: It was a big surprise to us that we were Disney Animation's fiftieth animated feature. It added more pressure for sure, but we love that our film holds that important place in Disney history.

Q - Was Flynn's facial hair based off your own?
A - Nathan Greno: It was in my contract... one of the TANGLED characters had to have my facial hair.

Q - Had you two ever worked together on a film before? You two seem to work very well together.
A - Nathan Greno: We fight all the time when the cameras are off. Nah. We get along really well. It's hard to find someone you can work with every day. I guess we got lucky.

Q - How do you think TANGLED has changed the future of Disney films?
A - Byron Howard: I think that TANGLED proves that this studio can make smart, contemporary films that still retain everything that the audience loves about traditional Disney filmmaking. The slate of upcoming projects coming up from our studio excites me because they're not what you would expect. It's a great time to be a part of this studio.

Q - Were there any traits in Rapunzel that were directly from Mandy Moore such as her being barefoot constantly, or the short brown hair at the end of the film?
A - Byron Howard: Mandy and Rapunzel definitely have similarities. They're both incredibly smart, funny, artistic young women, and unbeknownst to us, Mandy jumps out of airplanes! Just like Rapunzel leaps off cliffs and swings from the rafters. Adventurous young women as well.

Q - How involved is John Lasseter during the whole process?
A - Nathan Greno: John has to approve everything we do and that guy only wants the best. It's amazing working with him. I've learned a lot from John. He lets you get your vision of the film up on the screen... and he brings out the best in you and your work. What could be better?

Q - Did you get much sleep throughout the making of TANGLED?
A - Byron Howard: Nope.

Q - Do you know how many layers of animation were involved to create Rapunzel's hair?
A - Byron Howard: Rapunzel's amazing head of hair has over 100,000 strands.

Q - What advice do you have for kids who dream about one day directing?
A - Nathan Greno: Go for it! I grew up in a small, factory town in Wisconsin. It took a long time to get where I am, but I worked very hard and my dream came true. It's possible to do whatever you want in life if you work hard enough.

Q - What advice would you give to people who want to break into the entertainment industry?
A - Byron Howard: Do what you love and do it with passion. Passionate people really push every industry ahead, including animation.

Q - Any final thoughts on TANGLED?
A - Nathan Greno: I just wanted to say thanks for all the great questions! I just wish I could type faster. This has been a lot of fun for me. Also: a BIG thanks to all who support the film -- TANGLED has been a true labor of love for us!

Q - Any final thoughts on TANGLED?
A - Byron Howard: We're delighted that TANGLED has made such a big splash in the world. Wait till you see what we have in store next! Thanks everyone.


#6 of 40 OFFLINE   jim_falconer


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Posted March 19 2011 - 02:58 AM

Thanks so much for posting the transcript with Tangled's 2 directors.  Interesting questions, and some surprising responses from them.  As for the film itself, I absolutely loved it!  I've seen it at least 6 times in the theater, purchased the soundtrack after the first viewing, and will be picking up the Blu-ray as soon as it becomes available.  Like the directors talk about, the film has so much going for it.  Great comedy, action, emotion, and music.  Everything comes together.  And what always amazes me, is that I'm able to pick up new things throughout the film, with each viewing.  In the cannon of Disney's animated films, I would say this one falls slightly behind my top three films (Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas, and Hunchback of Notre Dame), but surpasses all others.  I'm certainly looking forward to the next film these two talented men direct...

#7 of 40 ONLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted March 21 2011 - 06:28 PM

Thanks for the interview Matt.  There were some interesting tidbits in there.  I think I liked this a bit more than you and Jason (and maybe a tad less than Jim) [/url]

#8 of 40 OFFLINE   Jason_V



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Posted March 22 2011 - 01:48 AM

The more I listen to the soundtrack, Adam, the more it grows on me.  It still sounds too much like Beauty and the Beast to me, but it's enjoyable nonetheless.  Maybe I'll warm up more to the movie once I watch it 20 more times.  Thanks for the activity book.  I know three kids who are going to get a lot of fun out of them!

#9 of 40 ONLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted March 24 2011 - 09:28 AM

No problem, glad then enjoyed them.  With the twins I am preparing myself for 20 viewings.  Disney just released a $5 off coupon.  Its only good for the 4 disc version though:

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#10 of 40 OFFLINE   Brisby


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Posted March 24 2011 - 03:08 PM

What the crap? Disney usually gives us a ten-dollar coupon. That means the fiver will probably only bring the total price down to about $25 next week, and I have no use for the DVD or digital copy or 3D versions of the movie.

