After giving her son up for adoption ten years ago, Emma Swan is shocked when the boy tracks her down. She takes him back to his home in Storybrooke, but as they drive he tells her that everyone in the town is a fairy tale character. These men and women have had a terrible curse cast upon them that forced them out of their fairy tale world and into ours, and they no longer remember who they are. His mother is the wicked Queen who cast the curse, but Emma has the power to set the town free. She doesn't quite believe him, but she's worried about the kid, so Emma decides to stick around and observe the strange little town.
Seanie and I started watching Once Upon a Time earlier this week, after I spotted it on Netflix Streaming. It's times like this I wish we had cable - then I wouldn't have to wait months after a season has ended to finally see the show that everyone else saw ages ago and considers old news.
This reminds me a lot of the Fables comics, although in that series the fairy tale characters retain their memories and powers in the mundane world. But that strange mix of fairy tale magic and real-world drudgery is here, and the contrast between the worlds is party of what makes the story so compelling.
One oddity of the story is that Snow White - according to Henry, the kid, she and Prince 'Charming' James are the parents of Emma Swan - looks the same age, if not younger, than her daughter. Is that a touch of the fairy immortality keeping her youthful? Does this also explain how characters who appeared to be killed/magicked off in the fairy tale world (Charming, Cinderella's prince) survive into their human selves? Quirky. I have to remind myself that I've barely started the series, and they're bound to explain things more as it unfolds.
I had heard that the tv show was "Disney characters brought together into one show," but it isn't like that. Not really. I mean, some characters have a resemblance to their Disney counterpart. Cinderella's ballgown is very similar to the Disney version. But others are very different. Maleficent looks and acts nothing like the villain in Sleeping Beauty. Considering she's usually one of the biggest baddies in Disney canon, Once Upon a Time's Maleficent is dreadfully weak - and I'm not happy about her being blonde, either. Several of the fairy tale characters don't have a Disney movie, either - Red Riding Hood and Rumpelstiltskin come to mind. I'm actually really excited that Rumpelstiltskin is shaping up to be the major villain, or at least a trickster figure guiding the story along. He's a character that I think has been greatly underutilized in fairy tale re-tellings.
Those villains really love greenscreens.