Disclosure: This is part of a sponsored collaboration with Disney. I received an all-expense paid trip from Disney so that I could gather and share this information about Tangled Before Ever After. However, all experiences and opinions are always 100% my own as this post is written by me in its entirety.
SURE- Rapunzel got her happily ever after, but I always wanted to know more, DIDN’T YOU? More about Rapunzel, more about her knight in shining armor, more about her parents. The Disney Channel Original Movie Tangled Before Ever After, which premieres on March 10th at 8pm EST, finally gives us what we want!!! But that’s not all – following the premiere of Tangled Before Ever After will start the new Tangled The Series, which premieres on March 24th at 7:30pm EST, a continuation of Tangled Before Ever After.
Tangled Before Ever After
Check out this clip which includes the first five minutes of the new Disney Channel Original Movie Tangled Before Ever After.
Sitting down with Supervising Producer Benjamin Balistreri and Executive Producer & Supervising Director Chris Sonnenburg I was able to get some insight into all that surrounds the new lead in Disney Channel Original Movie Tangled Before Ever After and the upcoming Tangled The Series.
Ben is an Emmy Award-winning artist and producer. Ben began his career in 1997 as a character designer on “Little Mermaid II.” He has earned nine Annie Award nominations for his work on television series including Disney XD’s “Wander Over Yonder,” “The Fairly OddParents,” “Danny Phantom” and “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends.” His film credits include “How to Train Your Dragon,” “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted,” “Lady and the Tramp 2,” “Cinderella 2,” “The Lion King 1 ½” and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame II,” among others.
Chris is an animation veteran. With over 20 years of experience in the animation industry, Chris began his career at Disney Feature Animation in 1994 working on films such as “Pocahontas,” “Hercules,” “Mulan,” “Tarzan” and “Fantasia 2000.” Later in his career, he worked with James Baxter Animation as an assistant director on the 2D sequences for Disney’s “Enchanted” and DreamWorks Animation’s “Kung Fu Panda.”
I instantly fell in love with the new character “bad girl” Lady Kane – and just had to know…I needed to know if we would be seeing more of her and her “bad girl” tattoo.
BB: Well, I’ll just say tune in for the answer to those. I mean even with the tattoo, I think it was just literally one of the cool things about the program we’re using, it’s called Harmony, it’s sort of this blend between doing CG and 2-D. I mean technically, what we’re doing is we’re building all of these characters in a computer by flat images that end up spinning around.
In traditional 2-D animation you could never ever get away with a detailed tattooed. You’d give somebody cramps by having them to draw it 10 billion times. But in the computer, we can actually just plant it on there and have it spin around. Some of it’s just a little bit of us as designers on the show being able to get in with some cool, nitty-gritty details. From a character standpoint, too, I mean it’s cool but as a tattoo and stuff like that I mean it definitely says something about a personality of Lady Cane.
I mean she’s got a skull with roses on there. Which just kind of helps sell some of the idea of her personality in the show of being a little bit edgy but also they’re being an understory there that comes from a real hurt that she went through as a child. And I think that tattoo, if we’re going to do something like that, we aren’t just going to randomly, just to throw something evil on there because she looks evil. We try to think of the meaning behind it.
We all know those teen years are kind of tough. Where are you getting your inspiration from?
CS: You mean when I go home at night at 7 o’clock and I hear the drama that is coming from my two daughters? In any kind of story hopefully, especially telling stories the way Disney always tells stories, there’s such a wonderful truth to the stories and there’s always magic and excitement and kind of like the fairytale aspect of our stories. But what really is the driving force between any Disney, hopefully, the best Disney stories is the truth of them, right.
So, when we’re telling these stories, of course we’re going to have the long hair and the mythology and the magic and what’s going to be happening, you know, in the fun part of it. But if we don’t tell that heart story and that real story about these real characters, then we’re missing our opportunity. So, whenever I go home and my daughters are telling me about their friends and boys they’re dealing with and they’re arguing with me about something and my wife and I are talking, disagreeing about how to do something with them, those are the things that hopefully we’re pouring into the stories. The kids are going to have fun watching the magic and the parents are going to as well and hopefully the older kids and even all the kids will have a better view into the stories, the emotional sides of it.
Do you always carry around Pascal?
