Let’s get something out of the way: Yes, after everything she went through in Tangled and her tortured decision to cut off her magical locks, Rapunzel’s hair grew back. “Did you see the 70 feet of ‘my-father’s-going-to-kill-me’ growing from my head,” Rapunzel moans, as she gestures to her hair in Before Ever After, the television movie that kicked off Tangled: The Series.
Why did it grow back? Well, that’s something of a mystery. In fact, the whole first season of this toon (which I loosely follow because I love Rapunzel and because my three-year-old niece loves Rapunzel and because my four year old cousin loves Rapunzel) is sort of a mystery—the reappearance of Rapunzel’s hair seems to be connected to some scary pointy rock thingies that are mysteriously taking over her parents’ kingdom. Not cool.
But that’s kind of the B-plot here. The main thread of Tangled: The Series is Rapunzel trying to adjust to her new-old life now that she’s returned to live in the castle with her parents. She’s… struggling, to say the least. But she is trying. In her own way. And I just I love that she doesn’t wear shoes in the palace and has decided to keep wearing her tower dress when there are surely plenty of dress makers who’d be willing to design her a frock.
Anyway, Tangled: The Series Queen for a Day (the DVD we’re all here to ooh and ahh over) is actually the 16th episode of the show’s first season, and the plot on this 50-minute mini-movie is truly buck wild—major narrative points include an ancient weather machine and a brick bridge that is destroyed by fire. But no matter. The kids love it even if it doesn’t totally make sense. And you and I are really only here for the music, which is composed by Alan Menken and still the best thing about Rapunzel. (Aside from her feisty curiosity and joyous fun seeking.)
Honestly, the voice cast on this show is incredible. Mandy Moore and Zach Levi both reprise their roles, and there are new, wonderful singing parts for Broadway star Eden Espinosa (as Rapunzel’s BFF and Flynn’s sworn enemy Cassandra) and Newsies original cast member Jeremy Jordan (as a local alchemist who tries to help Rapunzel unravel the mystery of her hair). Talk about sweet, sweet music!
The voice cast also includes Sean Hayes, Jeffrey Tambor, Paul F. Tompkins, Richard Kind, Peter MacNicol, Jonathan Banks, Ron Perlman, Danielle Brooks and Jane Krakowski… and, seriously, you could Google any of those names, and you’ll be like, “Oh! THAT amazing actor is in this?!” It’s a serious cast, and it’s almost making me wish that I had cable again so that I could watch this thing every week. (But occasional viewings with my niece and DVDs like this are enough to tide me over for now!)
Right, back to the DVD. In addition to Queen for a Day, it also features four bonus mini-sodes centered on things Rapunzel has written about in her journal. (The perfect place to try to write through her feelings of being back in Corona with her parents after so many years in a lonely tower.) I know, for one, my niece is going to be very excited to get her hands on a copy.
What are you going to do today? Stretch? Maybe sketch? Take a climb? Sew a dress?
Disclosure: I received this DVD free of charge from Disney. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my own experience.