7 Things 'Tangled' Animated Series Can Learn From Other Disney Movies Turned Animated Series
To the surprise and delight of just about every Disney fan everywhere, on Wednesday it was revealed that Tangled is becoming an animated series. Even better, Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi are reprising their roles as Rapunzel and Flynn Rider respectively, so it will be exactly like watching the popular film about the girl with some serious mommy issues who introduces the frying pan weapon to the Disney canon. However, Tangled is far from the first of their movies that Disney has made a cartoon out of. We've had a Little Mermaid cartoon, a Hercules cartoon, an Aladdin cartoon, a Lion King cartoon, and much, much more. If Tangled is smart, it will learn some lessons from Disney's other movies turned cartoon series.
Of course, Disney is basically an old pro at this, so I doubt Tangled really needs any advice from me. However, having watched all of those series, I think I have a good handle on exactly what works and what doesn't when it comes to movies making the jump from the big screen to the small screen. I mean, some of he lessons listed below are kind of obvious, some of them are blatant wish fulfillment, but all of them are going to help Tangled be the best cartoon we've ever seen — just like it was one of the best movies we'd ever seen.
1. Don't Contradict The Films
The difficult thing about picking up a cartoon series between films is that sometimes things might happen in the cartoon that really should have been mentioned in the film that chronologically comes after it. This problem cropped up in The Little Mermaid animated series and in the Aladdin series — the former was set before the events of the first film and the latter between films one and two. People and events you'd think would have warranted a mention in the original films can happen accidentally, so Disney should be mindful of that.
2. Tell Stories We Need To Hear
The Tangled TV series will be set in a perfect place: after the first film but before Rapunzel and Eugene's actual wedding. This means we'll get to see Rapunzel adjusting to her life of freedom and royalty, learning how to rule her kingdom and ascend the throne, and finally living the life that her not-real mother stole from her so many years ago. I'm getting feels just thinking about it, so hopefully it's not all slapstick comedy and is instead interspersed with some real emotion.
3. Focus On The Main Couple
Hercules took place during the titular character's teen years — so there was no Meg in sight. Same with The Little Mermaid. However, the true offender on this score was Aladdin, which introduced the villainess Sadira. Sorry if it was just me, but her backstory episode made me wish that she and Aladdin were a couple over Aladdin and Jasmine. She was just so darn sympathetic! Tangled shouldn't introduce any other love interests for Eugene or Rapunzel. We don't want to split the fandom, OK?
4. The Ensemble Cast Is Everything
Did I hear that Rapunzel is getting a female friend? I did? Awesome. As important as the already developed cast of the film is developing the cast of the TV series. Let's get some focus episodes on Rapunzel's parents, on her new friend, even on her animal sidekicks. Let's make this ensemble feel like an ensemble rather than a bunch of characters to decorate the scene behind Rapunzel and Flynn.
5. A Catchy Theme Song Is Required
Please let it be an original song. Actually, please let it be "I See The Light." Actually, no, make it an original song. Ah, I can't decide. Just make it catchy!
6. Give Popular Characters Their Own Spinoffs
It happened with Timon & Pumbaa, and, if there end up being breakout characters in the Tangled TV series, then it should happen with them, too. I mean, I'd watch it. Pascal & Maximus, anyone?
7. Consider Doing Crossovers When Possible
I know this isn't Once Upon a Time, but I ascribe to the fan theory that Rapunzel is related to Elsa and Anna, so if she wants to make any diplomatic trips to Arendelle... Hint hint. Nudge nudge.