#11 of 40 ONLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted March 24 2011 - 03:41 PM

Originally Posted by Brisby [url=/forum/thread/309754/htf-blu-ray-review-tangled-3d-2d-combo-pack#post_3793481]

I could be wrong, but it seems like those $10 coupons are usually for movies that are already out on DVD, not new to home video like Tangled is.

#12 of 40 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted March 24 2011 - 11:58 PM

In addition to the interview with the directors of Tangled, I also participated last week in a virtual roundtable interview with producer-supervising animator Glen Keane. I attended the 4:30 interview session, but here are transcripts of both sessions with the man who also brought us Ariel in The Little Mermaid and the Beast in Beauty and the Beast.


Q - How did you reach the amazing “organic quality“ in terms of the character animation.? Did you have any special tools /techniques to improve that effect, or is it in the end just the hard work of the artists?
A - Glen Keane / : For me it was very important to find what I call "bridge people." These are people who understand computer and hand drawn animation. They are translators in a sense. John Kahrs and Clay Kaytis where my partners as supervising animators. I call us "the triumvirate." And they found ways to pull me in so I could do what comes naturally to me, draw. We installed a cintiq tablet in our dailies screening room and I would watch the animators’ recent animation. I could draw over the top of every frame if necessary and the animators would see it large on the screen and those drawings would then appear on each animator’s computer back in their offices. That way it was a constant natural mentorship throughout the making of this film bringing the appeal of hand drawn into CG.

Q - Hair animation is still one of the most challenging parts in today’s cg animation work.  How much effort and research did you need to end up with such perfect effects?
A - Glen Keane / : We started writing software to animate the hair in 2005. Kelly Ward, who has a PhD in animating computer hair, joined our team and was every bit as creative as I am with a pencil as she was with numbers, equations, concepts and the vision to interpret those elements into a beautiful, flowing, organic hair on the screen.

Q - Can you talk about how the casting of Zachary and Mandy influenced your drawings, if they did at all?
A - Glen Keane / : When you are about to animate a character, the voice has a huge impact on the look of that character. For example, if you are speaking to someone on the phone who you have never met, that voice immediately conjures up images of what that person looks like. Maybe when you meet them they don't look like that but that voice carries the visual DNA in it. I had been listening to a lot of different actresses and Mandy Moore has that irrepressible quality in her voice. And that was the specific word we were using to describe Rapunzel, irrepressible. Zac has a very carefree irreverence in his personality and voice which affected the way the character moved and also the design. For Rapunzel that irrepressible quality came out in the large eyes that are so expressive and for Zac, this wry smile, the expression that we put into the character really came from listening to Zac's voice.

Q - You’ve said in interviews that you modeled Ariel after you wife, Tarzan after your son and The Beast after yourself. Who was Rapunzel modeled after? Is she in anything like Ariel/Pocahontas?
A - Glen Keane / : Using my family for inspiration is really a part of my own creative DNA. It's what my Dad did when he created The Family Circus, the syndicated cartoon which he based on his own family. Dad said that I was Billy in The Family Circus. Dad always told me to draw what you know and there is nobody that I know better than my wife and children. With Rapunzel, she has this irrepressible spirit and right away in thinking through this story I thought, how does she survive in this tower for 18 years? This creative energy in her would have to come out I surmised in the form of artistic expression.  I figured Rapunzel would have painted on every square inch of her walls.  As I was developing this idea, I realized this was my daughter Claire. When she was 7 years old she was telling my wife that she wanted to paint her bedroom walls and ceiling. She had all sorts of ideas of images to paint. My wife said, "I'm not going to let a 7 year old loose with a paint brush painting the walls of the house" Jump to 13 years later, Claire was attending Academy Julian in Paris, an art school, and when it came time to hire someone to create Rapunzel's artistic style, Claire was the perfect choice. So she started working with me on Rapunzel. When you see Rapunzel paint on the walls you see Claire paint and actually fulfill her dream.

