Wednesday, July 25, 2018

7 Top Disney/Once Adaptations

With "Once Upon a Time" over (finally) we got closure to the seven years of Disney remixes. So in honor of the show that should have ended three years ago, I've got a few of my favorite adaptations of Disney characters that "Once Upon a Time" did.

Evil Queen/Regina Mills
The original Evil Queen from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" was very flat. Her sole motives were about vanity and power. Now there's definitely evil in the world that appears so petty, but it's pretty one-dimensional. In constrast with our wanna-be beauty queen, Regina Mills spent seven seasons developing into a complex character. Season 1 revealed her backstory and why she had some much anger. Season 2 and Season 3 began her redemption as she fought for Henry's forgiveness. Season 4 and 5 she actively fought her dark side to find love and acceptance. Season 6 and 7 she flourished as a hero, maybe even surpassing Snow White in how she clung to hope.

Peter Pan
Disney's "Peter Pan" featured an immature little boy, who had a heart full of goodness, but also full of mischief. He brought his friends together and fought Captain Hook, mostly because he was a little boy craving buddies, but he was good. "Once Upon a Time" twisted that around 180 degrees. Instead of a fun-loving boy, we got a greedy old man (masquerading as a boy) who held more darkness in his heart than most of the villains the show featured. Each return of the Pied Piper was a chilling moment, right through until the end. All of his actions leading to power and selfishness.

Tiana was a Disney Princess that I was not introduced to until years later. Her strength and bravery in "The Princess and the Frog" changed her life and Naveen's life. She had to learn to chill out a bit, but she clung to hope of something better. During Season 7, while many of the new characters left me underwhelmed, Tiana/Sabine was a faithful adaptation of the New Orleans princess. I would have liked if she was fleshed out more and more complex, but I liked the role-reversal of Tiana being royal and Naveen not. While keeping the basic traits of the character the same, the original Tiana was still flipped around, both in the Enchanted Forest and Hyperion Heights, to be a new Tiana.

The backstory of the "real boy" didn't really change from the Disney version, so there was no actual adaptation of his backstory. Instead, we got an interpretation of what happened after. I'm not aware of any other Pinocchio that got tested after becoming a real boy. Does he remain selfless, brave, and true or not? Well, in this case we got to see both. August was a "real boy" in more ways than one; he was a good Pinocchio, but he was also a real person with real reactions to real problems.

(I really liked "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland" so I had to include one of their characters. I thought about Jafar... but his Season 6 appearances left me wanting) I grew up watching "Alice in Wonderland" (my brother likes to remind me about how I watched it on repeat) so I can clearly picture the immature Alice traveling Wonderland and reacting to the fantastical world kind of naively. This new version of Alice was tough and willing to fight for her life and her love. She became a proficient swordswoman and she fought against the most evil sorcerer. In contrast, all the cartoon Alice could do was call the Queen of Hearts names.

Mad Hatter/Jefferson
Not much was seen of the silly Mad Hatter in "Alice in Wonderland" and even less substance to the character. So as much as I enjoy "Alice in Wonderland", I loved seeing the Mad Hatter brought to life as Jefferson. Even just the backstory as to why he's crazy was a nice addition. The only thing I would have changed is letting us see Jefferson more... but I also like Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes, so I guess that kind of makes it okay.

Cruella De Vil
Cruella was a beastly character in Disney's "101 Dalmatians". I mean, in many ways she's probably one of the freakier and scarier Disney villains, even without any sort of power and influence, besides money and henchmen (Jasper and Horace). "Once Upon a Time" took that same darkness and evil into a character with some devious powers. Her backstory episode threw me for a loop. As they intended, I was guessing she had some tragic backstory about her mother, when instead we just a straight up sociopath.

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