Historic high tide turns French monastery into a Disney Princess castle


When Disney Imagineers were looking for a place to base the fictional land of Corona on in “Tangled,” they settled on the French monastery of Mont Saint-Michel. Designer Laurent Ben-Mimoun, who worked on “Tangled,” was interviewed by Animated News about the castle Rapunzel grew up in.

The idea was for Glen (Keene) to have a renaissance castle on an island, reminiscent of Mont St Michel in Normandy, France. Emulating the style of the “peinture galante” (by Fragonard) was the art direction. That was my brief and from there, I designed the castle and its surroundings.

And while the Mont Saint-Michel and the house seat of the Corona monarch share plenty of distinctive characteristics, the “tide of the century” has rendered them virtual twins.

Normally, Mont Saint-Michel is connected to the mainland via a sandy beach during low tide, with a bridge for access during high tide. But the recent supermoon brought on a high tide that rendered the monastery and walled town completely surrounded by water, making the similarities to the capitol city of Corona even more noticeable!

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