One of the major themes conveyed in Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure is the importance of friendship.
The friendships in the series were put through the ultimate test with trust lost leading to betrayal.
We saw both Varian and Cassandra going down a dark path. But Rapunzel never giving up on them. As she told a Teen Eugene in “Not Times Like The Past” Season 3 Episode 6 “Friends don’t leave friends behind.” According to Merrim Webster, a friend is a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations.
Have you ever had that one friend you can always count on? That friend who you feel closer to than your family? The one person who’s been there for you in good times and bad? Who you can be your total self around? And who you know in the end will always have your back?
For Eugene Fitzherbert, that friend is Lance Strongbow. We meet Lance in Season 1 Episode 6 “The Return of Strongbow.”
When Lance enters his life again, Fitzherbert isn’t exactly happy to see him. After all, Lance represents the part of Eugene’s past he’s trying to forget: He’s no longer a thief. Granted, Eugene still enjoys the notoriety he receives as the legendary Flynn Rider. But he wants to be a better man now that he’s in love with Rapunzel. And having your former partner in crime standing in front of you makes that harder to do. Adding to these feelings for Fitzherbert is the purpose of Lance’s visit: He needs Eugene’s help on one last job. And oh yeah, Fitzherbert has to keep it from Rapunzel.
Long story short, the job doesn’t go as expected. And Lance decides to make Corona his home; he even gets to stay at the castle with his bud (I love how agreeable King Frederic and Queen Arianna are with all Eugene’s croonies taking residence at the palace!)
What I like about Lance and Eugene’s friendship is how they can count on each other. Lance also shows his allegiance to Corona by joining Eugene, Cassandra and The Royal Guard when they storm Old Corona to defend the kingdom against Varian’s assault. Strongbow risks his life again in the fight with an Evil Cassandra and Zhan Tiri.
Danger or not doesn’t mean Lance and Eugene can’t face it with a smile and a well timed joke. Their sense of humor to lighten their burden gives Tangled fans something to laugh about despite the threat. Eugene is a good person. His underlying flaw is he’s conceited and low on humility. He often describes himself as “that super good looking guy.” Or “The most handsome man in the room.” Although cunning and resourceful, Eugene tends to over exaggerate his abilities. So it’s good he has Lance to bring him back to reality.
In Season 2 Episodes 1 and 2 “Beyond Corona Walls, Parts I and II,” The Baron has a poisonous spider bite Lance only offering the antidote as a wedding present after “Flynn” marries The Baron’s daughter Staylan, who Eugene ditched at the altar years before. Eugene wants to marry Rapunzel but not at the cost of Lance’s life so he accepts The Baron’s terms. With Lance and Eugene, there’s little doubt they’d give their life for the other.
But that doesn’t mean Eugene’s always been honest with Lance. When a magical hourglass takes Rapunzel back in time and she meets a Young Lance and Eugene, she sees how cavalier the teenage Eugene is about cheating his friend. His response to using a double-headed coin “Oh c’mon he’s fine…in fact he’s the one who gave me this coin.”
The strength of Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure lies in its writing and portrayal of the characters through its talented voice actors. Zachary Levi and James Monroe Inglehart are perfect as Eugene and Lance. Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure received a well deserved 2020 Daytime Emmy Nomination Outstanding Casting for an Animated Series or Special. It’s easy to forget this is animation when watching; these actors are to be commended for the hard work the put playing their roles.
With the current state of race relations being tumultuous, it’s good to see a series showing a great friendship between a black and white character.
Character development is key. Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure wins in this endeavor. And Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure gave us the best buddy comedy through Lance and Eugene. Thanks to the writers for creating them and Zachary Levi and James Monroe Inglehart for bringing them to life.
Photos and Video Courtesy of Disney Channel
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