LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Leave it to the animators of the Disney film studio to put a new spin on an old fairy tale, and this time the Brothers Grimm’s classic “Rapunzel” gets a full makeover in “Tangled.”
The movie, which debuts in U.S. theaters on Wednesday, re-imagines the tale of the girl with the long golden hair who is locked away in a forest tower before a prince comes along and tries to spring her loose.
Disney’s new, animated musical sees Rapunzel (voiced by Mandy Moore) step out of the tower for the first time! But instead of being rescued by a prince, she embarks on her adventure with a handsome thief named Flynn Ryder (Zachary Levi), who later changes his ways as the two fall in love.
Reuters sat down with Moore and Levi to talk about “Tangled,” their favorite childhood Disney movies and, of course, Rapunzel’s long, long hair.
Q: Disney is famous for iconic princesses. Mandy, did you feel pressure originating a Disney character that would stand alongside Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty?
Moore: “To be the voice of a Disney princess in general, let alone for the 50th animated film, is an undertaking. (But) I didn’t feel too much pressure. I was excited to be the voice of Rapunzel and part of the rigmarole that comes with it.”
Q: “Can you imagine if this was a live-action film and your hair was actually that long?”
Moore: (laughs) “I would probably have perpetual neck pain! Seventy feet of hair has got to be quite heavy! But she uses it to her advantage most of the time.”
Levi: “Wow, I’ve never even thought about the weight. The sheer neck muscle...”
Moore: “She’s got to have some core strength to drag all of that hair...”
Levy: “Pilates, hello!”
Q: Unlike other princess films, Rapunzel is hardly a damsel in distress in “Tangled.” And Flynn is not a knight in shining armor coming to her rescue. In what ways are your characters role models to young kids today?
Moore: “Rapunzel is a fearless young woman. She’s never stepped foot on the ground, she’s never been outside her tower in 18 years, yet she’s willing to go into the unknown. She has this drive, this disposition, this dream. It says a lot about who she is. It’s a very admirable characteristic. She comes to find out that what makes her special isn’t necessarily her hair, but something that’s inside of her. That’s important.”
Levi: “I‘m hard-pressed to see what kids can find in Flynn to be model-esque. (laughs) But he’s got a great arc. When you meet him he’s one guy, and by the end of the movie, he’s a changed man. He’s changed by the love of this young woman.”
Q: Mandy, you do all of your singing in the film, which is natural considering you’ve recorded six studio albums. Zach, you’re known for your TV series “Chuck.” Can you sing?
Levi: “Mandy and I do a duet together.” (called ‘I See the Light’ which is also featured on the ‘Tangled’ soundtrack)
Moore: “Um, hello? The world needs to know that is Zach singing in the film. He is a ridiculously amazing singer!”
Q: “Tangled” will be introduced to a slew of young kids who will remember it as part of their childhood. Which Disney animated films from your childhood do you look back at fondly?
Levi: “‘Aladdin’ was my personal favorite because it was more of a guy movie than the others. And ‘The Lion King.'”
Moore: “‘The Little Mermaid’ was mine.”
Levi: (to Moore) “Of course it was. You in your grotto, singing songs!”
Editing by Bob Tourtellotte