Hair-Raising Facts About Disney’s ‘Tangled’ (Minor Spoilers)

Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios, here’s a list of several fun facts about the newest film from Walt Disney Animation Studios, Tangled, starring the voice talents of Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi and Donna Murphy.


  • “Tangled” marks Walt Disney Pictures’ 50th full-length animated feature.
  • Directors Byron Howard and Nathan Greno both became interested in careers as animators after visiting Disney’s Animation Studio at Walt Disney World.  While waiting to get accepted into the program, Howard served as a tour guide and spent his days on the outside looking through the glass at animators at work.
  • Rising stars Byron Howard and Nathan Greno take the helm, infusing the fresh talent of the animation industry’s newest generation of directors.  Howard directed Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Bolt,” the 2008 animated comedy adventure that grossed more than $300 million worldwide and earned two Golden Globe® nominations (Best Animated Film and Best Original Song), and an Oscar® nomination for Best Animated Feature.  Greno, a 14-year Disney animation veteran, served as head of story on “Bolt,” and has animation and/or story credits on “Mulan,” “Brother Bear,” and “Meet the Robinsons.”
  • Animation supervisor Glen Keane’s real life daughter, artist Claire Keane, was responsible for designing and painting the storytelling mural that adorns the walls of Rapunzel’s tower home.  In real life, Glen drew inspiration from his daughter in helping to conceptualize the Rapunzel character, recalling her irrepressible nature and penchant for drawing on walls.


  • Rapunzel has 70 feet of golden hair and more than 100,000 individual strands
  • Special software had to be created to simulate movement for the hair, no one had ever animated that much hair before and no leading lady has ever had that much hair before!
  • If all the hairs on a single head of hair 12 inches long were laid end-to-end, they would stretch 26 miles. If all the hair on Rapunzel’s head were laid end to end they would stretch for 1,820 miles.
  • Ten women from the production grew their hair out during the making of the film; ultimately each cut about 10 inches of hair to donate to an organization that makes real-hair wigs for people who’ve lost their hair due to illness.
  • Hair software engineer Kelly Ward (one of three software experts charged with creating the hair simulation for Rapunzel and all of the film’s main characters) got her computer science PhD in the study of hair, and has spent the last ten years specializing in that area.  She is considered one of the leading experts in her field.


  • The film features an exciting scene with a dazzling, lantern-filled skyline.  Every lantern has its own animated fire that contains 10,000 micro points of light. The highest lantern count in a shot is 46,000 lanterns, which equals 460 million points of light!
  • The waterfall and stream in the tower valley were animated to match the characteristics of streams and waterfalls in California’s Yosemite.  The effects supervisor took a two-day trip and shot more than 150 video clips for reference. The art directors were then able to pick out their favorite characteristics. More than 10 million individual water droplet “points” make up the waterfall.
  • Grizzly River Run in Disney’s California Adventure Park was used as inspiration for water leaks on the rickety wood dam that bursts. In one scene, 23 million gallons of virtual CGI water were released in the collapse of a dam.
  • The immersive fog that creeps in around Gothel and Rapunzel at the campsite is also intended to symbolize the emotional effect of Gothel clouding Rapunzel’s mind.
  • More than 2,000 Mario Kart Races were played by the production team in an effort to stay sane through the long hard hours!


The “Tangled” animated cast includes five main characters, 21 thugs and 38 townspeople.  Leading up to the film’s dramatic lantern scene, the Disney effects team was called upon to create a crowd that consisted of nearly 3,000 people.  This is the largest crowd that the Studio has ever created for a CG feature.

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8 thoughts on “Hair-Raising Facts About Disney’s ‘Tangled’ (Minor Spoilers)

        • I’ll add a minor spoiler alert, but the lanterns are hardly a spoiler given the trailers, merchandising and even the original concept art. As for a dam bursting, I don’t see how that’s actually a spoiler unless you already know the context of it. It’s representing a visual effect here.

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