We have three words for the Tangled: The Series presentation at D23 Expo… Best. Panel. Ever! (You had to know that was coming.)
After appearing alongside the other Disney Princesses on Friday, Mandy Moore (voice of Rapunzel) swung onstage to give Tangled its moment in the sun. And she wasn’t alone. Also in attendance were Zachary Levi (voice of Eugene), Jeremy Jordan (voice of Varian), Eden Espinosa (voice of Cassandra), Chris Sonnenburg (Executive Producer), Benjamin Balistreri (Co-Executive Producer), and Alan Bodner (Art Director). The only ones missing were Pascal and Maximus!
Aside from blessing us with Mandy and Zachary’s off-screen chemistry (the sparks are real, people), the panel shined a light on what’s to come for the colorful series, including a few fun facts and surprises. So make the clock reverse, because we’re letting those shine:
1. Eden Espinosa originally auditioned for the role of Rapunzel in Tangled (she also auditioned for Frozen).
A self-proclaimed Disney nerd, Eden originally worked as a cast member at Disney Parks before trying her hand–or voice–at acting. And the first role she auditioned for?
“Rapunzel. Obviously, I didn’t get it,” Eden said as she side-eyed Mandy (such a Cassandra move). “But when I found out Mandy got it? Look, I’ve been a huge fan of hers since… *breaking into song* ‘I’m missing you like candy!’ So when I found that out, I just thought it was perfect.”
2. The series has a clear ending—and it’s already known.
While elaborating on the series’ complex mythology, which will “wrap everything together by the end,” Balistreri revealed, “This is all planned out. We know how it’s going to end. And man, it gets you. The whole journey is something so special.” The hype is real.
3. We’re going to learn Pascal’s origin story.
If you thought Baby Dory was cute, just wait for BABY PASCAL. In one of the upcoming episodes, fans will learn how Rapunzel came to find Pascal–or more appropriately, how Pascal found Rapunzel. We don’t want to spoil too much, but the early animatic teasing the magical meet-and-greet included a high speed chase (with a serpent), a truly heartbreaking moment with Pascal’s mom, and young Rapunzel singing.
4. The show has only scratched the surface of Cassandra’s story.
When asked about Cassandra’s backstory, which is relatively unknown, Eden teased, “She’s one of the only characters where it’s a mystery. We don’t know where she’s going to end up. I know a little bit, and I’m so excited for you to find out. All I have to say is you better buckle up and get ready!” Hype part II.
5. More original songs are on the horizon (from Alan Menken)!
It’s no secret we’re huge Alan Menken enthusiasts (fan name is TBD but please submit your ideas in the comments), so this news was quite a treat. Sonnenburg said, “Yes, you will hear some amazing singing coming up. In each tentpole film–we’ll have one for the midseason and one for the finale of each season–there are a couple of songs from Alan Menken and Glenn Slater.”
The producers even previewed one of these new anthems, sung by the one and only Jeremy Jordan. The set up: A big storm comes to Corona and Varian needs Rapunzel’s help for something, so he must travel to seek her help. Suffice to say, we were blown away by the song—and we think you will be too!
6. Mandy and Eden both want Rapunzel and Cassandra to perform a duet.
That’s right! Both actresses expressed excitement to collaborate when a fan asked if their characters would ever sing together. Here’s hoping we don’t have to wait too long!
7. Character spin-offs *might* be in the works.
And here comes hype part III. When asked about potential spin-offs focusing on other characters, Sonnenburg simply advised, “Stay tuned.” *Screams*
Tangled: The Series returns with all new episodes July 23 on Disney Channel.