Remember when I posted about what looked like a discrepancy between the early Fragonard-style Rapunzel 2010 concept art and the new stuff that had recently been put out? I concluded then that the new stuff that we were seeing might be old stuff; I thought this because I had been out of the loop for a while, and I know zilch about animation.

But now it appears that some of that art actually comes from the film’s new direction, which goes hand in hand with its newly revealed style. Armed with this new knowledge (knowledge is power!) we can reconstruct a timeline for the evolution of Rapunzel concept-art.

Stage One Story: “Rapunzel Unbraided.” Concept: Girl gets pulled into Rapunzel-world from the modern world and gets turned into a squirrel. Oh, wait! This sounds like “The Princess and the Frog”…but with squirrels!

Stage One Concept Art: Rapunzel Unbraided

Rapunzel Unbraided

The Answer, My Friend, Is Blowing In the Wind

But times change, and we move on to Stage Two!

Stage Two Story: Traditional Rapunzel? Squirrel Rapunzel? It is unclear if the story changed in this stage.
Stage Two Concept Art: Rococo Rapunzel

Rococo Rapunzel

Once upon a time, in a land of C, C, CGI

And times change again!

Stage Three Story: [Official Summary] “A princess stolen from her parents’ castle as a baby, Rapunzel (voice of Mandy Moore) is locked in a hidden tower longing for adventure Now an imaginative and determined teenager, she takes off on a hilarious, hair-raising escapade with the help of a dashing bandit (voice of Zachary Levi). With the secret of her royal heritage hanging in the balance and her captor in pursuit, Rapunzel and her cohort find adventure, heart, humor, and hair… lots of hair. With original music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Glenn Slater, this comedic re-imagining of the classic Brothers Grimm fairytale comes to theaters in Disney Digital 3D™.”

And the art is below:

Dashing Bandit Climbs Hair

Dashing Bandit!

Rapunzel Title

Cue Modern, Yet Whimsical Music

Rapunzel Concept Art 2010

The Classic Disney Princess Shot: Looking With Longing

To me, this looks very "Princess Bride" "A long time ago, in a faraway land..."
Rapunzel Concept Art

Absolutely Gorgeous

I love that last one. It reminds me of my favorite Maurice Prendergast painting:

Boats! On the water! With lights!

I’m *very* excited about the direction that the film is going in. Bandit! On the run! Action-Princess! This is the sort of thing I like to hear. Even though it does say “comedic reimagining.” And it’s only about 365 days away….