Where Might “Once Upon A Time” Be Headed?

We’re big fans of ABC’s “Once Upon A Time” around here on families.com. I’ve discussed the show before, and Mary Ann’s reviewed one of the latest episodes. The Disney-inspired drama recently took a short break for the holidays, but it’s going to be back with new episodes starting this coming Sunday, January 8. I’m not planning to review each episode as it comes along. But now that we’re about halfway through the season I think it will be interesting to take a moment to consider where the show has been, and where it might be going. Emma, the daughter of … Continue reading

Princess Sofia the First: Let’s Hope She’s the Last

Next year Princess Sofia the First, the newest and youngest of Disney’s royalty, will make her debut. She’s going to star in a movie that will air sometime in the next few months on both the Disney Channel and Disney Junior. Her royal highness is only still just a child, with her main peer group (i.e., the ages at which Sofia is directed) being children between the ages of 2 and 7. Sofia’s a true Disney original; unlike any of her predecessors she’s not based on a pre-existing character from a fairy tale, myth, or historical event. She’s going to … Continue reading

Disney Parades on Once Upon A Time

The week before Cinderella made her debut on ABC’s Disney-influenced fairy tale drama “Once Upon A Time,” news broke that “Lost” star Emilie de Ravin was cast as Belle for the program. The princesses have arrived. “Once Upon A Time” already features Disney’s first princess Snow White as a major character wrapped up in the series’ main story arc. As is befitting a drama of this size, however, many other fairy tale figures make appearances, such as Rumpelstiltskin and Little Red Riding Hood. Original Disney characters such as Jiminy Cricket and Maleficent also factor into some scenes. However, the entrance … Continue reading

Once Upon A Time vs. Reality

Banishment to a place like this is the supposed horrible unhappy ending for the people of the Enchanted Forest The second episode of “Once Upon A Time” aired on Sunday. I don’t know if I’ll do weekly recaps or reviews, but I wanted to revisit the show on my blog because last week and this week raised interesting themes I didn’t have time to explore in my first overview. The crux of the conflict of “Once Upon A Time” revolves around the fact that the curse–which took the fairy tale inhabitants of the Enchanted Forest and trapped them in modern … Continue reading

Disney’s Back with “Tangled”

The original Rapunzel has little voice. Her own story is named for her, but she has next to no agency within it. Her prince doesn’t fair much better; like many princes in fairy tales though he has a bit more control over his destiny he doesn’t appear important enough to earn his own name. “Tangled” changes all of that. Disney’s latest movie, which has the distinction of being the 50th full-length animated film to come from the House of Mouse, is probably not the first to deepen the characters of the Rapunzel myth’s two leads. But it’s the best I’ve … Continue reading

Most Controversial Disney Films Pt. 2

On Monday I took a look back at some of Disney’s more controversial movies from the 1940s through the 1960s. Today I’m going to finish my examination of their hot-button films, and try to find some sort of resolution about how we should approach them today. “Aladdin” (1992) – “Aladdin” sparked protests from Arab-American groups for its opening sequence. The original lyrics to the song “Arabian Nights” contained the line “where they cut off your ear if they don’t like your face” when describing the Arabic land/culture. The DVD release of the movie changed the line to “where it’s flat … Continue reading

“Princess and the Frog” Hints at New Era for Disney

For the past decade, Disney Animation has meant little without Pixar. All of the sharp storytelling and visual artistry that made Walt Disney famous came not from the studio he started, but from a company originally founded by George Lucas. Some movies made in that time stood out, such as “Lilo and Stitch” and “Enchanted.” But they never quite achieved the magic Disney had lost. By 2004, Disney altogether stopped making hand-drawn animated movies. “Princess and the Frog” restores the glimmer of Disney’s previous glory to a respectable glow. The movie isn’t perfect, but the studio’s finally returning to form. … Continue reading

Devotion Levels: Benchmarks

After my More Devoted Than He Is article, which some may have construed as a rant (probably rightly so), it may seem I’m hung up on the matter of devotion levels. I am. The cause of my distress is fairy tales. Not the Disney variety, but true life fairy tales. Ones where the prince is an Everyman and the princess-to-be an Everywoman. They’re common folk, same as you or me, who have not only found true love, but have seen it put to the test and have conquered the challenge together. Trading Places was full of anecdotes about such people, … Continue reading

Little Red Cowboy Hat – Susan Lowell

We’re all familiar with the story of Little Red Riding Hood, but do you know the story of “Little Red Cowboy Hat?” I reckon not. Sit a spell and I’ll tell you all about it. Little Red Cowboy Hat, also known to friends and family as Little Red, lived on a ranch in the wilds of the West. Not only was her hat red, but so was her hair. One day her mother asked her to take a loaf of bread and a jar of cactus jelly to her grandmother, who was sick in bed. Heeding her mother’s advice not … Continue reading

Storytelling – The Lost Art

Storytelling is a lost art in our modern day society where we can flip on the boob tube and see just about anything we want. It wasn’t all that long ago that fears surfaced worrying about the Internet and electronic books were going to be one of the last nails in the coffin for the books themselves. For families looking to emphasize the time spent together, but wanting to avoid the enticing trap of just sharing the same space to stare at the television – storytelling might be a great option for your family to explore. Reading Together When my … Continue reading