All successful animated movements needed a foundation of physics for creating both realistic and physic breaking motion. The laws of Physics were essential for animation because the laws of physics were a tool for understanding how objects exist and function in reality. Incorporating the laws of physics in animated films has allowed each scene to always remain believable. In the animated film, Tangled, the characters can successfully break the laws of physics by imitating the physics of other existing objects.
Throughout the film, Tangled, the character, Repunzel, can break the laws of physics with her hair because her hair can imitate the physics of rope. Throughout Tangled, animators’ emulated Repunzel’s hair as rope when Repunzel used it for the following movements: climbing up a tall tower, making her hair a pulley for elevating herself off the ground to paint a wall, and tying up Flynn Rider to keep him from moving out of a chair. These rope movements proved that animators made Repunzel successfully break the laws of physics because in reality humans cannot lift heavy objects with their hair. Humans would injure themselves trying to lift heavy objects with their hair. Having Repunzel’s hair imitate the physics of rope worked for making believable animation because in reality rope can be strong enough to lift humans and other heavy weight.
During Tangled the horse, Maximus, successfully broke the laws of physics by emulating the mannerisms of a tiny dog. During the scene when Maximus and Flynn Rider were fighting over Rider’s satchel, Maximus was compelled to successfully walk across a thin tree branch. Maximus’ weight broke the laws of physics because in reality Maximus’ horse weight was too heavy to be held by the small tree branch and would have caused the branch to break instantly. Even though Maximus evenly distributed his weight on the branch, Maximus’ weight was still too much for the branch to hold. Having Maximus imitate the physics of a tiny dog worked for making believable animation because in reality a tiny dog might be able to walk across the tree branch due to the small dog weighing less than the tree branch’s weight capacity. Although reality does not allow horses and dogs to have the anatomy or balance for walking on small tree branches, the comic relief of having a big animal imitate a small dog and the story progression of making Maximus retrieve a satchel from a tree both worked for making Maximus’ tree movements convincing.
Another way that Maximus’ imitation of tiny dog moments and tiny dog personality worked for breaking the laws of physics included Maximus’ capability of being able to playfully sit like a tiny dog. Maximus’ abilities of being able to playfully sit like a tiny dog broke the laws of physics because in reality a horse’s weight, mass, and anatomy would make this physically impossible. Although Maximus broke the laws of physics by being able to sit like a dog, the humor of a horse imitating the mannerisms and physics of a small dog worked for making Maximus’ movements believable for an audience’s enjoyment.
Throughout Tangled funny characters broke the laws of physics by instantly recovering from their injuries through imitating the physics of rubber. During a bar fight Repunzel forcefully hit a tough bar thug in the head with a heavy piece of wood. The tough bar thug remained unharmed because he emulated the movement of rubber. This blow to the head created humor and did not cause a serious injury because the exaggeration of the tough bar thug’s personality made this moment comical. In reality the force of gravity, the force Repunzel exerted on the piece of wood, the weight of the wood, and the inertia of a heavy piece of wood moving in motion would make the bar thug unconscious, and unable to recover quickly from such a forceful blow to the head. Although the squash and stretch of the bar thug’s head, the slapstick humor of hitting someone in the head, the fast movement of the wood, and the bar thug emulating the physics of rubber all made this blow to the head believable, in reality the bar thug would slowly recover from this potential head injury.
Flynn Rider was another example of how a funny character can break the laws of physics by emulating the physics of rubber. During a wild tug of war fight between Repunzel and Maximus, Repunzel and Maximus made Rider’s body stretch to unnatural proportions by Repunzel and Maximus pulling Rider’s body back and forth. After the tug or war was over, Rider’s overstretched body recovered instantly and was unharmed as he compressed back to his regular body proportions. Rider’s body may have also been left unharmed because his boots and clothing were being pulled and not his anatomy. Since Rider’s body appeared stretched to bone breaking limits and was left injured, this caused Rider to break the laws of physics. Rider emulating the physics of rubber, Rider’s funny personality, and the humor of seeing Rider’s body overstretched made the overstretching of Rider’s body believable.
In animation the laws of physics have been just as important as the need for creating believable motion. When an animated character clearly emulated the physics of another existing object to do non-realistic behavior the animated character had broken the laws of physics. Animators must know and apply the laws of physics at all times unless the laws of physics were clearly broken for a reason. In the animated film, Tangled, the characters successfully broke the laws of physics by imitating the physics of other existing objects. Emulating objects such as rope, rubber, and a small dog improved Tangled because this proved that even when the laws of physics were broken, using the laws of physics from another referenced object kept the movie humorous and believable. Breaking the laws of physics in a convincing manner made Tangled an entertaining film because this developed the film’s story and made the likable characters relatable to the audience.