Although I’ve dabbled in drawing, I am not an artist.
But after watching Disney’s Tangled: The Series and Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure, I was inspired to pick up a sketchbook again… something I haven’t done since 1991. The animation in this series is some of the best I’ve ever seen. I admire the creative talent behind this project. So it’s been fun drawing characters like Rapunzel, Eugene, Cassandra and Varian.
Below I talk about taking pencil to paper again after twenty-nine years and some of the challenges I’ve faced recreating the people and animals in the Kingdom of Corona.
I’d never seen Tangled before Saturday, April 11, 2020 when I watched the feature film on Disney Plus that night. I immediately became enchanted by the characters Eugene and Rapunzel. So, I wanted to see more of them and their world. Next I watched Tangled Before Ever After. It was a great sequel and set up to the series.
Less than halfway through Tangled: The Series, I was hooked. From the writing to animation to the voice talent and music, everything fit together perfectly…this was Disney at its best. Broadway actors Eden Espinosa and Jeremy Jordan lending their voices to Cassandra and Varian was a major reason I wanted to watch the series.
I found myself re-watching episodes with a desire to cover the series for The Nerdy Girl Express.
Although I knew I couldn’t come close to the work done by the animators, I wanted to draw these characters myself. As I mentioned, I’m not an artist. I’m not familiar with the digital art process used by animators. My drawing tools are the sketchbook and colored pencils. Armed with these essentials, I set out on my creative journey into the kingdom of Corona.
Next stop…anywhere? Not quite…next stop exploring the features of my favorite characters.
Eugene and Rapunzel
I love Eugene and Rapunzel. The former rogue and thief gives the series a lot of its humor with his witty lines. The phrase “laugh in the face of danger” suits Eugene. He’ll often make a pun as he walks into tough situations for Rapunzel and to protect Corona. He’s a supportive boyfriend to her and a great buddy to his pals.
If Eugene saw my drawings, he’d probably say “She just can’t get my nose right.” I would feel he’s being generous in his critique. Out of everyone I’ve attempted to draw, I’ve found Eugene the most challenging. Rapunzel on the other hand has been an easier endeavor. I’m currently working on the different stages of Rapunzel throughout the three seasons.
The smart, clumsy, well-meaning, former villain turned hero again. Varian is my favorite character in the Tangled universe.
The more I draw Varian, the more I feel my art is improving (I think I need to draw Eugene more too to fully capture the nuance of Fitzherbert). Varian’s expressive feature is his big blue eyes. They convey the emotions for his character. Edmund often says “I can tell a lot by looking into a man’s eyes.” This sentiment definitely applies to Varian. Whether sad, angry, annoyed or excited, our little alchemist’s peepers tell it all.
Cassandra represents all the people who feel they are being overlooked for their talents. She’s a warrior but is sidelined in the background. “I show up with heart a blazing, ready to achieve amazing things. But I’m left waiting in the wings.” Her anger and insecurities allowed her to be manipulated by the evil Zhan Tiri and lead her down a path of destruction. I want to draw more art capturing Cassandra from her stage as Rapunzel’s lady in waiting to her descend to “Moonstone Cassandra.” My goal is to draw a scene in the sequence from my favorite song “Nothing Left To Lose.” This is an ambitious undertaking I’m attempting.
Max, Pascal and Ruddiger and Cassandra and Rapunzel as birds
Where would Rapunzel, Eugene and Varian be without their non human friends? Pascal, Max and Ruddiger support them and have come through for them in a pitch. Pascal risked his life getting the Demanitus Device up and running when it was jammed due to a fallen pebble in “Queen For a Day.”Ruddiger jumped in the prison wagon and joined Varian so he wouldn’t have to go to the dungeon alone. And Max fought to protect Eugene in “Plus Est En Vous” when he was under attack by The Brotherhood. Brave. Smart. Cunning. These are some adjectives used when describing Max, Pascal and Ruddiger. (And no Brock, they aren’t pets!)
I know they aren’t animals, but I couldn’t resist drawing Cassandra and Rapunzel as the birds they were turned into in “Freebird.”
I plan on sharing more of my Tangled drawings on Twitter. But in the meantime, I want to thank everyone involved in making Tangled. It’s nice having the name Corona associated with something positive.
Update: With the airing of Tangled on The Wonderful World of Disney on Monday, May 24, 2021, I decided to try my hand drawing Flynn Rider, Rapunzel and Mother Gothel:
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