Q - What was it like to work with Ollie and Eric? Did they give you any advice that you still use today?
A - Glen Keane / : It's funny, when I started at Disney 37 years ago I was a 20 year old artist who knew nothing about animation. I had the privilege of working with Walt Disney's "Nine Old Men." Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston and Eric Larsen were my mentors. The things they told me were deeply implanted in my mind and throughout the whole process of this movie I repeated those. I felt like I was passing on the baton. I remember Ollie saying, "Don't draw what the character is doing, draw what the character is thinking."  It was very important in Tangled that the animators would crawl into the skin of the characters and live in them. You can feel it when an animator believes in what he is animating. Eric Larsen used to say all the time, "The key to Disney animation is sincerity." That translates for an actor to mean take something real in your own experience and put it up on screen. So besides the drawing and design elements, this was more of the intuitive or spiritual element I was trying to bring to the animators, the idea of living in the characters we animate.

Q - Bringing Rapunzel to life had to be a big challenge, because she moves in one way but her hair, as another character, has its own life. Could you explain to us the process to animate her? Did you animate Rapunzel first and then her hair? Which steps did you follow?
A - Glen Keane / : The first step in animating Rapunzel was to design the character with all the bells and whistles necessary to animate incredibly subtle emotion. That meant working closely with modelers and riggers, the people that create the entire nervous system under the skin of a CG character. Then the directors issue the scene to the animator. Byron and Nathan would act the scene out so the animator could watch their expression and body attitude. Sometimes I would do drawings at that moment as I would interpret Byron as Rapunzel doing that same action. The animator then would do a rough first pass of the animation and I would do drawing corrections over the top in our dailies sessions. The directors would then make comments about what they wanted to take out or add or push. Once we had the basic movement down we would animate the hair. Sometimes the animator would control the 14 tubes of hair, each with 10,000 hairs in each tube, or we would have the simulation team animate the hair based on the movement the animator had created with the body. The simulation follows the laws of physics with some extra Pixie dust ingredients that our team of hair animators created.

Q - Which one from your many, many past projects was most defining for your career, and why?
A - Glen Keane / : I would have to say The Little Mermaid because I discovered I love characters who have this burning desire inside that they believe the impossible is possible. Since then I have followed that path, now with Tangled. This character of Rapunzel has brought me to a new crossroads. How far can hand drawn affect, or be integrated into, computer animation? I now try to see animation not as CG or hand drawn but simply as filmmaking.

Q - Your background is huge. How hard is it for you to step into that digital world now and in which parts can you count on you massive experiences from the past?
A - Glen Keane / : At first I was very tentative about how I could influence CG with my pencil. I have to say that I don't know how to animate on the computer but I have never been afraid of the computer. John Lasseter and I did the very first computer animation test back in the 80's, so I have always seen computer animation wherever it crosses the path of hand drawn, forcing me to draw better and to think more sculpturally. Drawing on the Syntec over top of computer images was very natural and fluid. I could even animate very quickly live in front of the room full of animators and demonstrate how I felt the action could play. Drawing is an incredibly affective tool to communicate ideas. It really is true that a picture is worth a thousand words.

Q - Would you call "Tangled" a feminist movie? Your female characters, regardless of who they are, good or bad, are strong and persevering.
A - Glen Keane / : I don't think of Tangled as a feminist or non-feminist movie. I think of Rapunzel as an example of the highest qualities of human nature, male or female. I see her as an illustration of every human being who is born with a divine spark, a potential to become something unique. And the walls that surround her, and hold her back, are symbolic of walls in anyone's life, those things that hold us back from being who we really long to be. Yes, that is feminist and masculinist and humanist.

Q - What has been your favorite film to work on for Disney?
A - Glen Keane / : It's a little like who is your favorite child? Every film holds some very special moments in my life. Ariel was a character that launched a renaissance and that will always be perhaps the most special. Tangled in a very similar way is a launching pad for what I hope will be a new renaissance and someday in retrospect I hope to say the same thing about Tangled as I said about The Little Mermaid. I do believe the greatest moments in Disney history have been launched by fairytales.

Q - What´s your opinion about the Disney Animation evolution?
A - Glen Keane / : Disney animation needs to continue to evolve, embracing both its hand drawn heritage and the newest inventions of CG. It's funny but hand drawn animation at Disney has a look that was created out of technical limitations, i.e.  painting on cells. CG can liberate us from this restrictive form. It's a future I am anxious to be a part of.

Q - Your Dad drew “The Family Circus,” a single-panel comic strip that I enjoyed growing up. I didn’t know it at the time, but you were apparently the model for Billy. What effect did seeing yourself as a comic strip character have on you or the way you approach animation?
A - Glen Keane / : When I draw, I become the character that I draw. Perhaps I owe that to seeing myself portrayed in my dad's comics as a child.

