Disney(ish) Reviews with the Unshaved Mouse: Tangled the Series/Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure

This review was requested by patron J*. If you’d like me to review a movie, please consider supporting my Patreon.

Yeah, but why though?

TangledYou gave a sequel series to Tangled? Aladdinfine. Big Hero SixCrying out for it. But Tangled?!

Hey, got nothing against the film. Y’all know that. #9 on my rankings. But of all the canon movies to try and spin a series of ongoing adventures out of why would you…

“Mouse?”

“What is it, SMOWE?”

“I just came to say goodbye. I’m going on a journey to find myself.”

“You’re going to…what?”

“What is my purpose? Who am I, really? Why am I called Sarcastic Map of Wartime Europe when most of the time I’m not even that sarcastic? I don’t know where I’ll find the answers to these questions. All I know is, it’s not here.”

“Wait a minute, is this because tvtropes called you a Flat Character?”

“Farewell my friend.”

Well…speaking of characters with hidden layers going off on adventures no one expected or even asked for, what even is this nonsense?

Firstly, what are the two things everyone knows about Rapunzel? She’s got long golden hair, and she’s trapped in a tower. By the end of Tangled, neither of those are true anymore. This is like doing a Robin Hood show where he no longer robs from the rich and has instead become a quantity surveyor. Plus, the movie’s only real villain is dead. And it’s not like this was a particularly rich world that desperately needed exploring.

Nothing against Corona. Lovely scenery, good schools, suspiciously low crime rate. But it’s a pretty generic fantasy kingdom, and fairy light on the fantasy at that. There’s no real magic apart from one flower. No mythical beasts that we see other than a horse who may be some kind of equine god.

And on top of that, we already know how the story ends! Tangled Ever After shows Rapunzel and Eugene getting married with all the main characters from the first movie still alive and the status quo from the end of the first film in rude good health. So what you’ve got is a series where either nothing can happen, or anything that does happen will be reversed and will be ultimately meaningless. Which is why I feel confident in predicting, sight unseen, that this series is garbage and a waste of everyone’s valuable time. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m just going to go and validate my obviously correct first impression.

***

“Senor, we are forever grateful to you for saving our village. But you must go. El Gallo Rojo will not forgive this insult.”

“You took me into your village. Made me feel like one of you. I’ll go…but I’m heading straight for El Gallo Rojo’s hideout.”

“No my love! He will kill you!”

“Maybe. But what’s a life, without a good death to give it meaning? Goodbye. I’ll see you again. In this life, or the next.”

“Carumba! That talking map has depths we could never have imagined here in our humble village of San Isidore.”

“Truly Papa. The only thing flat about him is that he is literally two-dimensional.”

***

Oh for the love of Edam.

So, as most of you probably already know, Tangled the Series is actually pretty durn good. Not life-changing or anything, not a Gravity Falls or Gargoyles, but pretty spiffy. If nothing else, it’s a good example of how even the most unpromising premise for a show can be made to work by the simple trick of flinging vast sums of money and very talented people at it. This is no cheap, cynical cash in. This is a downright opulent cynical cash in. You want the original cast back? You got the original cast, plus Clancy Mawfacking Brown as Rapunzel’s father which means the series’ voice-cast is exactly one Clancy Brown better than the movie’s.

Then there’s the animation. Now, in terms of the actual motion, it’s…fine. Little Flash-esque for my taste but perfectly serviceable. But the artwork? Holy momma…

 

Guys…I love this. The translation of the 3D designs into 2D is done so beautifully, the characters all have this beautiful painted storybook look, the backgrounds look like the Disney necromancy department managed to resurrect Mary Blair…

“What? We don’t have a…ha ha! He’s crazy folks. He is a crazy little mouse with a big mouth.”

It’s smurges. And then there’s the songs. Alan Menken, back in shape like an old prize-fighter looking for one more shot at glory. The songs are good to great and on balance at least the equal of those in the film. Aestaetically, it’s just a beautiful show. As a story? Well, let’s take a look at a few selected episodes.

