A drop of sunlight falls to the ground and grows into a magical flower. It can heal the sick and injured. An old woman named Gothel finds it and uses it to keep herself young for years. Centuries pass and a kingdom grows. The Queen, while giving birth becomes sick and so the flower is found. She is healed and gives birth to a daughter they name Rapunzel. Later that night, Gothel kidnaps Rapunzel and hides her in a tall tower, and raises her as her own child. Rapunzel grows up believing Gothel is her mother. Gothel knew that if Rapunzel's magical hair was cut, it would turn brown and lose its magic. Every year on Rapunzel's birthday, her kingdom sends thousands of lanterns into the sky wishing their lost princess would return. On her eighteenth birthday, Rapunzel asks Gothel to let her see the floating lights, but Gothel refuses telling her that the world is full of dangers.
Meanwhile, a group of thieves led by Flynn Rider steal the tiara of the missing princess from the castle and are chased by the kingdom guards. During the chase, Maximus the Horse is separated from his rider the Captain of the Guards and continues the search for Flynn on his own. Flynn outwits his accomplices by taking the tiara; he abandons them and stumbles upon Rapunzel's tower. Once inside the tower, Flynn is knocked unconscious by Rapunzel with a frying pan. She hides Flynn inside her closet and puts his satchel in a pot, with the tiara inside.