Q - How has your father influenced your work in animation?
A - Glen Keane / : My dad is an entertainer. Every dinner with him was an opportunity to tell jokes and entertain the family. I always wanted that opportunity to be on stage and to entertain. At the same time. my dad encouraged me to approach art from a classical standpoint. When I was 10 he gave me a book called Dynamic Anatomy, and I started to study drawing the figure from the inside out: muscles, skeleton, design. These two aspects of entertainer and artist that my dad encouraged have found the perfect blend in animation.

Q - When did you decide to give Rapunzel brown hair in the end? Was that part of the story from day one, or something that came up later in the making of the movie?
A - Glen Keane / : The brown hair developed in the process of telling the story. We needed to show that the hair died or lost its power. Color is the clearest way of doing that. It was difficult at first to imagine Rapunzel as a brunette, but ultimately it reinforced the theme that outward appearances don't define who we really are.

Q - How do you start drawing a character? It is just a matter of inspiration or maybe it implies a long period of study?
A - Glen Keane / : The development of a character for me is a very personal journey. I have an odd belief that the character already exists before I start to draw them. Similar to what Michelangelo describes in setting a figure free from the marble that surrounds it. This liberation may happen quickly or slowly but there is definitely a moment when the character rises out of the paper and I recognize them. It's a wonderful day when that happens.

Q - Which is your favorite Disney character hairstyle of all time?
A - Glen Keane / : The hairstyle is very important because it is like someone’s signature. Rapunzel and Ariel vie for that special honor of having the favorite hairstyle for me. They both have the distinctive swoop that I emphasize for the doll makers and the merchandise books to follow. Both hairstyles have rhythm and volume. There is a sensuality to hair that I am fascinated with, it's movement, it's feel and this softening effect it can have on the audience's attraction to that character.

Q - What inspires you in you work? How much time do you need to draw a character?
A - Glen Keane / : I find great joy in experiencing the emotions and physical actions of the characters I animate. The challenge of Tangled was to enjoy that experience through the hands of other animators. I find that I feel like a proud papa in seeing each animator take moments of their own life and put that on the screen, whether it is Mother Gothel, Flynn , Maximus or Rapunzel.

Q - Tangled was first titled Rapunzel Unbraided. It was changed because the story focuses on Rapunzel en Flynn equally. It remained unchanged in parts of Europe however. Do you think Rapunzel isn’t just about Rapunzel? And the hair…
A - Glen Keane / : Back in the early stages of Rapunzel, there was a desire to portray the fairytale in a very modern twist, thus the title Rapunzel Unbraided. Ultimately, I wanted to embrace the classic fairytale and set that title aside, as well as that story.

Q - If the loss of her hair symbolized the loss of her power to heal, then how did her tears heal Flynn? Is it an inherent power within her that works even without singing or her hair?
A - Glen Keane / : The healing tear was an important element in the original fairytale. It always symbolized for me that the true nature of Rapunzel's gift came from her heart, not her hair. This dramatic ending allows us to revisit a similar moment from Dumbo. When he loses his magic feather and can still fly, he can fly because that's who he was, a flying elephant. Rapunzel finds that the healing power never left her and is actually released by love. Does she keep healing every time she sheds a tear? I believe that was the last of that power.

Q - How much video reference was done for "Tangled"? I was really impressed at how believably the characters moved in a lot of scenes.
A - Glen Keane / : The animators had the habit of filming themselves. Sometimes in dailies we would critique the live action that they showed of themselves acting out the scenes. You could select key frames and build a very simplified version of their acting suitable for animation and then build on those poses, exaggerating.  We would do that by drawing and pushing the curves of the CG figure, enhancing expressions. But the final effect still held its roots in that original performance that the animator filmed in his or her office. Some of the most amazing animators on the film were a team of female animators who really poured themselves into the character of Rapunzel.

Q - This might be a tough question for you to answer, given not just Disney’s push but all the studios’ collective push for 3D, but if there were no outside pressures or preferences, would your preference have been to make a 2D or 3D film? Can you explain?
A - Glen Keane / : On John Lasseter's first day at Disney Animation as president, he came down to my office and gave me the choice to animate Rapunzel in 2D or CG. I told John if he had asked me three years ago I would have said 2D for sure but for the last three years I had been building a team around me with the idea that there was a better synthesis of the best of 2D and the best of CG possible. We had a new vision of what animation could be and I really wanted to pursue that goal. So I told John, let’s do it in CG.

