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“Aw, come on! He's a bad horse!”
―Eugene to Rapunzel
Maximus is a supporting character in Disney's 2010 animated feature film, Tangled. He is a palace horse for the Royal Guard of Corona and the former arch-rival of Flynn Rider.
Maximus is a palace horse originally owned by the captain of the Corona guard. Though viewed as a mode of transportation and pet to some, Maximus is actually far more fierce and efficient than the captain himself. Proving to pose much more of a threat to Flynn Rider during his days as a thief, it is extremely likely that Maximus would have captured Rider without fail, had Rapunzel not intervened.
The Captain of the Guard’s horse, Maximus, has made it his personal mission to capture the wanted criminal, Flynn Rider. Fearless in his pursuit, the horse defies danger to follow Flynn where other guards refuse to go – it seems nothing will stop this “tough-guy cop” from getting his man. Once Maximus meets Rapunzel his heart softens, and he begins to see the world differently. What started as a relentless pursuit may just be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Despite serving second to the guard force's human captain, Maximus is extremely determined and devoted to his work. Like his original superior, Maximus took his position seriously and showed no sympathy for those who broke the law. Oddly enough, he was by far the most efficient member of Corona's guards and posed much more of a threat to criminals than any of his human accomplices. When separated from his team in their pursuit for Flynn, Maximus took matters into his own hands by tracking down the wanted thief, himself—nearly apprehending him on several occasions.
Because of his respect for the law, Maximus was mostly at odds with Flynn throughout the original movie. He apparently viewed Rider as irredeemable on account of his crimes and would stop at nothing until the latter was behind bars. Despite the intense rivalry, this manner of thinking was not devoid of change; Maximus has a soft heart underneath his tough exterior. According to his interaction with Rapunzel, Maximus feels unappreciated, which explains why he is somewhat quick to soften his attitude towards those who show him compassion. Furthermore, he was willing to reform his views and relationship with Flynn upon witnessing Rider change his ways for the sake of his love for Rapunzel.
In spite of his respect for the law, Maximus' greatest desire is to do what's right, no matter the illegality of the actions he must commit in order to do so. This was proven at the film's climax, as Maximus chose to rescue Flynn from prison with the Pub Thugs in order to save Rapunzel upon learning that she's in danger and realizing that Flynn is the only one who can save her, even though helping a prisoner to escape and allying himself with criminals is against the law.
Aside from Rapunzel, apples seem to be one of the few things that can suppress Maximus' tepee; this is directly referred to during the epilogue, where the guards (now under Maximus' commands) used apples to remain on their captain's good side.
Maximus is a large white horse with a blond mane and tail, and brown eyes. He wears a distinct saddle with the sun symbol of the kingdom. At the start of his appearances, Maximus' mane was tied up in braids; after falling down a cliff during a scuffle with Rider, the braids were loosened, giving Maximus a wilder look.
As horse to the Captain of the Guards, Maximus has made it his own personal mission to capture the wanted criminal, Flynn Rider. He is Flynn's adversary from the very beginning and will stop at nothing to catch the slippery thief. Max can run, leap, and chase Flynn to places where every other guard (and horse) refuses to go. Maximus is introduced in the pursuit of Flynn, with the rest of the royal guards, after Flynn stole the tiara of the Lost Princess. Whilst the other guards and horses were unable to keep up, Flynn and Maximus went toe-to-toe as the satchel holding the crown made its way over a cliff, with Maximus and Flynn accidentally following in pursuit. Flynn manages to ditch Maximus by hiding in Rapunzel's Tower, but Maximus remains on Flynn's trail, his hatred for him growing and burning by the minute, and eventually runs into Mother Gothel (which inadvertently causes her to panic and run back to the tower, fearing that the royals have found Rapunzel) and Gothel sprints off, leaving Maximus completely confused.
Maximus reunites with the royal guards in the Snuggly Duckling, a pub home to dozens of fun-loving thugs that manage to help Flynn and Rapunzel escape the guards via a secret tunnel. Maximus is able to sniff out the tunnel's whereabouts and finds the lever that reveals it, thus putting the formerly lost guards back on track. After tracking Flynn to a dam, the thief manages to defeat each guard with ease, leaving Maximus to sword battle him. Maximus has Flynn cornered until the latter is rescued by Rapunzel. The persistent horse continues to chase after the two, but accidentally causes the dam to burst, enabling Flynn to escape with Rapunzel whilst Maximus and the guards are seemingly trampled by the rushing water.