Tangled Before Ever After

Wha happen’?: This is the hour long pilot launching the show and it opens with Eugene and Rapunzel going riding the day before she’s officially crowned Princess of Corona. But Rapunzel is getting increasingly antsy about spending her whole life cooped up in a castle considering her upbringing. Making matters worse, Eugene proposes to her in the middle of her pre-coronation dinner which causes her to freak out because a teenage girl who spent her whole life trapped in a small enclosed area is going to be leery of commitment, yes, good, smart girl. The pilot also introduces Rapunzel’s lady in waiting, Cassandra, who is the daughter of the captain of the guard from the first movie. Remember him? Lost his job to a horse? That guy. So as well being adept with with knives and swords and various implements of disembowelment, Cassandra also has a job which requires her to see Rapunzel naked on a regular basis which you get the distinct impression suits her just grand. I mean, Disney didn’t actually include a scene in the final cut where Cassandra tells Rapunzel that she wants to use her as a sock puppet, but I’m guessing it’s somewhere on the cutting room floor. So Cassandra offers to help Rapunzel escape the castle and see what’s outside the kingdom and takes her to the place where the sun flower first fell but which is now over grown by mysterious black rocks. Rapunzel touches one of these which causes all 70 feet of her hair to grow back. So now she has to get through her coronation without letting her parents know about her hair because that will get Cassandra in trouble and on top of THAT a pirate queen named Lady Caine crashes her coronation because while she was missing, Rapunzel’s father went a little Judge Dredd on the local criminal element and Caine’s father, a harmless petty thief, died in jail. Rapunzel, Cassandra and Eugene manage to fight off the Caine and her pirates but Rapunzel’s parents now know that her hair is back and Frederic grounds her.

Any good?: What it is, is a LOT. There is a lot of plot packed into this pilot. Unfortunately, a lot of it is manouevering Rapunzel back into her most recognisable and marketable idiom. And it bothers me more than it should that they have this absolutely pivotal story element that will play such a huge role in the story going forward and the best name they could come with was the “black rocks”.

The Black Thorns. The Hell Spikes. The Doom Prickles. These are just off the top of my head, folks.

The good? Well, it’s absolutely gorgeous as I said. Maybe the most beautiful animated Disney TV show period. Cassandra makes for a great addition to the cast as Rapunzel’s wannabe girfriend who’s constantly trying to get her clueless boyfriend exiled or killed (what a time to be alive). And I was both surprised and impressed that the creators are leaning in to the fact that Frederic is actually kind of a dick. I mean, I made plenty of jokes in the original Tangled review that anyone who would hang someone without trial for stealing a tiara is, shall we say, a little morally compromised. But I never actually expected that the series would build on that to say that, yeah, despite his good intentions Frederic is paranoid, secretive and has an authoritarian streak a mile wide.

“What the Hair” Season 1, Episode 1

Wha happen’?: So Eugene is feeling butt-hurt because Rapunzel still won’t tell him why her hair came back and Rapunzel won’t do THAT because because Cassandra is making her keep it a secret because she doesn’t trust him and also because she’s trying to drive a wedge between him and Rapunzel (not the only wedge she’s trying to drive if you catch my drift).

Not sure if that double entendre tracks so to remove any ambiguity; she wants to PLOUGH her.

Cassandra brings Rapunzel to meet Varian, a teenage alchemy prodigy who studies her hair to see what it is and what it can do. Short version, this hair can’t heal but is indestructible and has volume that is just to die for. In trying to prove that he can keep a secret, Eugene ends up keeping a secret that almost destroys Varian’s village, namely that Varian’s got a machine under the village that’s causing earthquakes. Oh, and we learn that the Black Rocks are spreading into Corona and are threatening Varian’s village.

Any good?: Varian becomes a very important character further down the line and the series does a good job of establishing the seeds of what he’ll become while also wrong-footing the audience as to the role he’ll eventually play.

Great Expotations Season 1 Episode 8

Wha happen’?: Corona holds a science fair, Varian enters, Cass gets her first assignment as a guard and Rapunzel invents a hair dryer.

