Friday, March 13, 2015

Fandom Friday: Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time...

Greetings!  Happy Friday!  This week I am going to delve into the world of Disney movies and talk about the wonderful show Once Upon a Time and why you should watch this amazing interpretation on the classic fairy tales.  These two things actually go together, at least in my mind, because a lot of Disney movies tend to reinterpret fairy tales, which is what the show Once Upon a Time accomplishes too.  How they go about interpreting and representing these fairy tales or legends is pretty different, so it should be fun to discuss who tells the more compelling story.

Disney Makes Everything Better!
Alright, so I am a little biased when it comes to Disney movies.  I grew up in the 90;s during the Renaissance of Disney movies, so my absolute favorite Disney movies tend to be from that decade.  Not all of them are, but several of them definitely make my list.  I think the best way to go about this section is for me to list my favorite Disney movies and to tell you why they are my favorite, and if I happen to know the original story the movie is based on, I will rate it based on the source material as well.

The Lion King: So this is probably one of my favorite movies of all time, not to mention one of my top Disney favorites.  What is there not to love?  The characters are fantastic!  I love the voice work accompanied with the characters themselves; it all meshed together perfectly; which is key in an animated film.  The music is amazing, such great and memorable songs that can never be forgotten!  On a side note, I may or may not have this entire movie memorized...don't judge me.  The dialogue is well-written and the story is totally worth mentioning because the day I learned that this movie was Hamlet but with lions, I was so blown away!  Adapting a Shakespeare tragedy into an animated children's movie is no easy task, but I think considering the circumstances, Disney did a fantastic job retelling the epic tale.  I wold like to take a moment to acknowledge the brilliant sequel The Lion King II: Simba's Pride which was based on Romeo and Juliet, also by Shakespeare; fun fact.  This movie kept up with everything that made the first movie magical and I am not just saying this because I personally know the people who wrote the sequel.  The second movie was able to maintain some of the key elements of Romeo and Julie, but again, made it kid-friendly and a lot less tragic.  Anyway,  both movies get two big thumbs up in my books! Great stories and great interpretations of the source material!
The older I get, the more I think Hades is the best character.

 Hercules: One of my favorite movies from when I was younger, I was wooed by the catchy songs, the epic tale, the fun characters, and the hilarious comedy.  However, if you have been keeping up with my blogs, you may remember a few weeks ago I mentioned my love for Greek mythology.  And Heracles is definitely a Greek myth, one that I have pride myself with knowing fairly well.  In the first few minutes of the movie, there are so many inaccuracies between the myth and what is happening, I can barely stand to watch it quietly without pointing out all the things WRONG.  Let me just give you a brief glimpse of what I am thinking about when I am watching the movie.  His name is Heracles and he is the son of Zeus and a mortal woman, he was not born a god.  Heracles means famous for Hera in Greek and he is named this because of the epic hatred Hera has towards him.  She is not his benevolent mother.  What the, ugh, that is not how Pegasus is born.  He was created because Poseidon and Medusa had a thing before she went all Gorgon, and when Perceus chopped off her head, Pegasus sprung forth from her blood/body.  He is not just some cloud bird-horse Zeus whipped up.  Oh look, there's Megara the woman you will marry and have children with...why are you doing your labors now?  Those 12 labors are your penance for Hera messing with your head, making you go crazy and killing your wife and children.  Don't even get me started on Hades and the titans! least they got his strength right.  So yeah, you could say I am a bit of a critique when it comes to the mythology in this movie.  Don't get me wrong, I will always love this movie for the same reasons I always have, but I cannot just overlook the mythological inaccuracies.  I am forever torn on this movie between love and irritation.  It's the curse of knowing mythology.

Peter Pan: I have fond memories of watching this movie when I was very young.  I always wanted to go to Neverland and fly and fight pirates and go on all sorts of adventures with Peter Pan and the Lost Boys.  I would try to be Wendy and even would mimic her accent.  Yeah, I was a bit of a dork stuck in a fantasy world when it came to this movie.  As far as the source material, the book by J.M. Barrie, I am actually currently reading it, and I can tell you the movie did a decent job with interpreting what happens pretty well, but I am not very far in the book, so my opinion might change as I keep reading.  The story itself has always fascinated me, and I was one of those people who watched a live action interpretation, Hook, with Robin Williams and loved the story even more.  The movie is and always will be magical and I will always associate it with my own feelings towards childhood and not wanting to grow up.

