Monday, May 5, 2014

Four Ways the Rococo Helped Shape the Look of Tangled

1. Rendering

Left: A Game of Hot Cockels, By: Fragonard
Right: still from Tangled

The rendering technique used for Disney's Tangled attempts to make the movie appear more painterly.  Just as the trees become faint swaths of color as they near the horizon in Fragonard's painting, so the trees abstract from high detail in the still from Tangled.  Both images have a distinct foreground, middle-ground, and background.

For more about the art direction in Tangled, go to: 

2. Environments

File:The Progress of Love - The Meeting - Fragonard 1771-72.jpg

Left: The Progress of Love- The Meeting, By: Fragonard
Right (top): Tangled concept art, By: Lisa Keane
Right (bottom): still render from Tangled

The exact tree from Fragonard's "The Progress of Love" appears in Lisa Kean's concept art, bending over in the background to very nearly touch the roof of the tower.  Although this tree did not make it to the final render, it's iconic curving form did (small tree near the right, bottom corner).  Indeed, true to it's Rococo reference, everything in the final render seems to be curving and bending: the waterfall, the stream, the branches and trees, even the terrain.  

To see the most dramatically Rococo environment I was able to find from Tangled in action, watch:

3. Concept Art

Left: Early Rapunzel Concept, By: Claire Keane
Right: a detail from Duchesse de Polignac, By: Vigee-Lebrun
The porcelain completions, pastel eyes, rosy cheeks, and wavy hair of Rapunzel and the Duchesse de Polignac bear an uncanny resemblance: they could be sisters.  The feathery brush strokes with which the hair in both paintings were rendered are also a note-worthy similarity.  

For more Tangled character concepts and the evolution of Rapunzel, go to:

4.  The Swing

Left: Tangled concept art, By: Lisa Keane
Right: The Swing, By: Fragonard

"The Swing" by Fragonard is the foundation for the art direction of Tangled.  This concept art by Lisa Keane is practically a 1:1 ratio of Fragonard's Swing, with the subject matter toned down to a "G" rating.  For some reason, Disney did not think it would be appropriate to have a man looking up a lady's skirt in their concept art for a children's movie.

For more about the art that inspired movies (and an excerpt on the Swing's influence on Tangled), go to:

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