Any good?: I got a chuckle out of Rapunzel trying to invent things that she doesn’t realise have already been invented because she was held prisoner by a monstrous sociopath for the first eighteen years of her life…when I put it like that it’s less funny. Also establishes that Varian has a thing for Cass. And who doesn’t love unexpected romantic pairings?

“Listen. I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching recently. And I think the reason why I’ve always been so mean to you is because I’m trying to deny how I really feel about you.”

“You see…I love you.”

“Oh. Wow. Look, SMOWE I’m really flattered but I’m just not into other women.”

“Uh what…I’m not…I mean, I don’t think I…”

“How exactly does gender work for us again?”

“Not sure. Actually, probably best not to get into it. That could be a whole minefield.”

“Yeah. Yeah, better not.”

Big Brothers of Corona Season 1 Episode 12

Wha happen’?: Eugene and Strongbow (his now reformed former partner in crime) take two adowable child pickpockets under their wing to try and reform them.

Any good?: Meh. S’fine. It gives Eugene a chance to be more than the dumb comic relief which is welcome. Nothing special.

Queen for a Day Parts 1 and 2

Wha happen’?: Sidebar: while researching this two-parter I became aware of the existence of Queen for a Day, a long running Radio and TV series from the 1940s. Quoth Wikipedia: “Each contestant was asked to talk about the recent financial and emotional hard times she had been through. The interview would climax with Bailey asking the contestant what she needed most and why she wanted to win the title of Queen for a Day. Often the request was for medical care or therapeutic equipment to help a chronically ill child, or might be for a hearing aid, a new washing machine, or a refrigeratorMany women broke down sobbing as they described their plights.

The winning contestant was selected by the audience using an applause meter; the harsher the contestant’s situation, the likelier the studio audience was to ring the applause meter’s highest level. The winner, to the musical accompaniment of “Pomp and Circumstance“, would be draped in a sable-trimmed red velvet robe, given a glittering jeweled crown to wear, placed on a velvet-upholstered throne, and handed a dozen long-stemmed roses to hold while her list of prizes was announced.

The prizes began with the help the woman had requested, and included a variety of extras, many of which were donated by sponsoring companies, such as a vacation trip, a night on the town with her husband, silver-plated flatware, an array of kitchen appliances, or a selection of fashion clothing. The losing contestants were each given smaller prizes.

Bailey’s trademark sign-off was: “This is Jack Bailey, wishing we could make every woman a queen, for every single day!

Yeah. So next time some Boomer tries to tell you how awful pop culture is now, remind them that this atrocity ran for 19 years. And then had a revival in the seventies. And then a one off special. In 2004. Presented by MO’NIQUE. I MAY HAVE STRAYED OFF THE BEATEN TRACK.

Okay, so the episode. Frederic and Arianna are going on some kind of royal couple’s retreat and they leave Rapunzel in charge of Corona as a Temp Queen. No sooner have they left than a mysterious blizzard descends on the kingdom which can only mean one thing.

Those Arrendale barbarians to the North are finally making their move.

No. actually, the epic Cornonan-Arrendale War will not be recounted here. The story has three main parts: Flynn and the Snugly Duckling Gang have to rescue Frederick and Arianna from the Blizzard, Rapunzel tries to find an ancient machine hidden beneath the castle that will reverse the blizzard and Varian journey to the castle to beg Rapunzel for help saving his father who’s become encased in the Black Rocks because of an experiment Varian was conducting. Three of these characters succeed in what they set out to do.

Any Good?: This two-parter is the demarcation point between “visually gorgeous but utterly inconsequential slice-of-life princess shenanigans” to “shit just got real”. Or at least, as real as shit can get in a story about a princess with magical hair and her little iguana pal. All the way through this thing I found myself cursing the very existence of Tangled Ever After because it lessens the stakes of what is otherwise a surprisingly tense and dark story. They almost kill Pascal. Pascal people. And you see him all bruised and bloodied, shit’s hardcore. But of course, we all know he’s going to be fine because of rassin’ Tangled frassin’ Ever After and it’s goddamned six minutes of gorgeously executed equine and reptilian slapstick. Anyway, there’s a lot of good stuff here. Varian’s failure to save his father and subsequent descent into villainy and Rapunzel’s guilt over not being able to help him is well done and actually makes both characters’ actions seem understandable and believable. And we also get some much needed world building with a mention of a mysterious demon who cursed Corona with a magical blizzard long ago. Basically, this is where Rapunzel’s world and story is fleshed out into something genuinely epic.

