Starting in 2017, Disney’s popular retelling of the Brothers Grimm’s Rapunzel fairy tale comes to life as a new animated TV series.
Production has begun at Disney Television Animation, said Gary Marsh, president of Disney Channels Worldwide, which will air the show reuniting the acclaimed animated feature’s co-stars Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi, as well composer Alan Menken and lyricist Glenn Slater.
The series is being developed by two respected industry vets: feature animator Chris Sonnenburg, who most recently has been boarding on Gravity Falls and Futurama, and Shane Prigmore, who has designed characters on projects as diverse as The Boxtrolls, Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, and Mr. Peabody & Sherman. Sonnenburg will do double duty as exec producer and supervising director, while Prigmore will exec produce and creative direct the show.
The studio hasn’t revealed if the series will be 2D or CGI, but the publicity artwork released by Disney today is drawn, and considering Disney TV’s current Toon Boom pipeline and Prigmore’s well regarded character design skills, all signs point to a 2D series.
“The genius of the original movie was its seamless blending of cinematic adventure, character-driven comedy and touching emotion,” Marsh said in a Disney Channel press release. “We are fortunate to have several of the creative talent from that movie on board with this new production. With the addition of Chris and Shane as executive producers, we have the perfect team in place to create a series worthy of the original film.”
The animated series will take place between the 2010 feature and the 2012 short Tangled Ever After, which centered on the wedding of Rapunzel and Flynn Rider. In this series though, Rapunzel puts that marriage, and her ascension to the crown, on hold so the couple can continue adventuring with their slick chameleon Pascal and awesome steed Maximus. New characters include Cassandra — a “tough-as-nails handmaiden who becomes Rapunzel’s confidant,” according to Disney — who will likely also find that frying pans make great weapons.
Tangled and Frozen artist Claire Keane served as a consultant on the animated series. Other key figures in the production include Jase Ricci (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) serving as story editor and Kevin Kliesch (Tangled Ever After) as score composer.
It’s not exactly Tangled 2, which failed to get off the ground because “her hair was gone,” but it still sounds as if the TV show might tide over fans of the Tangled film franchise until a feature sequel finally arrives.