Tangled is Disney’s 2010 surprise hit animated movie. The story is loosely based on a fairytale called Rapunzel, but Disney made their adaptation much more bright and children-friendly. With a likable lead, a sarcastic pet sidekick, and a new spin on the prince charming role it is easy to see how this story made it to everyone’s hearths so quickly. The only question left hanging is when exactly does this story takes place.
The most accurate guess, given all the clues presented to us in the movies, would set the story sometime in the 1780s in northern Germany which is the real-life location of the fictional kingdom Corona where Rapunzel is from.
If you want to learn more about how Disney’s tangled (pun intended) universe reveals all the clues needed to answer this question keep reading.
When does Tangled take place in history?
Two official sources place the time period in two times periods that are mutually incompatible. According to the film’s creators, Tangled takes place in the 1780s, though the appearance of books like The Little Mermaid and other on-screen evidence suggests a date closer to the 1830-40s.
Rapunzel’s cameo in Frozen with Flynn, which is set in the 1840s (confirmed in The Art of Frozen), puts Tangled in the same period. According to fashion historians, men’s and women’s clothing styles are more consistent with the early to mid-nineteenth century than the late eighteenth century.
Mother Gothel is dressed in a Renaissance-style gown. The Renaissance was in the 15th and 16th centuries in Germany where the story takes place. In the movie’s prologue, Flynn claims that many generations have passed since Gothel kidnapped Rapunzel, implying that it had been more than 100 years.
This places us in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. However, as previously mentioned, The Art of Frozen verified that Frozen took place in the 1840s, implying that Gothel lived for at least 300 years by singing to the flower!
Where does Tangled take place?
The question is a bit more complicated than with the other Disney movies since we do know that the story takes place in a fictional kingdom named Corona. This makes it a bit harder to figure out where the kingdom actually is set on the real-world map.
Luckily we can use some clues from other Disney movies to help us answer this question. Although a lot of people are aware of the fact that all of the Disney movies take place in the same universe, most people don’t know that it is probably just as connected as the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The first movie we can look at for clues is Frozen. A popular fan theory connected the two movies when Rapunzel and Flynn actually showed up in the post-credits scene where we see them attending a wedding.
This would suggest that the kingdom of Corona is not that far away from the place where Frozen takes place and although we don’t have a clear indication or any explicit name dropping in the movie, we can conclude from all the hints in the movies that it takes place in Norway.
The popular fan theory states that Anna’s and Elsa’s parents died when their ship sank and that the very ship they died was on its way towards the kingdom of Corona.
This further strengthens the connection between the two places since it has been hinted at that the two kingdoms can be connected with a boat.
Now we have to take a look at where can the kingdom of Corona be set. The only criteria we have is the fact that it has to be able to access Norway by boat. The best way to go about is to check the source material, the story of Rapunzel.
The story is loosely based on the Brother Grimm tale named Rapunzel. Although there is not a lot of hits as to when and where the story takes place, similarly to many different stories from the authors it is set somewhere in Germany.
However, this is the location of the original story and not the movie Tangled. This means that the locations are not necessarily the same. After all, many people pointed out that the dominant architectural style throughout the movie is French gothic and not German gothic.
To further prove this claim many people refer to the fact that the kingdom of Corona seems to be based on a real-life castle. The castle in question Mont St. Michael in France which is surrounded by a body of water and connected to the land by a single bridge that gets flooded every time the tide is rising.
Luckily for us, there is a piece of evidence in another Disney movie that confirms this location as a location of the fictional kingdom Corona.
That Disney movie is The Little Mermaid. During the movie, there is a scene where Ariel explores a sunken ship where she looks for different small items from the human world.
Once some fans looked at the scene closer they concluded that the ship looks oddly familiar. The ship had a lot of similarities to the boat that Anna’s and Elsa’s parents were on while traveling to the kingdom of Corona.
This would mean that the ship sunk somewhere where the location would overlap with the place where the story of the Little Mermaid takes place. The story of Little Mermaid takes place in the ocean around the coast of Denmark, where the story originates from.
This would be consistent with the fact that Corona is somewhere in Germany since Denmark is right between Norway and Germany, making the animated movie consistent with the original story and the proposition from this article.
What is Tangled based on?
Rapunzel, a fairy tale popularized by the Brothers Grimm, is the basis for Tangled. They got it from Charlotte-Rose de la Force’s German version of Persinette, which was possibly influenced by the folktale Petrosinella.
In both stories, Rapunzel’s mother yearned for the plant so much that she would die if she didn’t get it. This was a problem because it grew in an enchantress called Gothel’s forbidden garden.
Rapunzel’s parents were ordinary people, so when Gothel discovers Rapunzel’s father stealing the plant for his wife, he can only persuade her to spare him by promising her their child.
When the girl is born, Gothel takes her and names her after the plant, and the parents leave the story. The girl isn’t needed by the enchantress for any magical purposes. It’s implied in Persinette that she locks her up in the tower because she’s a caring yet overbearing mother.
One day, a prince hears Rapunzel singing from a tower and falls in love with her voice. He is unable to enter the tower, so he waits for her to let her hair down so he can gain access and climb up the tower. When, he reaches the tower the two fall in love, and she agrees to marry him.
But before they can escape, she gives him away and is cast into the wilderness by a sorceress. He falls from the tower and is blinded by the thorns of the plants growing at the base of the tower. One day hears her voice again and they are reunited. He leads her and their twins to his kingdom where they live happily ever after.
In one version, her foster mother untied her hair and it fell from her hands, leaving her trapped in the tower. The prince then finds her in the wilderness with the twins to whom she has given birth, a boy and a girl, and leads them to their home. The story is one of the oldest fairy tales in Germany.
Rapunzel’s true story is said to be based on a young woman named Barbara who was so beautiful that her father locked her up in a tower so no men could touch her. Many men sought Barbara’s hand in marriage, but she chose to devote herself to God and her newfound Christian faith, and she turned them all down.
Her pagan father, on the other hand, was not satisfied with her conversion to Christianity. God, according to legend, built a hole in the tower for her to flee when she prayed for help when he drew his sword on her. Unfortunately, she was found shortly after, and her father beheaded her before being struck by lightning.