On January 26, 2020, Disney Channel aired the episode Cassandra’s Revenge from Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure. In honor of this anniversary, I wanted to write about “Nothing Left To Lose” my favorite song in the entire Tangled series. The combined talents of Alan Menken, Glen Slater, Eden Espinosa, Jeremy Jordan, Tom Caulfield, Anna Lencioni and Ricky Roxburgh made this a tour de force in animation and one of the best (if not the best in my opinion) of any animated sequence ever produced.
Below I give four reasons why “Nothing Left To Lose” from Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure was an animated masterpiece.
The episode was written by Emmy winning writer Ricky Roxburgh.
Season 3 saw Cassandra going down the dark path of villainy under the guise of fulfilling her destiny. She was consumed by hate and anger causing her to turn against Rapunzel. After claiming the moonstone, Cassandra wanted more power. She took the Demanitus Scroll from Rapunzel to uncover the incantation which would give her total control over the Black Rocks. Kidnapping Varian and using his own truth serum on him, she got him to reveal the Moonstone Incantation. Building a mighty stronghold reaching the moon on the very spot where Rapunzel’s tower once stood, Cassandra was making a statement to her former friend. Could anyone get through to her?
Varian tried to make her see that she was on a road to disaster and if she continued on the path, there was no going back. He’s been where she was and didn’t want Cassandra repeating his mistakes.
3. Story Boards and Directing
Anna Lencioni worked on the story boards and Tom Caulfield directed the “Nothing Left To Lose” sequence. Lencioni’s art work displayed Cassandra asserting her power by rising Black Rocks to ceiling level while jumping and flipping over them. She wanted those who under estimated her to shrink in fear. Cassandra ignored Varian’s desperate pleas. Caulfield’s directing featured camera angles intensifying the scope of the scene. And what can I say about that 360° camera angle…wow! You don’t often see this in animation. This was a spectacular feat.
2. Music and Lyrics
EGOT Award winning composer Alan Menken & Emmy Award winning lyricist Glen Slater are a match made in song Heaven. When these gentlemen collaborate on a piece you’re assured the end result will be magnificent. “Nothing Left To Lose” didn’t disappoint.
In 2020, “Waiting In The Wings” won the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Original Song in a Children’s, Young Adult or Animated Program. It would be awesome if the equally deserving “Nothing Left To Lose” received a Daytime Emmy nomination in the category this year.
1. Song Performance
Eden Espinosa and Jeremy Jordan gave the characters of Cassandra and Varian life with their vocal talents. It was easy to feel emotion for the lady in waiting/warrior often overlooked and the alchemist who’s good intentions often backfired. Besides for the Season 1 episode Great Expotations, Cassandra and Varian shared very little screen time in the series.
“Nothing Left To Lose” gave fans a much needed Espinosa and Jordan duet. Their singing voices complimented each other so well. Desperation and determination could be heard (and felt) in every note. Especially when the words “nothing” and “left” were sung. Menken and Slater’s vision for the song was realized in the hands (or singing pipes) of these gifted and skilled Broadway performers.
Fans of Tangled: The Series and Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure already know how great this series is. It is available for streaming on Disney Plus.
Tangled: The Series and Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure expanded on Rapunzel’s story as told in the 2010 feature film Tangled by introducing engaging new characters as well as giving viewers unforgettable new songs.
Update: On June 28, 2021, “Nothing Left To Lose” was nominated for a 2021 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Original Song For A PreSchool, Children’s Or Animated Program. Eden Espinosa (Cassandra) and Jeremy Jordan (Varian) tweeted their feelings about the nomination:
Update: On July 17, 2021 Nothing Left To Lose didn’t win the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Original Song for a Preschool, Children’s or Animated Program. The award went to Suffragette City from Hulu’s Animaniacs.
Photos Courtesy of Disney Channel
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