Nathan Greno & Byron Howard Talk Tangled
As Nathan Greno relates in Jeff Kurtti's invaluable The Art of Tangled (Chronicle), he was surprisingly approached in 2006 to direct Tangled (formerly Rapunzel) after Glen Keane suffered a heart attack. There he was with John Lasseter, Ed Catmull and Andrew Millstein (general manager of Disney Animation Studios). Of course, he said yes. After his work on Meet the Robinsons and his promotion to head of story for Bolt, he seemed a natural. Then, when asked to recommend a directing partner, he suggested Byron Howard, given their successful collaborations on Bolt and the short Super Rhino. When Catmull asked why Howard, Greno explained that between them they would have all the bases covered. Now we have them together for an exclusive interview about Tangled, opening Nov. 24.
Bill Desowitz: Given, Glen Keane's intention to make this a new kind of hybrid, do you think you've achieved that?
Nathan Greno & Byron Howard: Yes, yes!
NG: This movie has been very exciting for us because it does feel in many ways that it has a classic Disney look.
BH: And at the same time, it's a very contemporary, unexpected film in our pacing, our action and humor. I like this idea of branching things together. Working with Glen, having a 2D and 3D hand-in-hand approach, that was very exciting for us because it hadn't been done before.
BD: Talk about Flynn in this equation.
NG: Having Flynn as a thief seemed like a fresh spin, especially in contrast to Rapunzel, who is a really smart girl but is just locked away in this tower. So she has a very limited world view and Flynn could complement that as this worldly guy.
BH: He's such a crazy character -- very funny -- and with all of these characters, including Maximus, the horse, we kept looking to go off-road on a wild ride over here. And with Flynn, we kept going after characters we like.
BH: We kept referencing live-action characters we like such as Ferris Bueller and Indiana Jones, who are skilled but have a human side to them. And what we liked about Flynn is his immediate sense of charm and he thinks he's the smartest guy in the room.
BD: But he's emotionally repressed.