The next morning, however, it is revealed that Maximus has survived and separated from the guards once more. He manages to track down Flynn (now known as Eugene) again and attempts to drag him back to the palace, but Rapunzel is able to befriend Maximus by being kind to him and convinces him to call a truce with Eugene for the day for the sake of her birthday dream to see the floating lanterns the kingdom releases into the sky every year on her birthday (as she needs Eugene to guide her to the palace and back to her tower safely). Maximus reluctantly agrees (but not before "punching" Eugene in the stomach with his hoof), and the group heads to the kingdom for the lantern festival. As the festival day continues, Maximus notices Eugene's emerging feelings for Rapunzel and loosens up a bit while watching Eugene and Rapunzel dance and spend quality time together, eventually coming to have a liking for the thief, seeing how kind he could actually be.
During the lantern ceremony, Maximus remains on the dock eating mostly purchased apples whilst Rapunzel and Eugene go out into the sea to have a good view of the lanterns in the air. Afterward, Maximus witnesses Eugene being arrested and crying out Rapunzel's name. Maximus realizes that Rapunzel is in trouble, and knows that Eugene is probably the only one who can save her. The horse heads to the Snuggly Duckling and recruits the thugs to help spring Eugene from jail. Maximus then carries Eugene to Rapunzel's tower for her rescue. After Eugene returns Rapunzel to King Frederic and Queen Arianna, Maximus is rewarded officer status amongst the Royal Guard, replacing their swords with frying pans. Under his leadership, "crime in the kingdom disappeared almost overnight... as did most of the apples."
Maximus and Pascal are responsible for the loss of Rapunzel and Eugene's wedding rings when one of Pascal's stray petals falls into Maximus' nose. Maximus sneezes and the rings roll away. After having a vision of everyone in attendance becoming upset at the loss of the rings and of an explosion destroying the kingdom, the pair then endeavors on a comedic journey to retrieve them. In between, Maximus accidentally got snagged on ladies' clothing and a mistaken for a female by a brown male horse, which Maximus promptly shoved off. He came close to retrieving one of the rings from underneath a flower cart, only to be catapulted into the air by a cupid ice statue and landing in the wedding carriage, losing his grip on the ring. Using the carriage to propel himself, Maximus managed to catch the ring, only to be hit multiple times in the face by a line of frying pans, which were mistaken by the wedding servants as a gong ringing, prompting them to release doves and lanterns.
In the end, after finally obtaining the elusive rings, Maximus and Pascal return to the wedding right on time, but the adventure has left them looking incredibly mangy, as they are covered in tar. Continuing on with the wedding, Rapunzel and Eugene can't help but notice the duo's grotesque appearance. After all seems well, an exhausted Maximus rests, but accidentally bumps a cart carrying a wedding cake out of the door, just as Eugene offers the cake to the attendees, causing the animal pair to react in horror.
Taking place a few months after the events of Tangled and before the wedding in Tangled: Ever After, Maximus is shown to have officer status amongst the guards, alongside the captain. His braided hair has also returned. Maximus is first seen evading the castle guards (mounted by Eugene) alongside Rapunzel and her steed Fidella. They do so to allow Rapunzel a chance to look out into the land beyond Corona's border wall. Due to her intense schedule as a princess, as well as King Frederic's paranoia, Rapunzel is urged to stay within the confines of the kingdom, which gives her an overwhelming sense of imprisonment. Meanwhile, Eugene is enjoying life in the palace, and feels content with the relationship he and Rapunzel share; so much so, that he is prepared to marry her, which he reveals to Maximus and the Pub Thugs. Because the idea of marriage only adds to Rapunzel's anxiety, the princess rejects, much to her own dismay.
That night, Maximus is asked by Rapunzel's lady-in-waiting Cassandra to help sneak Rapunzel over the wall to explore the land and take a break. He accepts, though partially because of his crush on Fidella. During their outing, a mysterious rock causes Rapunzel's golden hair to grow back, just before the area rapidly begins to fill with razor-sharp thorn-like rocks sprouting from the ground. Rapunzel and Cassandra try to escape and are almost killed crossing a falling bridge; they are rescued by a heroic Maximus, who tries to help the duo get rid of the magic hair, though to no avail as it is impossible to cut.