CS Oh, he’s right here. Yeah, we will get a picture with everybody. So, I have an Instagram account, Follow Pascal. So, you can either go to Follow Pascal on Instagram or #FollowPascal if you get a picture of him, where we take him, this guy, he’s in my bag right now. He’ll come out in a second. But he goes with us to all of the records and all of the events that we do with you guys. He’s been there with every single celebrity that we get for the show. And as those characters come in the during that week I’ll put up the picture that we had of whatever their special guest of the week is. So, you’ll be able to see Pascal and that’s him. And I only have one and he goes with me everywhere and you’ll be able to see the fun things that different celebrities have done with him.
Tell us about the new character Cassandra and her role?
CS: Why does Cassandra exist? Cassandra kind of came to be two ways, number one, in my head, number two the writers and then number three when Eden Espinosa came. When Eden came to voice her, she gave her another level that we could have never written. Eden is very much who Cassandra is. She’s very tough. She’s very vocal.
It started to become evident as to who Cassandra was going to be when you ask the question who does Rapunzel need in her life. And I felt like she needed somebody that had access to the castle, that had a very adventurous spirit, much like herself, somebody that Rapunzel could kind of look up to. And if Cassandra as an idea was somebody that was going to have access to Rapunzel it had to be somebody that was very close to her on a daily basis. Which is why we gave it to being somebody like a lady in waiting.
But ultimately, she is somebody that Rapunzel can confide in and really share things with like a girlfriend, the same way my daughters have friends that they talk to in different ways than they talk to the guys in their lives or me and my wife. And we wanted to give Rapunzel somebody like that. And just as we were writing the first few episodes and kind of coming up with the concept of the show, her character almost wrote herself.
She was very militaristic because her father is the captain of the guards, she had a very different way whereas Rapunzel’s this kind of free-thinking hippie and it just makes for fun storytelling when you have somebody on one side of an opinion and somebody on the other side.
BB: Storytelling’s all about contrast. And so, when you have two really diametrically opposed viewpoints on the same issue, it just becomes fun storytelling. Rapunzel who’s always so optimistic and so cheerful and so full of wonder and everything she meets, it’s great to have the opposite view, just a little more sarcastic and a little more down to earth and you get that different take on the same topic. It just makes for a really great storytelling.
CS: I love being able to hear Mandy and Eden together, they’re such great performances. We start to hear them and we start writing them in very specific ways. It’s a really cool relationship and I think one that evolves really naturally as well.
Disney is known for their Easter eggs. Are there any viewers should watch out for?
CS: Well, they wouldn’t be Easter eggs if we told you about them. When we’d go over to my Aunt’s house for Easter she would put the big one out in the front and then the really good ones you’d have to search for. So, you got to really look and wait for them to come out. There’s one in there I’ll tell you about and it’s more of a personal one.
Arianna, my daughter being the Queen. That’s kind of a personal Easter egg. Also my family crest, my last name Sonnenburg means Sunny Castle and the crest for the Sonnenburg crest is a hill with a castle on it. And I always think it’s interesting that Corona is a hill with a castle on it. So we put that crest on one of the flags in the kingdom. But there’s certainly other fun Disney ones that you got to keep a keen eye open.
BB: There are a lot of very specific references to the feature, like very, very specific, like to the point that we researched a book that happened to be in the movie specifically and tried to at least caricature it in our style.
CS : I don’t think that’s going to be a really hard one. I’ll tell you guys this one and you really don’t see it until the first actual episode. We have our Disney Channel Original Movie and then two weeks later the show starts. In the opening sequence, if you keep your eye open there are a couple in there.
Tangled Before Ever After Trailer
Are you ready to see Rapunzel save her the day, the King and the Palace?
The girls have watched Tangled and Tangled Ever After over and over – and I encourage you to introduce your little ones to Rapunzel as well. Disney is back with another amazing animated feature which shows you what happened after Rapunzel was rescued and before she got married.
Tangled and Tangled Ever After are available for order using my affiliate link on Amazon. All of the Tangled movies are a definite must add to your Disney movie collection for the entire family to watch. All photos courtesy of Disney.
Get social online with me for the behind the scenes scoop on Tangled Before Ever After and Tangled The Series using the hashtag #TangledTheSeries or #BeOurGuestEvent.