“No! No he’s dead! SMOWE’s dead!”

“I can’t believe it! He absorbed the Crystacordium energy into himself! He saved me, his arch enemy! But why?”

“Because that’s the kind of person he was, Doctor Velociraptor. A hero.”

“I see. I misjudged him. I may have misjudged this entire dimension. I will return home to Dinotopolis, and tell tales of his heroism and martyrdom.”

“Heroism indeed. But perhaps not martyrdom.”

“ASLAN!?”

“Daughter of Eve, the Crystacordium’s energy can only be undone by an act of true love. You know what you must do. Admit your deepest secret!”

“Of course. I love you, Sarcastic Map of Wartime Europe! I always have!”

“See! He awkens!”

“Where…where am I?”

“Be at peace, son of Rand and McNally. You have saved the universe.”

“Aw, sweet.”

“Wow. What a great character.”

 

Painter’s Block Season 1 Episode 13

Wha happen’?: Still wrestling with the difficult decisions she had to make during her brief reign, Rapunzel is struck with artist’s block after her father awards her a commission to paint a massive mural during the Corona art festival because the kingdom is a festering cesspit of corruption and brazen nepotism. To overcome her artist’s block she starts taking art lessons from a creepy old lady who is actually some kind of demon that Rapunzel unwittingly released when she turned on the mysterious machine in the last episode. And said demon is trying to free its master from another dimension by getting a load of brainwashed painters to paint a mysterious evil tree. Eugene and Cassandra rescue Rapunzel and the other painters and they finish the mural together.

Any good?: This one was written in a game of mad libs, I swear to God. What the hell is even going on? Also, the mural they paint at the end? This triumphant overcoming of Rapunzel’s artistic limitations?

That is the worst mural that has ever existed, will ever exist or theoretically could ever exist. It is flaming garbage on a wall.

The Quest for Varian/The Alchemist Returns Episodes 20 & 21

Wha happen’?: Rapunzel gets a note from Varian asking her to go to his lab and recover a graphtyc which he says will unlock the secret of the Black Rocks. When the gang get there they discover that Varian’s village is now abandoned and completely overrun by the Black Rocks. This shocks Rapunzel because her father told her that the Black Rocks had been taken care of. In the lab they find the  graphtyc but are attacked by mysterious masked figures who chase them through the countryside and force them to hide in Rapunzel’s old tower. The masked men follow them and the tower is destroyed. Rapunzel unmasks their pursuer who turn out to be…the palace guards acting on Frederic’s orders!

Furious, Rapunzel confronts her father who tells her that the lying and the menacing her with faceless assailants was all for her own protection this fucking guy right here. Rapunzel is so pissed that she agrees to help Varian when he appears in the castle looking for the secret vault where Frederic’s been keeping the sun flower all these years despite telling everyone that’s its gone and honestly, I’m starting to think Blondie was better off with Gothel. While Rapunzel leads Varian to the secret vault, all the guards in the palace start acting strangely. Once they get the flower Varian reveals that he has no real intention to save Corona from the Black Rocks and only wants to save his father and Rapunzel realises that he’s the one who drugged all the guards. Rapunzel tries to convince Varian not to take the flower and promises that she’ll work with him to save his father but Varian responds that he’s learned not to trust her promises. He returns home and tries to free his father using the now dessicated flower, only to realise that the magic is in Rapunzel’s hair now…

Any good?: Are you kidding?! They destroy the tower! Varian breaks bad! Rapunzel commits treason! FREDERIC HAS BEEN LYING ABOUT EVERYTHING! This two parter is just one long string of “holy shit!” moments. This is where the show really pulls out all the stops and brings several simmering plot points to a head. It’s damn good television.

And that’s that. Or at least, that’s all the episodes that were requested of me that are on Disney Life, I’ll have to circle back next year. But, hands in the hair. I was taken completely by surprise, this series is better than it has any right to be, and does a great job fleshing out characters that originally felt perhaps a little…

“Oh hey SMOWE, welcome back.”