Q - A chicken and egg question. How developed were the main characters of Rapunzel and Flynn Rider before you went looking for the right voice talents? Or did the talents come first, with the characters scarcely developed?
A - Glen Keane / : We had the characters very clearly defined before we found the voices. So Mandy and Zac were the perfect match for what we envisioned.



Q - Was it strange -- after being a pencil & notebook guy for all those years -- to suddenly be drawing on a tablet? 
A - Glen Keane: The Syntec tablet at first was very slippery with the stylus pen on glass and it took a couple of weeks to get used to that but I quickly found that there were benefits to it. I could animate very quickly moving from one frame to the next and have my drawings projected up onto the screen in our dailies screening room. All the animators would watch my drawings form and I could talk and actually give animation lessons to the young animators on our crew. I saw this as an opportunity to pass on the baton that had been given to me by Walt's "Nine Old Men."


Q - Is there a sequence you're most proud of, and why? 
A - Glen Keane: The sequence where Flynn is dying in Rapunzel's arms. It was the most difficult and the most rewarding because the acting was so extremely subtle. The expressions of someone crying are inherently ugly. All the muscles in the face fight each other. No one wants a camera in their face at that moment. But we challenged the animators to go for the ugly face and as Rapunzel fights and holds back tears, the emotions are so real and so true. And it's so effective because when that tear comes from Rapunzel's eye and heals Flynn, you believe there is enormous pain in Rapunzel's heart. If you don't believe that tear comes from a heart of love the movie doesn't work. It was successful and emotionally gripping. I was never more proud of our animators then at that moment.

Q - Why was it decided to make Tangled a musical? It seems every Disney animated theatrical release is a musical; why is this? 
A - Glen Keane: Music brings an enormous amount of freedom in storytelling. You can advance a story in fun ways and also in extremely emotional, dramatic ways. Howard Ashman used to say, when you have tried to say something through acting, through dialogue, in every way you possibly can and there is nothing left to do to communicate those feelings, your character has to sing. And there is something about music in fairytales that go together like peanut butter and jelly. It just seems to taste better.

Q - You go to work closely with your daughter Claire on this animated feature. To the point that your granddaughter Matisse was the model for baby Rapunzel. What was it like to work on such a family-based project? 
A - Glen Keane: I guess the idea of using your family in your work comes from my dad. He created a comic called The Family Circus based on his own family, I was the character Billy in Dad's comic. So when it came time for me to animate I have always used my own family as models. Ariel was my wife, Tarzan was my son, I was Beast and my daughter Claire was very much the inspiration for Rapunzel. I remember when Claire was 7 years old she wanted to paint her bedroom walls and ceiling. My wife said no, but when Claire was 21 as an art student, I realized she was the perfect choice to create the look and style of Rapunzel's paintings. So when you see Rapunzel paint you are seeing my daughter Claire's paintings. During the making of the film she gave birth to our first grandchild, a little girl named Matisse. I used Matisse as an inspiration for designing little baby Rapunzel. It all goes back to taking what you know and using that as a source for inspiration. I believe the audience connects to the sincerity that inspired those characters.

Q - Given that you worked on the Disney Princess movie that helped kick start Disney's Second Golden Age of Animation (i.e. “The Little Mermaid"), how does it feel to have been so involved in the creation of "Tangled," the Disney Princess movie that proved that WDAS can make truly great films in the CG format? 
A - Glen Keane: It seems that a fairytale launches every important era of Disney animation. Snow White launched the golden age, Little Mermaid a renaissance, and now it's my hope that Tangled can launch this third golden age of Disney animation. I think the key is finding the synthesis between a new technology, CG and the roots of our heritage, hand drawn.

Q - What is some memorable advice you received from Ollie Johnston? 
A - Glen Keane: My mentor was Ollie Johnston. When I was 20 years old he taught me things like the key to Disney animation is sincerity or don't draw what the character is doing, draw what the character is thinking. These ideas I repeated again and again to our crew during the making of Tangled. For me it was really an occasion to pass on the baton to this new generation.

Q - What advice would you give to people who want to break into the entertainment industry? 
A - Glen Keane: I would say be yourself. The temptation is to give the audience what you think they want instead of opening up and being vulnerable and sharing who you are with them. It seems that every time someone takes that step of vulnerability they discover an audience ready to embrace them.

