Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi share more than their voices in common with their characters from TANGLED. Like Rapunzel and Flynn, these two know how to make their banter sprightly. It was what I enjoyed most about our conversation when I spoke to them on November 7, 2010. Which is not to say that hearing what it was like to wander the Disney animation department wasn’t interesting. Far from it. I started, though, by asking about a particular choice Moore had made while recording Rapunzel’s dialogue. It may seem like a small thing, but for me it speaks volumes about the thought and artistry she and Levi brought to the roles.
TANGLED is an animated fable of longing, long hair, and the surprisingly effective use of frying pans in a bar fight. Moore voices Rapunzel, kidnapped by Mother Gothel from her royal parents because of the magical properties embedded in her golden hair, which by the time Rapunzel is about to turn 18 has grown to a prodigious 70 feet in length. Enter Flynn, a dashing thief with a personal swagger and a sack full of royal swag who is on the lam from a very determined police horse. Flynn scales the tower in which Rapunzel is imprisoned only to find the naïve girl is a caution with kitchen implements and with the torque properties of her ebulliently cascading locks. Rapunzel makes Flynn an offer he can’t refuse. He’ll guide her through her first foray into the world, where she longs to see the lights that mysteriously appear in the sky every year on her birthday, and she’ll return the loot she hid while he recovered from being conked on the head with her trusty frying pan.
Moore’s previous work includes a mean girl with a holier-than-thou attitude in SAVED, a wickedly focused contestant with a convenient moral compass going for broke on a televised singing competition in AMERICAN DREAMZ. She is also a recording artist with gold albums to her credit, and is the Ambassador for PSI’s Five & Alive Organization, which fights malaria in 30 countries.