I’ve talked so much about my excitement about Big Hero 6: The Series that I haven’t even mentioned that there is currently a Tangled: The Series on Disney Channel. I’ve written plenty about Tangled in the past, and even wrote a full length article about the film’s story problems. Today I’m going to feature some concept art of a discarded character from the film I really hope makes into the series in some way in the future. This piece of concept art depicts the discarded character of Bastion, who I’ve talked about briefly in my longer article, but I think he is interesting enough to get his own short post today.
This concept drawing of Bastion was created by Disney character designer Jin Kim, who has worked on many other Disney films including Moana and Big Hero 6. I recently discovered a whole set of drawings he did of Bastion. Bastion was an early idea of a male lead for the film back when it was called “Rapunzel” and was still being directed by Glen Keane. He was sort of a proto-type for Flynn, but with some major differences. The biggest difference being he was of Romani descent (Keane and others used the term Gypsy to describe him, but that is a bit of a loaded term so I am going to avoid it). Like Flynn, Bastion was a thief and incredibly charming, but to an even greater extent. He was a bit like Aladdin in that he was capable of charming his way out of any sticky situation that he got into. Bastion also fell in love with Rapunzel much faster than Flynn does. In this early version of the film Rapunzel was extremely afraid of the outside world, and Bastion spent a good portion of the film convincing her to leave her tower and go explore the world with him. So despite sharing many similarities with Flynn, Bastion was still quite a different male lead.
Design wise, this Jin Kim drawing of Bastion also shares some similarities with Flynn, but as Bastion is of Romani descent, he is darker and more ethnic looking. Due to his nomadic lifestyle, he also has a more disheveled and bohemian sense of style. He’s got a long dark ponytail, which in the few color drawings of him that exist is tied up with multi coloured bands. He has an earing and many necklaces and scarves and a vest with no shirt underneath, none of which you would ever see worn by the more clean cut Flynn. Both men are handsome, but were based on different types of handsome men. Flynn was designed to appeal to every woman and was essentially designed by a committee of women working in Disney Animation in what was called the “hot man meeting”. Bastion on the other hand was designed as a very specific type of handsome, a rugged, swashbuckling, bad boy type. In this particular drawing Jin Kim based him off of a young Johnny Depp, and it definitely shows. This was actually the reason he was rejected as the male lead for the film, because Keane thought he was a bit too pretty and eccentric looking. Although there are certainly elements of the character that would become Flynn Rider in Bastion’s design, he is still a very differentleading man.
There you have it, the little bit of information I can find about the character of Bastion. Wouldn’t it be cool if he appeared in Tangled: The Series some day? Maybe as a friend of Flynn’s? I certainly think so.