Tangled’s Sequel/Spin-Off is doomed

At the end of Tangled, Princess Rapunzel looked like this:

In the trailer for her sequel TV movie/show, she looks like this:

You might have noticed some small differences.

Disney seemed reluctant to commit to the bobbed version of Rapunzel. They animated her with the new hairdo in the short film Tangled: Ever After and in her Frozen easter egg, but if you bought any merchandise with her depicted on it, she still had the long hair.

Ruminations on unintentionally undermining the movie’s own message about self-image aside, this sort of liminal, Schrodinger-esque existence for Rapunzel’s hair only became a problem when the TV series was announced.

The return of Rapunzel’s magic hair is a writing catch-22. Her hair was the driving force behind Tangled’s plot. With the hair gone, the conflict was neatly resolved and expectations for a Rapunzel movie neatly subverted. Now that it’s back, problems arise. Is the TV movie just going to rehash the same plot, then? Doesn’t its return more or less nullify the climactic moments of Tangled?

And most importantly, since we know Rapunzel has short brown hair in the Ever After short, and that the TV series will take place before the short, then we know that she’s going to lose the hair again. Which also means that we know that we are going to roughly see the same story again. And if that’s not the case, then either Ever After is getting retconned out of existence (unlikely, seeing as Before Ever After is the series subtitle) or the series is non-canon (again, unlikely because of the subtitle.)

There is perhaps opportunity for a miracle, that the creators truly thought of a brilliant way to reincorporate the hair in a way that makes things new and fresh, but the most likely conclusion is this:

The Tangled sequel is doomed.

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