Once upon a time ago, I wrote a blog post about Frozen (okay, it wasn’t so that long, but bear with me). I mentioned that the movie was better than I thought. Which is true. What I didn’t mention was I am not in love with the movie like the rest of the world. Yeah, the songs are catchy. Yeah, the animation is pretty. Yeah, the sisters save themselves. But if you stop and really think of it, the story is just okay; I felt like the script could’ve been tighter. I’m not here to go into all the things I have a problem with in regards to the movie. I’m here to write about the season premiere of Once Upon a Time.
I think I’ve mentioned in one blog that I watch the series and I think it’s all kinds of magical. Which is true. I love how they take fairy tales, sometimes even obscure ones, and twist them into something completely refreshing. Because Disney owns ABC, it seems logical that most of the fairy tale characters they tackle are going to be darker, more complex versions of Disney’s take on them. Case in point: Snow White and The Evil Queen. That’s totally fine because I think Disney is our new benchmark for what those characters should look like and how they should act like.
I think it’s fair to say that season 1 was stellar. Season 2 was just as magical and omg-worthy. And then we hit a sort of a bump in season 3. I felt like it was implied that Marian died from some sort of an illness. Maybe she didn’t. Maybe the writers have some grand scheme in store for Marian being in the way of Regina’s happiness. Who knows? And then there’s Mulan, Aurora, and Prince Phillip. It’s also implied that Mulan is bisexual (exciting!) but then their story just drops off a cliff. Will we ever know what happened? How did Phillip come back to life? Didn’t he die or something from a wraith or whatever it was? And what happened to Mulan? THESE ARE QUESTIONS I NEED ANSWERED.
So. Season 4. I thought it was a cute episode (OMG RUMPEL AND BELLE.) but the one major thing I had with the episode was the one thing they were banking on for an entire year: Frozen. And here’s why. Ana and Elsa are exactly like the characters they were in the movie. They even made it a point to make the actresses look like the characters and threw in every single Frozen thing possible sans Olaf, for whatever reason. Maybe because they could only create one bad CGI snowman per episode? I was really hoping they were going to take elements of the original fairy tale and use it to make Ana and Elsa darker or just something a little different. Maybe they will. It would appear that the writers took the liberty of skewing some of the things that happened in the movie, like Ana didn’t seem to get hit as a child by Elsa and Elsa didn’t have to be all “conceal, don’t feel” and it would also appear that everyone has always been well aware of her powers. I don’t know how OUaT Ana and Kristoff met if they didn’t go on a harrowing mission to retrieve an Elsa who ran away from home, so maybe they’ll explain that. And the important thing is the whole dead parents thing. For whatever reason Ana and Elsa’s parents had to travel to the Enchanted Forest for reasons that involved Elsa, but in the beginning, they wrote a letter as the ship was about to capsize and placed it in a bottle in the hopes that the letter would make it Arendelle (spoiler alert: it didn’t). Maybe this means we’ll see Ariel again because anything sea related means mermaids! And is it sad that I was secretly hoping the OUaT writers would at least acknowledge the Disney theory that Ana and Elsa’s parents are actually Tarzan’s parents? I’m going to hold out hope that the letter the queen wrote is something like, “You have to know: I’m pregnant with your brother.” Just a reason to bring Tarzan into the mix. But I digress.
I’m really hoping OUaT is going to really utilize the Frozen-universe and really, really go into depth with the characters. Explore all the things that weren’t said in the movie! Don’t just use this show to be a sequel to the movie. I don’t want them to say, “Well, this is okay because this is popular right now.” I want them to really put in their best effort with this. Don’t just go for okay. Anyone can do okay. I could do okay. The guy across the street can do okay. But these writers were the people in charge of Lost and they’ve done some fantastic writing with OUaT so far. I know what they’re capable of. Writers should never settle for okay. They should always strive for great. Don’t do what you did in Lost and just drop some story lines because you didn’t even know where you were going with it. Explore every possible character arc to see where it could take you. And seriously: Give me my lost storyline with Mulan and Aurora and Phillip!
And one more thing: If you’re going to start incorporating Disney stuff and not change them, can we get some Marvel heroes thrown in the mix? Because Groot would be fabulous talking to the Giant (I forget his name, but he’s played by the same guy who played Hurley in Lost). Maybe they can grow some magic beans together! Think of the possibilities!