Q - What was it like working with Nathan & Byron on this feature? 
A - Glen Keane: Nathan and Byron are great actors. They would issue the scenes to the animators by relating moments in their own lives to what they were asking the animators to do. They would act and express very deep emotions, sometimes even with tears. The animators would watch and take notes, I would do drawings on the Syntec tablet, all in an effort to capture Nathan and Byron's performance. They were an engine for driving the subtlety, humor and drama in this film.

Q - I'm told that you took a run at developing an animated version in the mid-1990s, before you started work on "Tarzan." What was it about this Grimm's fairy tale that grabbed and then held your attention? 
A - Glen Keane: While I was working on Tarzan I was simultaneously developing Rapunzel. This story captured my desire to animate characters that have this burning desire inside of them to do what seems impossible. I was attracted to the story because of what I imagined to be Rapunzel's irrepressible nature. And so I developed it with that idea and I believed with all my heart that Disney had to make this fairytale. It went through many changes of management and often times great doubts and efforts to change the story into something other then what I believed. Ultimately it was a joy to work with John Lasseter and Nathan and Byron who caught the original vision and allowed me to focus my efforts into bringing hand drawn into CG.

Q - What do you believe is the most important part of creating a character? 
A - Glen Keane: I have an odd belief that the character exists before they are designed, similar to Michelangelo seeing a figure incased in marble. His task was to set it free. So for me the joy of creating a character that I believe is real is at the heart of creating a memorable character. I use people I know as inspiration. It's a very intimate personal process and I will do hundreds, sometimes thousands, of drawings in finding that design. There is a great "aha" moment when I finally recognize the character on my paper as someone I know. And that happened with Rapunzel. I look at her and I can say with confidence that's her.

Q - Rapunzel is such a "real" teenage girl, especially when it comes to that sequence in the film where her emotions whipsaw back and forth (i.e. where she's thrilled to be out of the tower one moment and then deeply depressed that she's betrayed her mother's trust the next). Given that Disney Princesses tend to be so optimistic and upbeat, was it hard to convince the Studio that a Disney Princess whose emotions were kind of all over the place would play better with today's audiences? 
A - Glen Keane: There was a time when Disney princesses were neatly packaged and always pristine and pretty. Ariel was the first to break from that box. I remember my mentors Frank (Thomas) and Ollie (Johnson) said after the opening of The Little Mermaid that they would never have animated Ariel that way.  I said, ‘why?’ “Because you drew her face with ugly expressions at times when we were very careful to only draw our princesses with prettiest of expressions.”   And at that time I realized that this was a new generation of acting.  Anytime we had a choice to choose pretty or real we would always chose real. The authentic emotion is our goal.

Q - How did you get your start in the entertainment industry? Was animation always you passion? 
A - Glen Keane: I sent my portfolio when I was 18 to CalArts to the school of painting. I wanted to be a fine artist. My portfolio was sent by accident to the school of film graphics, an artsy way of saying animation. I was very disappointed but ultimately discovered animation as the ultimate art form. I liked to think that if Da Vinci or Rodin was alive today they would chose animation as their metier.

Q – Which do you prefer, the 2D traditionally hand drawn animation or 3D computer generated animation? 
A - Glen Keane: I love to live in the skin of the characters I animate. I find the pencil the most intimate connection to my heart in terms of communicating what is inside. There are artists today who don't draw with the traditional pencil. Instead they express themselves with a much more expensive pencil, a computer. One of our top animators on Tangled used to be a plumber and discovered that animation was his true calling. So I have to say I have enormous respect for the pencil and the computer. Personally I prefer to draw with the pencil, but I chose to stand in the middle of the computer world and use everything in my power to make the computer more artist-friendly. Tangled is a result of those efforts.

Q - Which character has been your favorite to animate? 
A - Glen Keane: Every character has touched on some real part of my life. I suppose Ariel really was that character that opened up my heart, that connection in me to animate characters who believe that the impossible is possible. I am a guy who sees life as a glass half full and I relate to a character’s optimism.

Q - Do you plan to do more computer animation, or do you see yourself returning to traditional hand-drawn? 
A - Glen Keane: I see myself continuing on the path of bringing more of hand drawn influence into CG. However, this project has been a long, long journey. I can't wait to get back into animating in 2D. So I suppose I will be running down both paths at the same time.

