If you are looking for something to do this week, fire up your TVs because a fan-favorite TV show is about to hit Disney+! This is one of my all-time favorite series and I could not be more excited to rewatch it from the very beginning!
Back on October 23, 2011 ABC aired a brand new fantasy-adventure series called ‘Once Upon a Time’. Created by ‘Lost’ and ‘Tron: Legacy’ writers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, ‘Once Upon a Time’ centered its focus around the themes of optimism and hope.
‘Once Upon a Time’ combines the worlds of fantasy and reality together. In the real world, we are introduced to the main character Emma Swan, a bail bonds collector living in Boston.
She receives quite the surprise when a 10 year-old boy, named Henry, shows up at her doorstep claiming to be her son that she gave up for adoption as a baby.
He convinces her to return with him to his hometown of Storybrooke, Maine.
Storybrooke is not your average New England town, however. Everyone in Storybrooke is really a fairytale character from the Enchanted Forest, until an evil curse dropped them in the real world.
They have no idea who they really are.
Henry tries to convince Emma that she is needed in Storybrooke to break the curse and that her parents, Snow White and Prince Charming, and all of the citizens of Storybrooke are in danger.
We meet many famous fairytale characters along the way including characters from Disney movies such as Frozen, the Little Mermaid, Mulan and Pinocchio.
We also see characters from other realms too such as Oz, Wonderland and the Land of Untold Stories.
The one thing I love most about ‘Once Upon a Time’, is how the writers manage to weave all these fairytale stories together seamlessly.
When you watch it, it’s almost as if all these stories were meant to be played out together.
A Star-Studded Cast
One thing that makes a good show a great show is the casting. If you have bad actors, not even a good storyline can redeem it.
Often times, as long as the main characters are good actors, you can tolerate minor or subplot characters who aren’t as good.
The great part about ‘Once Upon a Time’ is that there are so many amazing actors in this cast. Not just the leading roles, but all of the minor roles are equally amazing too!
Ginnifer Goodwin (Mary Margaret/Snow White)
Ginnifer Goodwin is a well-known TV and Film actress. You may recognize her from films such as ‘Zootopia’, ‘Walk the Line’ and ‘Ramona and Beezus’.
According to various interviews with the writers, there was no one else they wanted for the part but her.
Once Upon a Time’s key storyline centers around Snow White and Prince Charming.
Ginnifer is a fabulous Snow. She brings a light to the role that always has you rooting her on.
She was nominated for various Teen and People’s Choice Awards for her role as Snow White in ‘Once Upon a Time’.
Jennifer Morrison (Emma Swan)
You may know Jennifer Morrison from the fan-favorite shows ‘House’ and ‘How I Met Your Mother’.
Jennifer quite possibly has one of the hardest roles of the series. Most especially because she isn’t playing an actual storybook character.
She can’t draw off of the rich character backstories that the other actors are able to with their established roles.
This may be a good thing though, because it offers a freedom that the other actors do not have.
Having a character with an established history, whether they are the hero or the villain, can be a gift and a curse.
Taking liberties in these types of roles can be large payoffs, but they can also alienate devoted fans.
The thing I love most about Emma Swan’s character is that she is a powerful female role-model. She embodies important characteristics such as independence, courage and strength.
Though independence, courage and strength are clearly important, they can often make one more reserved and walled-off. Emma’s growth throughout the series is amazing to watch.
We see her learn to trust, love and open herself up to others. She finds the all important balance of realizing you can handle things on you own, but that you also don’t have to with the right people by your side.
Lana Parrilla (Regina Mills/Evil Queen)
Lana Parrilla is the true heart and soul of ‘Once Upon a Time’. Even years after the end of the series, she still has quite the cult following on social media.
It was revealed in a special ABC sneak peak that when Lana walked into her audition and read the part for the Evil Queen, she scared the writers so bad, they instantly knew they had found their Queen.
Lana is truly an amazing actress. She has the ability to make you hate her and then suddenly have you rooting for her.
Of all the characters in Once Upon a Time, I was most invested in Regina’s transformation.
Fans loved watching her grow throughout the series. You would never think that you could feel sorry for the Evil Queen, but Lana brings a depth to the role that is just amazing.
She could literally say nothing and you would still fully understand all her emotions through her facial features.
Lana Parilla won 4 different awards for her role as Regina Mills throughout the run of ‘Once Upon a Time’.
Josh Dallas (David Nolan/Prince Charming)
Josh Dallas has been involved in various TV and Film projects such as ‘Thor’ and ‘Manifest’.
Personally, I think his character is the weakest of all the cast, but part of that is simply the way the character is written.
Prince Charming can be a bit of a cliche-type character.
Josh manages to bring a credibility to the role, however. He plays on the values that we all want to see in Prince Charming: chivalry, bravery and valiance.
He and Ginnifer Goodwin hit it off during the first season of filming and got married in 2013. Talk about a real-life fairytale!
Robert Carlyle (Mr. Gold/The Dark One/ Rumplestiltskin)
Every story needs a memorable villain and a unforgettable catchphrase. Robert Carlyle fits the bill for both.
Rumplestiltskin is the villain you love to hate and hate to love and never fails to remind you that “all magic comes with a price dearie!”
It seems that whenever there is trouble, he can’t be too far behind. I love how they manage to tie his story into almost all of the memorable moments of the other fairytales.
Rumple is the character that you constantly root for to be redeemed. We see his battle with “man inside the beast” and how love can change even the darkest of hearts.
Rumplestiltskin’s character shows us that none of us are beyond change.
Robert is an amazing actor. He bounces back and forth from crazy Rumplestiltskin to calm and cunning Mr. Gold effortlessly. You would almost think that they are separate actors.
If you have ever heard him talk in a interview, you would also be impressed with his accent. In real life he has a very thick Scottish accent, which is undetectable in ‘Once Upon a Time’.
Jared S. Gilmore (Henry Mills)
When we first met Jared Gilmore on ‘Once Upon a Time’, he was just 11 years old. He was such an adorable kid who exuded the perfect balance of assertiveness and vulnerability.
It’s Henry’s belief in Emma that propels her into her role as the “Savior”.
In many ways, the viewers at home are just like Henry.
We, like Henry, know from the very beginning the true identity of all the fairytale characters. We journey with him as he single-handidly tries to convince the characters who they really are.
Henry is the character that brings all the others together. He is the glue of the story.
Colin O’Donoghue (Killian Jones/Captain Hook)
While the character Killian Jones didn’t show up until the 2nd season of ‘Once Upon a Time’, he quickly became a leading role and cult-favorite character.
Without giving too much of the story away, I will simply say that Killian also goes on a journey of self-improvement and redemption.
You will be left wondering if everything you ever knew about the old fairytale villains was ever true.
An Important Message
‘Once Upon a Time’ emphasizes a truly important message that is even more relevant in the circumstances we face today.
It shows us that no matter how hard times get, no matter how grim things may seem, we can persevere and overcome the darkness.
It’s a show centered on hope, something that Snow White touts quite a lot from episode to episode. I always admire that drive. No matter what tribulations the citizens of Storybrooke face, they fight them together.
All seven seasons of Once Upon a Time will join Disney+ on September 18th!
If you haven’t had the chance to check out this show, put this on your TV bucket list! You might even find some fun hidden Mickeys along the way!
For a full list of all the shows and movies coming to Disney+ this month click HERE.
Are you excited to hear the news of ‘Once Upon a Time’ coming to Disney+? Let us know what you think of the show on Facebook!