Honorable Mentions 
Best All Around: Aladdin and Beast and the Beast 
Best Story: The Little Mermaid and Tangled
Best Music Tarzan

Once Upon a Time
For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the show, Once Upon a Time, allow me to try and simplify the basic idea for you so you can understand where I am coming from when I start talking about the show.  The main character is Emma (one reason I love this show is because it is the first time I have had the same name as a main character in a show) and she is living in New York when her son whom she gave up for adoption finds her and convinces her to come to Story Brooke to save the town, which is full  of the characters from all sorts of fairy tales.  The people of Story Brooke do not remember who they are because they are from a different world, but thanks to a curse put on them by the Evil Queen, they were transported into this world, where there is no magic and their identities and stories are thought of as make-believe.  The show progresses as we discover that Emma is the lost daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, and the show loves to weave together characters together in ways that make the whole show more interesting.  

The unique story lines that derive from this show's main idea is not the only reason to love this show, but the characters themselves are so complex and are constantly shifting and changing, keeping the show interesting and engaging.  Emma is definitely one of my favorite characters because she is tough and brave and smart, but she is also lonely and self-conscious about her true identity and role in Story Brooke.  Snow White was not on my list of interesting princesses growing up, but how her character is written makes her infinitely more interesting than her Disney interpretation.  She is not a damsel in distress, she can handle herself and she has had a complicated and hard life.  Rumpelstiltskin is another one of my favorites because his character pretty much defines "gray area." He's not always a good man, but he is not always a monster.  Speaking of Snow White, Regina (the "Evil" Queen) is probably my number two favorite female character.  She starts off as the antagonist in the show, but as her story comes into the light, it is hard not to sympathize with her.  She has had a hard and tragic life and she is still dealing with a lot, even though she was the only one who kept her memories of her real life before Story Brooke.  She changes throughout the show and takes strides towards becoming a better person, and stumbles sometimes, which is why I think I like her so much.  She is clearly try to change, and witnessing a realistic interpretation of how that would look, it is powerful to witness a character slowly changing in front of you.  He rocks back and forth between someone people can trust and someone you do not want to mess with ever.  His story is also so complex and twisted, that it is so interesting to learn more and more about his long and dark and mysterious life.  Finally, this list would not be complete without mentioning my character crush on the show: Captain Hook.  I know what you're thinking, "You literally just said a little bit ago that you love Peter Pan, how you could you ever say that you prefer Hook instead?"  My friends, Hook is not some old guy with long hair and a creepy mustache who is evil and obsessed with a little boy in this show.  Now he doesn't start off as a good guy though, he is the rebel you can't help but root for because he is "devilishly handsome and charming" thanks to the Irish hunk who portrays him, Colin O'Donoghue.  He is like Regina in the sense that he starts off as a guy who is portrayed as the bad guy, but again as his story is revealed, we empathize with him more and more and cheer for him as he strives to become a hero.  especially since his change of heart is thanks to Emma; my otp of the show: Captain Swan.  Overall, the show sticks to the source material a little, but mostly decided to use the source material as a spring board into an idea that connects these stories in a way that is fun for everyone to witness.

So, what is your favorite Disney movie?  Who is your favorite Disney character?  Which fairy tale is your favorite?  Comment down below and I will see ya next week.  



  1. I love Disney movies as well! Peter Pan was one of my favorites as well; I pretended I was Wendy quite often and may or may not have ruined the family couch by jumping off trying to fly.
    I keep meaning to watch Once Upon A Time, but I never seem to get around to it. Maybe this summer I can get caught up on that show and see what all the hype is about!

  2. I have watched The Lion Kings a lot of times, and I love it! But I didn't notice that the movie was based on Hamlet until you mentioned it and I recalled the plot...Also, I really agree that Hades is the best character in Hercules.

  3. There are a lot of Disney movies I grew up watching and loving, but Aladdin was always my favorite.

    I just read Hamlet for the first time. Yeah, it's weird to think of that as an inspiration for this story. There's a lot less murder/suicide in The Lion King, which is probably for the best. I feel like there's also a bit of Henry IV in this story, too. Simba's adventures with Timone and Pumbaa aren't all that dissimilar from young Prince Henry's adventures with Sir Jack Falstaff!

  4. Lion King is the GOAT when it come to Disney! Needless to say, I have a cat named Mufasa, a lion tattoo that looks accidently a lot like Scar, and my girlfriend has a lion king quotation tatted on her ribcage.

  5. My favorite Disney movies as a child were Aladdin, Hercules, The Great Mouse Detective, and Tarzan. I think Tarzan was the first movie my mom bought for me. I've seen part of Once Upon a Time, but I got caught up in other shows and haven't made my way back to it yet.

  6. I wouldn't be able to choose. Everything from Black Cauldron to Rescuers Down Under, way too many of my childhood stories were told well for me to be able t choose just one.