"Tangled Adventure": A Sequel Show Worth Watching?
The story of Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure (also called Tangled: The Series) expands on the already complete story of Rapunzel and Flynn Rider (who now goes by his real name, Eugene Fitzherbert) and forming a wider world for the couple and their friends to explore. As a series, Tangled Adventure enriches not only the world where Corona is in but the characters from the original movie and those that have been made for the show.
Now that the show has reached its finale, here are some reasons why you should check out the series:
As one would imagine, the series expanded Corona and the world around it. Corona was the right setting for the original movie because it spoke of the themes related to the light and power of the Sundrop, as well as the optimistic nature of the people. The people of Corona prayed for their lost princess for over 18 years, which shows their love and affection for the royal family and their sense of community.
The series also reveals some reasons why this is the case. First, Corona is a small nation. Or at least so much of what we can call Corona feels small. The limited size is good because it allows us to draw our attention to a small cast of minor players and focus on the supporting characters. This fixes one issue I see with the original movie, its supporting cast. While we know the Stabbingtons, the Captain of the Guard and the royals, the Pub Thugs, minus Shorty, are hard to remember individually. Sure, they work as a collective but the quirks they each have beg for much exploration. The series does offer that and even a new character in the form of Hook Foot.
Second, the sense of community is founded on the history of Corona. The key story that ties the mysteries of the series together is the legend of the Sundrop and the Moonstone, two mystical objects that were discovered and studied by an ancient scientist from Corona named Lord Demanitus. While his research was intended to help the people of Corona prosper, his partner and eventual rival Zhan Tiri desired the power of the objects to herself. Zhan Tiri's loathing for Corona led to an ancient blizzard that nearly destroyed the kingdom and her eventual imprisonment into another dimension. The kingdom was ruled by a love for people, which opposed the selfishness of its enemies. Rapunzel would inherit this attribute and grow in many ways into the character the people of Corona and the audience love and adore.
We also get to explore the world beyond Corona, including the mysterious Dark Kingdom that holds the Moonstone Opal. These places challenge the characters in many ways. One example is the House of Yesterday's Tomorrows, where the protagonists were subject to nightmares, evil doubles and characters turning into children. There is really a lot of fun and enigma surrounding this newly-developed world that ought to be enjoyed to the fullest.
Eugune and Rapunzel as Individual Characters
The story takes place between the original movie's ending and the sequel short film, Tangled Ever After. One would assume right away that the series would look into how Eugene managed to propose to Rapunzel. However, Tangled Adventures does a few surprising things different from the usual princess romance, such as having Rapunzel reject Eugene's first proposal and then having different proposals from both of them thrown into various episodes.
To start with, Rapunzel develops into a more mature character. Given her role as future queen of Corona, she would need to reach out to people. While the movie depict her social naivete and various anxieties, the show reveals her incredible aptitude with bringing people together. One thing we can learn from our protagonist is her ability to reach out and connect, which is a necessary theme for our interconnected modern lifestyle. Although the convenience offered by the internet and social media outlets bring people from around the world closer together, it is evident that the need for close proximity has been lessened. With a pre-modern communal group like Corona, we see that people strive to make connections and help one another.
Another aspect of Rapunzel's character that should be relevant to the youth is her way of connecting to people. Rapunzel is an optimist who sees the potential good a person has. This led her to having friends like Varian, Cassandra, Hookfoot and others who were often shunned for being different. However, it is also her selflessness that has also driven some of her friends to dark places. These moments challenge her character and offer viewers with the importance lesson of emotional resilience and a need to understand those around them. Unique to Rapunzel's story is the idea that the show technically does not have evil people becoming evil. Rather, they turn to dark forces and emotions because of the lack of support and sense of dependence or weakness they intend to remove. It is through these characters that we are not only reminded of Rapunzel's faults but of the importance of human connection and self-actualization through one's life journey.
Eugene is also a fleshed out character that is not entirely defined by his dynamic with Rapunzel. Even during the movie, he was a charming presence with his roguish traits and sense of adventure. Within both the movie and the series, his idealistic self-perception reveals his deeper insecurities and the lack of love he has received as an orphan. Adventure would fill that gap and allow him to discover places and meet friends. It was through Rapunzel that he was able to open up and accept his more emotional side. With her constant support, he accepts his vulnerability and trusts people. Eugene is also humbled through her own words as well. Between the two of them, he is the realist and often warns Rapunzel of the danger of seeing the good in people. It is also through Eugene that Rapunzel strengthens her resolve in times of discouragement.
There is also a lot of nuance to their relationship that deserves deeper exploration. With Cassandra, Rapunzel's snarky lady in waiting, the trio (and the animals Pascal and Maximus, of course) form a solid friendship through their shared adventures and aspirations for a brighter future.
An Incredible Cast
When the series develops into a long character thesis for the original movie's main duo, it has more than enough time to flesh out every person in the world surrounding them. Without giving so much away, the supporting cast the long-haired Princess hangs out with are nothing short of amazing. The characters not only expand the world around Rapunzel but provide some interesting character arcs for viewers to invest in. They help and challenge the princess' worldview while offering their own understanding of their place in the world and Rapunzel's life. Cassandra, for example, may act as a protective bodyguard and best friend to Rapunzel but her own pursuits for glory have allowed Rapunzel to get out of her comfort zone. Varian the Alchemist shows his inquisitiveness and desire for approval. There are also characters, such as Lance, Vigor, Adira, Calliope, Angry and Red, who provide their own contributions.
In a series that centers around a Disney princess and her future with her Prince, it is good to know that the cast is solid in their individual arcs and dynamic with the protagonists.