Q - "Tangled" is a film that often surprises (EX: The fairy tale version of "Rapunzel" is mostly about this girl locked away in a tower. Whereas "Tangled" spends much of its time outside of that tower, as Rapunzel goes out into the world to discover herself; The clichéd movie bad guys -- the thugs at the Snuggly Duckling -- actually turn out to be the good guys, helping Flynn & Rapunzel escape from the guards and then again helping Flynn escape from prison). Was this a deliberate choice while you guys were working on "Tangled" ? That you'd take the audience's expectations and then flip them? 
A - Glen Keane: Have you ever been on a dark ride at Disneyland? The goal is to make the audience think they are heading one direction and then surprising them with a 90 degree turn in a new direction. Suddenly a black wall opens and what once seemed to be a lovely forest turns into a scary witch and you are delighted and scared at the same time. Tangled is like a dark ride in that sense. We are constantly surprising the audience with a twist by playing with their expectations on stereotypes. Really underneath it all is the theme of following your dreams. Even the toughest thugs have dreams.

Q - Can you talk about the difficulties in drawing Rapunzel’s hair and how you overcome these? 
A - Glen Keane: Rapunzel's hair was 70 ft. long. 140,000 individual hairs animating and controlling thousands of hairs was at times like herding a thousand cats. The hair would often explode into a chaotic mess of strong willed pixels bouncing against one another and heading off in their own direction. The real miracle in this movie was Kelly Ward a software engineer who had a PhD in computer generated hair. She wrote software for 6 years on how to control this gigantic beast. We really thought of the hair as another character. I did many drawings to describe the esthetic look of the hair, the rhythm, twist, volume, etc. that needed to be incorporated into the animating of the hair. Drawing once again became the best tool for communicating ideas. A picture is worth a thousand words. But I discovered that creativity is not limited to pencils. Kelly proved that the domain of numbers and equations can be just as creative.

Q - How are Ariel and Rapunzel alike and different? 
A - Glen Keane: Ariel and Rapunzel both are being kept from living their dreams by a barrier. For Rapunzel it's a tower wall and for Ariel it's the ocean surface. They both share this irrepressible spirit . The joy in these characters is to watch them overcome impossible odds in attaining their dream.

Q - How has your impression of computer animation changed over the years? 
A - Glen Keane: In the early 80's John Lasseter and I animated the first blend of hand drawn and CG in the Wild Things test. John eventually left Disney and started that obscure little company, Pixar.  I continued down the path of hand drawn but anytime the computer crossed my path I embraced it. Tarzan surfing down the branches, thanks to deep Canvas, created a wonderful synthesis between 2D and CG. In Treasure Planet, Long John Silver was a combo of hand drawn and CG in the same character thanks to his cyborg body parts. So it was not a big stretch to move towards computer animation for Tangled. The upward path of computer animation continues to approach the beauty and intuitive feel of hand drawn. Eventually there will be a seamless marriage between the two.

Q - Who are your inspirations as far as family, friends, or even other artists go? 
A - Glen Keane: Frederic Back is my favorite animator - a French-Canadian artist, in his 80's now, who created The Man Who Planted Trees. It is a tour de force of personal expression. I dream of doing something so beautiful someday.

Q - How do you keep the creative ideas flowing? How do you fight back against creative blocks? 
A - Glen Keane: I find that when I hit a creative block I see it differently now than I did when I was younger. I used to think of a creative block as proof that my creative journey had come to an end. That I just never really had it. Then I discovered it was not the end but a wall to climb, that really I had come to an end of a plateau and there were new ideas to discover and eventually another creative block to confront. So the way out of a block is to open yourself up to something new. The way I do that is escape from Disney, go to a library and randomly search through books of artists or writers and find some new wind of inspiration. Sometimes I head down the street not far from Disney to the Norton Simon Museum and I always am reminded that this is my time to be an artist and to make the most of the opportunity like these artists before me did i.e. Degas, Renoir, Rodin.

Q - What was the hardest sequence to deal with in this movie and why? 
A - Glen Keane: The difficulty of animating crowds is monumental. When Rapunzel enters the kingdom and sees a world filled with people it put the fear of God into all of us at the studio. How in the world could we animate this crowd and maintain the integrity of everything we wanted in Rapunzel herself? The heroes of that sequence were John Kahrs and Clay Kaytis, my fellow animation supervisors . Typically animation supervisors give the task of animating crowds to the newest animators as quote, "dirty work". Instead John and Clay took it upon themselves to organize, oversee and animate those crowds. Those guys are awesome.