“Thanks Mouse.”

“So. Did you find out who you really are?”

“I think I did, Mouse. I think I did.”

“Fuck TVTropes.”

Scoring

How butt ugly is the animation? Is it as ugly as a butt?: 14/20

Jaw droppingly gorgeous.

Are the main characters jerks? I bet they’re jerks: 18/20

I…may actually prefer this version of Rapunzel.

Bet the villain’s a real shitpile, character wise: 13/20

Yes. I know Varian’s not the real long term villain. Yes, I know who it actually is. Please don’t spoil it in the comments.

Oh what’s this? Supporting characters? Fuck you supporting characters!: 16/20

Once of the things that made Maximus and Pascal so fantastic was the absolutely superlative animation of the original. That’s obviously not an option on a TV budget so they suffer somewhat. That said, the series does introduce some great new characters and fleshes out a world that was always a little thing before.

Man, fuck the music. I hope it dies: 13/20

Yeah, the aggressive, hostile Disney Sequel categories really aren’t working this time around. Songs are pretty great.

FINAL SCORE: 74%

NEXT UPDATE: 28 November 2019

NEXT TIME: Another animé review featuring schoolgirls. And so, my customary prayer…

Please don’t be fucked up.
Please don’t be fucked up.
Please don’t be fucked up.

35 comments

  1. I was actually aware that Queen For a Day existed, but only because Jack Benny and Fred Allen once did a parody of it, so I guess people were aware it was a little fucked up even back then. It hilariously ends with Jack winning the game, and Fred announcing that one of his prizes is having his suit pressed…the suit he’s currently wearing, which means he’s humiliating stripped on the air against his furious protests.

    Jack: Allen, you haven’t seen the end of me!

    Fred: It won’t be long now.

    I only caught a couple of episodes of this show, but now I think I really need to give it a proper look. I knew the art was great, but I missed how elaborate the story was.

    SMOWE truly is too good for this sinful earth, even if he does make up about 6.8% of its landmass.

  2. So I have not seen this (only heard the “Wind in My Hair” song. But I would like to if I find it somewhere convinient some day. In any case I don’t understand why it could not take place after the marriage. Why marriage does mean story is over? People can be happily married and get on adventures. I had this issue with Aladdin series too, it seemed like the first movie ended with a wedding but nope, I guess you need drama between romantic couples and people can’t just be married and best friends. I actually like that at least we saw a bit of Ariel’s and Simba’s married life in their sequels but that is just because their children who were the main characters.

  3. Ooh, I had hoped this was good. I knew it looked pretty at least. I will have to add it to my Disney+ list (a service that I am begrudgingly enjoying).

    Also, the SMOWE bits killed me. That was hilarious.

  4. So this series I’m kind of conflicted on. On the one hand, the main story is pretty intriguing. And the art style, like you mentioned, is really good. On the other hand, the filler episodes can REALLY drag. And as someone who watches one episode of this show every three weeks or so (when I can have a Sunday off from work), it can REALLY be annoying to go several weeks (sometimes even months) before I get to a main story episode. However, when I DO get to one, I REALLY enjoy it!

    So bottom line, in my opinion, when the show actually focuses on the main plot, it’s really good! When the show has its inevitable filler episodes (which are more numerous than the main plot episodes), it DRAGS! I’m currently a few episodes away from the season 2 finale (which, at the rate I watch these episodes, I probably won’t get to until the new year) and I’m genuinely looking forward to what happens! Actually, to rephrase that, I’m looking forward to see HOW everything happens and get some context along with it (I kinda got a bit spoiled about the finale. Grrrr.) To those who’ve already seen it, please don’t spoil anything else (for myself or for Mouse)! Thank you!

    Keep up the great work, Mouse!!!

