In Tangled, Disney Feature Animation incorporates the best of the past with the best of the future, blending the look of traditional films with CG feature animation to create something unique, says Barbara Robertson
Tangled, Walt Disney Animation Studio's 50th feature film, accomplishes something no other studio has done - something, perhaps, no other studio could do: combine the look of the beloved Disney features from the 1940s and 50s with the attitude and action of a contemporary live-action film. Directed by Byron Howard, who received an Oscar nomination for Bolt, and Nathan Greno, head of story for Bolt, the film follows the Brothers Grimm's fairytale Rapunzel, but with a twist.
Rather than a prince it is a dashing rogue who provides Rapunzel's ticket out of her towering prison, the only home she's known - and rather than being the daughter of a thief, Rapunzel is a sassy modern princess. When this plucky heroine lets down her hair, she does more than drop her golden locks out the window as a ladder. She traps her thief, she opens doors, she coils it into a pillow.
"Byron and I love the classic Disney movies," says Greno. "And it's exciting to be part of the history. We tried to take that look and make a CG movie that's something people haven't seen before. We didn't want to go back to the same wells - we wanted to do something fresh and different."
To design the style and give it that look, however, art director Dave Goetz and co-art director Dan Cooper did dip into the well. "The directors were taken with the early Disney movies, Cinderella in particular," says Goetz. "For some reason those classic films have a graceful, appealing look. So we tried to dissect it and see what that was all about. Some of it was from the shapes, some was colour."