Q - What was your favorite part of working on the masterpiece that is "Tangled"? 
A - Glen Keane: The very best moments for me were working with the animators in helping them dig down deep and find something real inside their own hearts to put into their characters they were animating. It was so rewarding to see people genuinely respond with laughter and tears and to know I had a small part in encouraging this new generation of animators to enjoy what i have enjoyed over my own career. Amen!

Q - What castle inspired you when drawing this one in TANGLED? 
A - Glen Keane: Mont St. Michel in Normandy, France inspired our castle in Tangled. It sits out in the bay surrounded by water and feels so very fairytale like. When I visited it I knew this has to be the kingdom that Rapunzel will someday be Queen of.

Q - Any final thoughts on TANGLED? 
A - Glen Keane: Disney animation has been a home for me for 37 years and I have learned an enormous amount from the artists who I have worked with and the creative challenges in the characters I have animated. I have told the animators many times on this film that they are artists and had they been born five hundred years before, we would be talking about building a cathedral or painting on wet plaster and creating frescoes. But we are born at this time and our cathedral is animated filmmaking. This is their time on the planet to be artists and to be make it count. Open up what is inside of them and put all of their heart into moving this art form forward. That is the future for this art form of animation and Disney studios.


#13 of 40 OFFLINE   Jason_V



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Posted March 25 2011 - 02:16 AM

Originally Posted by Brisby [url=/forum/thread/309754/htf-blu-ray-review-tangled-3d-2d-combo-pack#post_3793481]

Calm down.  The regular BD/DVD is going to be $19.99 at both Target and Best Buy next week.  If you have no use for 3D or DVD, then get that one and you're coming out ahead.

#14 of 40 ONLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted March 25 2011 - 05:29 AM

Amazon just posted a deal where you save $10 off the purchase of Tangled combo pack (either version) and Fantasia, Beauty and the Beast or Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy rescue

#15 of 40 OFFLINE   Brisby


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Posted March 25 2011 - 09:56 AM

Originally Posted by Adam Gregorich 

I could be wrong, but it seems like those $10 coupons are usually for movies that are already out on DVD, not new to home video like Tangled is.

I recall The Princess & The Frog having a $10 coupon.

#16 of 40 OFFLINE   Edwin-S



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Posted March 25 2011 - 11:54 AM

This film was a new low for Disney animation. AFAIAC, it was the first film where Disney actually attempted to make a Dreamworks animated film. Even the style of the character design reminds me of early Dreamworks animation. The score was rather disappointing and unmemorable. Menken hasn't done anything memorable since the death of his original partner Ashman. His other collaborations just have not produced anything that I think even comes close to what he and Ashman did in The Little Mermaid, Aladdin or even Beauty and The Beast.

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#17 of 40 OFFLINE   Brian Borst

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Posted March 28 2011 - 06:12 AM

Originally Posted by Edwin-S 

This film was a new low for Disney animation. AFAIAC, it was the first film where Disney actually attempted to make a Dreamworks animated film. Even the style of the character design reminds me of early Dreamworks animation. The score was rather disappointing and unmemorable. Menken hasn't done anything memorable since the death of his original partner Ashman. His other collaborations just have not produced anything that I think even comes close to what he and Ashman did in The Little Mermaid, Aladdin or even Beauty and The Beast.

Aladdin was finished after Ashman had died, and Menken wrote several of the songs with Tim Rice. I'd also like to add The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which I think is one of the best things he ever did.

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#18 of 40 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted March 29 2011 - 02:50 AM

Originally Posted by Brisby 

I recall The Princess & The Frog having a $10 coupon.

Yup, so did Alice In Wonderland (both versions ;) ).

Crap, I just realized I forgot about the Tangled pre-order deal at the Disney Store. Sigh. . .

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#19 of 40 OFFLINE   Brisby


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Posted March 29 2011 - 08:57 AM

BTW, I tried out the DMR coupon for the 2-disc Blu at Best Buy, and they accepted it without question.

#20 of 40 ONLINE   Mike Frezon

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Posted March 29 2011 - 10:21 AM

Originally Posted by Brisby [url=/forum/thread/309754/htf-blu-ray-review-tangled-3d-2d-combo-pack#post_3794896]


There's Jessie the yodeling cowgirl. Bullseye, he's Woody's horse. Pete the old prospector. And, Woody, the man himself.Of course, it's time for Woody's RoundUp. He's the very best! He's the rootinest, tootinest cowboy in the wild, wild west!

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