    1. I mostly agree. When this show drags, it REALLY drags. But when it’s good, it’s REALLY good.
      I’d been meaning to watch this show for a while, and when I saw Mouse was going to review it I binge-watched it all last week. I think binge-watching it fixes the dragging problem a bit, because over all, I really like it! The plot is intriguing and I actually really like how they’ve further developed Rapunzel and Eugene, Cass is a fascinating character, I like Varian for being an enthusiastic scientist rather than the boring, extremely clinical scientist stereotype. It took me a looong time to warm up to Lance, and I still find him annoying more often than not, but he’s had his good moments too.

  5. I only became aware of this show because YouTube suddenly started recommending clips, and I was like, “What, Tangled has lore now?” This review might’ve given me the push to check it out whenever I wind up selling my soul to Disney+. 

    If we’re shipping landmasses, heads up: stay away from Russia. Oh, sure, being the Motherland, she does self-identify as a woman, and she is pretty deep and interesting at times. You think, “Oh, it’ll be just like James Bond!”

    But that woman is nuts. She’s going through one big, long, never-ending identity crisis. For the longest time she was this scary-intense leftist revolutionary, very feminist, very forward-thinking. Then she spent the 90s strung out on vodka and barbiturates. Now, on the other side of her mental breakdown, she’s on this creepy alt-right kick and spreading gossip to try and break the US up with their friends. I guess maybe she saw something deeper in that little fling they had during World War II. Anyways, watch out. You don’t want any of her baggage. (Also, she’s always cold and she will ALWAYS hog all the blankets when you lie down together. Always.)

    Having never heard of it, I wiki’d your next project. Uhh…good luck with that. Maybe it’ll somehow be the CUTE kind of fucked up???

  6. Oh, Mysterious Girlfriend X. Yeah…

    You know, when you think about it, just about everything is a *little* fucked up, right? No need to get overly upset about things that, on the face of it, might seem awfully bizarre, but really don’t matter in the end. Right? 😅

    Oh, and you should let Walt know that the Disney necromancy department has been an open secret since the *first* live action Jungle Book remake. It’s a little late for a cover-up. 😏

    1. They’re not doing a great job of hiding it, are they?

      Yeah, sure Disney, the way you got Peter Cushing walking around in Rogue One is thanks to “Com-Pew-Tors”, no sacrifice of children who cut in line at Disneyland at all. And I suppose taking decades off the faces of actors in those MCU movies isn’t accomplished by making them ride “It’s a Small World” backwards?

  7. As the one who requested it – Mysterious Girlfriend X definitely isn’t for everybody. … Or most people probably. But I really, really love it (might notice it’s my avatar). Still think there’s no shortage of stuff to make fun of about it though.

  8. Doctor Velociraptor? He wouldn’t happen to be related to “Atomic Robo’s” Doctor Dinosaur now would he?
    Eh, probably not. Doctor Velociraptor is probably less of a dick.

    Good review Mouse, this sounded intriguing and I actually have been looking for something to binge.

  9. I am in an odd position because I have a completely irrational resentment towards this show. Because I actually thought that there was potential for a great sequel, not regarding the world, but regarding Rapunzel the character. I mean, how would she adjust to the life outside, how would she work out the relationship with her parents? And then I saw the “one year later” bit and I was all “f… you, that is not the sequel I wanted”.

    But I guess I am not really the target group for this one anyway.

  10. Great review! Personally I fell in love with this show when I saw the episode Pascal’s Story, yes it’s Disney giving into their insatiable need to kill off parents yet again, but those opening few minutes are gorgeous, full of atmosphere and artistry. There’s all the little moments as well like Rapunzel’s reaction to returning to the tower for the first time.

    The series has had it’s hooks in me ever since and while some of the filler episodes can be a bit eyerolling, when this show is on it’s game it’s one of my favourite cartoons period.

  11. Oddly enough I caught the pilot of this series while on holiday a few years ago – rather liked it, though gave the production no further thought thereafter; I am, however, delighted to learn it turned out to be one of those most uncommon things, an unwarranted franchise that nonetheless remains quite thoroughly enjoyable.

    I’m also a little disappointed that Doctor Velociraptor has been skimping on his commitments as PROFESSOR Raptor at the National University of Mongolia and EXTREMELY disappointed that mid life crisis of his resulted in such a pronounced bout of feather plucking (D— it Osmolskae, she’s just not that into you! Move on and wear your feathers PROUDLY, doc).

