Nathan Greno & Byron Howard Talk Tangled
BH: Exactly. She's so out there and really has to dig at him to get these secrets out there.
NH: A part of what's going on is that it's about a girl whose wishes are coming true and she has these dreams to go out and see the world. And so when she got to the kingdom, it had to be the greatest experience ever, right? Because we love the parks so much, we talked about them quite a bit, actually, when we were making the movie. "It should be crowded in a Disneyland kind of way. Not uncomfortable but there's a lot going on to see." And we would reference Disneyland often.
BH: And we did a lot of research. We went to central Europe; we went to Budapest; Hungary; Austria, where those actual buildings came from. But at the same time, we were under the same challenges the Imagineers were under in the '50s and '60s when they put that land together: taking these 2D drawings and converting them to 3D buildings. And we had to build every brick of this town and every part of this island kingdom virtually by hand in the computer. And so it was a good reference point. What makes this charming? How does this make us feel good?
BD: And it's all about Rapunzel's artistic expression.
BH: Right, we even tried to tie her colors to the kingdom's colors and design elements in buildings -- these swoopy hair shapes that she herself does in the tower.
NG: Yeah, when she's going home, we wanted it to feel like this is where she belongs. The same thing with the way we designed Rapunzel's parents as opposed to Mother Gothel. When they're standing together, it is very clear that this is not a mother and daughter, just by the frames of their bodies, their hair, the pigments of their skin.
BD: But they all have large eyes.
BH: It's true: we debated that a lot early on because with CG you can't always get away with what you can in hand-drawn. But the more expressive and the emotional you need characters to be, it's something that you have to push. And there's one scene near the campfire where she's laughing at Flynn and she's got these huge, beautiful eyes, and you just lose yourself…
NG: You fall in love with her…
BH: You fall in love with her and he falls in love with her right there too. It's amazing because so much of the acting, especially with CG, they can do these tiny eye shifts and readjustments with the eyes where they're focusing on what you're feel that it's almost impossible in 2D, where it might seem like a mistake -- like a line jumping around -- but with CG there's micro-animation that you can do that really sells it.
BD: What were some of the personal experiences that found their way into the performances?