Later on at Rapunzel's coronation to be crowned an official princess, Cassandra notices suspicious activity and sends Pascal to alert Maximus. When he and the guards arrive, the door is blocked, though they manage to barge it down just in time to stop Lady Caine, the leader of a band of pirates.
Maximus appears in the animated TV series as a supporting character, occasionally accompanying Rapunzel, Eugene and Cassandra on their adventures.
In "What the Hair?!", Maximus joins Eugene as he visits the Pub Thugs. At this time, Eugene feels his relationship with Rapunzel may be at stack, as she appears to be keeping secrets from him. During their time at the pub, Maximus spots Rapunzel and Cassandra sneaking off and informs Eugene. The two follow Rapunzel and Cassandra, and as Eugene goes to get answers, Maximus stays outside with Fidella. As they wait, he is pestered by a raccoon, though he gets his revenge in the end.
In "Fitzherbert P.I.", Maximus stands by Eugene as he pursues a position on the royal guard. Although he succeeds, Eugene's arrogance quickly costs him his job, as he accidentally let a thief escape. Later on, Eugene suspects that a priceless painting has been stolen from the castle, though the Captain refuses to believe him. He and Maximus rush to stop the thief themselves, and after the criminal is disarmed by Eugene, Maximus apprehends him.
In "In Like Flynn", Rapunzel "pranks" Maximus by luring him into a barn, ominously closing him in as if he's in danger, only to reveal that she has created a massive display in Maximus' honor, completely made of apples. Overjoyed to near tears, Maximus almost immediately dives in and begins eating to his heart's content.
In "Great Expotations", Maximus saw with the Captain of the Guards arranging guard placements for the Great Science Expotations at which the latter realized they didn't have enough guards. At that moment, Cassandra steps forwards to volunteer, so the Captain asks everyone, including Maximus, to give him the room to speak with his daughter. Later, Maximus assists Rapunzel with her contest entry, the Megadrive, by running on a treadmill to power the giant fan. Subsequently, when Doctor St. Croix accidentally causes a swirling vortex by tampering with Varian's machine, Maximus helps out by running backward on the Megadrive to create enough gust for Varian to reach the machine and avert the catastrophe.
In "Pascal's Story", Maximus challenges Rapunzel to a sparring match with a wooden sword, interrupting her quality time with Pascal. Later, when Pascal runs away, Maximus searches the castle with his nose. Subsequently, he carried Rapunzel and Eugene back to the tower, with Cassandra riding on Fidella behind them.
In "No Time Like the Past", it is revealed that Maximus had been chasing Eugene and Lance around since they were teenagers. This would likely explain Maximus' extreme, almost ludicrous, dedication to catching them, although mainly Eugene.
On the Tangled blu-ray release, Maximus appears in the short "Crashimus Maximus", as part of the Flynn's Tangled Tales series.
In Big Hero 6, a portrait of Maximus can be seen near the grand staircase of Fred's mansion.
An emoticon version of Maximus appeared in the Tangled entry of the As Told by Emoji short series.
So far in the Disney theme parks, Maximus has only appeared in the 2010Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade, walking Rapunzel in the parade with Flynn by his side. He has made no live appearances since but has his likeness commonly featured in several entities, most notably in parades.
Maximus was said to be Rapunzel and Flynn's transportation to Magic Kingdom from Epcot during their interactions. He can be discussed with by Flynn during the meet and greets too.
Maximus has his own spell card known as "Maximus' Horseshoes" in the attraction Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. His likeness is also featured in the Tangled-themed pavilion in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom.
During the prologue, a white horse plush resembling Maximus can be seen on the infant Rapunzel's mobile.
Maximus's appearance is based on the Andalusian horse breed.
Because the story of Rapunzel is based on a German Fairy Tale, the writers originally planned to subtitle Maximus' neighs in German. One of his iconic lines, when arguing with Flynn, was "Ich bin ein dreckiger kleiner Schweinejunge, bitte trete mir mit deinen Stiefeln auf." This roughly translates to "I guess you're the big stick in the mud now, aren't you?"
Maximus's exact age is unknown, but the dialogue in "Max's Enemy" seems to suggest that he is somewhat old for a horse.
Maximus expresses his loathe on mosquitoes in the short Night Bite.
Maximus' development is similar to that of Altivo from Dreamworks' The Road to El Dorado. Like Altivo, he's a military horse who, due to a series of circumstances, ends up joining the side of the heroes.
↑Disney. The Art of Tangled. Chronicle Books, 2010. Print.