  12. I give a pass to Rapunzel’s hair growing back in this series because it is at least somewhat explained which is a lot more than I can say for Ralph Breaks the Internet.

  13. As a Sarcastic Map of Wartime Europe fan I was so happy to see them get a day in the limelight. I laughed. I cried. I felt everything one can feel. And that character growth.

    Seriously though, that was a really funny joke to run through the post. Hadn’t actually heard of this show until just now so I don’t have anything to say about it. All I could say was what you said at the beginning.

  14. Grrr. I think my first comment got eaten. Oh wells. I requested the Tangled series on Patreon because I think it expands on some interesting things from the film while also adding character and plot points of its own and even takes some risks I was not expecting to be taken. Like Rapunzel is allowed to not only mess up but have long-standing flaws and issues that have to be addressed in order for her and her relationships with other people to grow in a healthy way. And that’s awesome. But you also see why she’s our hero and so loved by the people around her.

    Co-sign on the music being amazing as well. “Life After Happily Ever After” and “Wind in My Hair” plus the reprise in the pilot alone pack so much character and story into such short segments, and with good melodies too.

    I think it’s also interesting to compare/contrast to the movie spin-off shows of the 90s (Mermaid, Aladdin, Hercules, Tarzan). That they can openly do arc-based storytelling is so nice, but I also think the tone is much less consistent than its predecessors, sometimes to Tangled’s detriment.

    Also: you know how Mouse feels about Melody’s two friends who must not be named in Mermaid 2? That’s me with a couple of characters who get bumped up to regulars for much of Season 2.

    And TVtropes links to comments by someone who worked on the show validating that Cass is not queer-coded purely by accident.

    Amazing review as always Mouse, even with the (necessary) format shake-up!

  15. Mouse, please pardon me for hitting you up with such an off-topic question HERE but Patreon has not been my friend recently (I’ve had as much luck logging on as a lumberjack using a blunt breadknife) and one wanted to seek your help with a concept for a superhero universe recently.

    I’m not sure this will float your boat, but the mental image of THE DEMON MURPHY as an Imp of Satan pretending to be a leprechaun (being one of the Serpents whom St Patrick chased out of Ireland he could probably affect a pretty decent Irish accent but, being a Fiend from Hell with a grudge against all things associated with the Emerald Isle, he prefers to put on the most obscene distortion of a brogue seen this side of Mick O’Shamelessly, Hollywood) while he plays Mr Mxyzptlk to the local version of Superman.

    Which he does, it must be noted, by making everyday life as hard as possible for the little fellows lost in the shadows of the super-people by making sure EVERYTHING goes wrong and in ways spectacularly weird & widespread enough for one or two poor souls to slip through the cracks even after Our Hero shows up … in theory.

    I say ‘In Theory’ because the Demon Murphy has one overpowering weakness – Laughter.

    It always takes help, from a friend or from a good samaritan, but if you can manage to laugh at the petty frustrations, bugged-out failures and bizarre perversities he inflicts on all mortal beings (outside the shores of Ireland, from which he is permanently banned, despite his best efforts to pretend that ‘Ireland’ should be taken to mean only the Republic and not the Whole Island, back in the days when the local equivalent to John Constantine still had most of his hair and The Troubles made things difficult for everybody with sense) then this particular Demon will cry quits and pop off in a sulk (presumably to make his excuses to Screwtape & the Infernal Bureaucracy).

    As you might imagine, the local counterpart to Superman is pretty darned helpful – and equally good at inspiring others to help their neighbours & their friends cope.

    Now, as you are not only an Irishman yourself but also something of an expert on the Folklore et al, I wondered if you would be kind enough to look this concept over and offer suggestions on how one might improve upon it – and also how one might best tailor a description to suit this concept; my mental image was of a hairless entity wearing the classic green costumery of the ‘Plastic Paddy’ leprechaun (but with a red cap, as a fair warning to those with a knowledge of folklore), who employs fake arms and a false leg & a false foot to conceal the fact his physique is serpentine, rather than humanoid.

    May I please ask if you have any thoughts on the subject?

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