Tangled, Disney's 50th animated feature film was released ten years ago. The film was a huge success, grossing $591 million at the global box office. When adjusted for inflation, that equates to $640 million today. Many people are unaware that Tangled was the most expensive animated film ever made, costing a whopping $260 million to produce.
Tangled was the first Disney animated feature to be completely rendered in 3D, which contributed to its high production costs. Until then, all of Disney's animated films had been hand-drawn or a combination of hand-drawn and CGI. Because of the switch to 3D, each frame of the film contained nearly 100 million pixels, which required significantly more processing power and resulted in significantly higher production costs.
Another factor that contributed to Tangled's high price was its length. It was the longest Disney animated feature since Tarzan (1999), which ran for 88 minutes. Because of the longer running time, the film had to be packed with action and adventure to keep audiences interested, which increased the cost of production.
The final factor that contributed to Tangled's high price was its setting. Tangled is set in a fictional kingdom called Corona, which includes a bustling city, a dense forest, and a castle complete with towering spires and guards, as opposed to most Disney animated films, which are set in either medieval Europe or contemporary America. This required the production team to create entirely new designs and concepts, which added to the film's already hefty budget.
Tangled was the most expensive Disney animated film ever made when it was released, but it was also one of the most successful. Tangled went on to become one of Disney's most beloved films, thanks to its beautiful animation, engaging story, and endearing characters. Despite its high cost, Tangled proved to be a wise investment for Disney; ten years later, it is still as popular with both young and old fans alike.