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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Tangled: Before Ever After is a movie follow-up to the movie Tangled set months after Rapunzel's reunion with her parents. There's much continuity between the two stories, but for newcomers, this one opens with a quick synopsis of Rapunzel's life up until that point and her relationship with Eugene. This tale follows her struggle to meet her parents' expectations while staying true to herself, and there are some scenes that show her rebelling against what others want for her, which yields consequences she's not entirely prepared to handle. A new villain bent on revenge is introduced and poses a brief threat to the people of Corona. There are some perilous moments and brief concern for a character's fate, as well as a few kisses shared between Rapunzel and Eugene. In addition to following the feature-length film, this movie leads into a Disney series that continues Rapunzel's story.
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What's the story?
TANGLED: BEFORE EVER AFTER sees Rapunzel (voiced by Mandy Moore) slowly adapting to her new identity as a princess as her official coronation nears. Increasingly immersed in responsibilities and royal decorum, Rapunzel finds herself longing for the freedoms outside the castle walls, but her protective father forbids her explorations for fear of her safety. What's more, even her faithful partner Eugene (Zachary Levi) doesn't share her doubts about charting this new course for their life together, as he can't wait to marry and settle down in the castle. Desperate for adventure, Rapunzel joins her lady-in-waiting, Cassandra (Eden Espinosa), for a midnight journey and a magical discovery with a fateful turn of events for the reluctant princess.
Is it any good?
As movie sequels go, this very enjoyable tale will rate high with fans who loved spunky Rapunzel's original misadventures with the dashing Eugene (nee Flynn Rider). She's lost nary an ounce of her chutzpah, routinely bending tradition by racing men on horseback and shunning shoes at every opportunity. Being different is what defines her, not in an effort to separate herself from the pack but in a statement that she's determined to be true to herself despite what outside influences would have her change. As such, she's a continually refreshing heroine for kids in the audience.
But Rapunzel being Rapunzel raises conflict with her family and with Eugene, reminding viewers that the choices we make always have consequences for other people as well. While it doesn't change her mind about her view of the future, it does give her pause to consider carefully her priorities and what it really means to be happy. Kids and parents will be happy with this delightful story, but be forewarned that Tangled: Before Ever After doesn’t come to an entirely satisfactory end since it's meant to introduce a succeeding animated series.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Rapunzel's duties as a royal in Tangled: Before Ever After. What expectations are placed on her because of her status? Do all of them make sense to you, or do some seem unnecessary? Is it OK to break with tradition in some situations? On the other hand, when is tradition important?
How do you feel about Rapunzel's father's belief that keeping his daughter safe means keeping her inside the castle walls? Is it reasonable to think we can protect ourselves from every kind of danger? What rules does your family have to keep you safe at home? At school? On the internet?
If you've seen Tangled, compare the two stories. In what ways is this a consistent addition to Rapunzel's story? Did you notice consistency in the voice cast? How (if at all) do the different animation styles affect your enjoyment of the stories?
- In theaters: March 10, 2017
- On DVD or streaming: April 11, 2017
- Cast: Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Eden Espinosa
- Directors: Tom Caulfield, Stephen Sandoval
- Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Great Girl Role Models, Misfits and Underdogs
- Character Strengths: Compassion, Integrity
- Run time: 55 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Awards/Honors: Common Sense Seal
- Last updated: March 13, 2020
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