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Once Upon a Time: Season 1
Blu-ray | Box Set
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Relive the complete first season of ABC's ONCE UPON A TIME, the hit series that boasts unforgettable characters and a tangled web of romance, action and enchantment. Immerse yourself in the magic and mystery of Storybrooke -- a sleep little town where every fairytale character you've ever known is frozen in time and trapped between two worlds, victims of an evil curse. On her 28th birthday, Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) meets Henry (Jared Gilmore), the son she gave up for adoption 10 years ago. Henry believes Emma is the daughter of Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming (Josh Dallas), prophesied to break a powerful curse. Unconvinced, Emma returns Henry to Storybrooke, where she encounters the enigmatic Mr. Gold (Robert Carlyle) and clashes with mayor Regina Mills (Lana Parrilla) -- the boy's adoptive mother -- who Henry insists is none other than the Evil Queen! Start your epic collection with all 22 captivating episodes, including never-before-seen bonus features, in this spectacular 5-disc boxed set.
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The show is based on the theory that there is an alternate universe where every classic fairy tale character exists—a world that has a connection to our world.
In Storybrooke, a small town in Maine, beloved fairy tale characters we've known of since our parents read to us about them, are trapped in our world by a curse cast by an Evil Queen. Everything changes when a boy named Henry Mills, (beautifully played by Jared Gilmore), an adopted child, learns the "truth" through a "special" book. He finds out who his birth mother is and goes looking for her...heading toward Boston with his school teacher's credit card - desperate times call for desperate measures...right? Maybe not......
The action moves between the two worlds - one where the fairytale characters are themselves and living in their own parallel universe, and the present, in modern day Storybrooke, where they are trapped by their own curse-induced amnesia. The pilot seamlessly sets up the connections between these two worlds and makes it clear that the Storybrooke characters' stunted emotional lives could well be explained by the curse that Henry so fiercely believes in.
The Pilot opens with a period Prince Charming, (Josh Dallas), racing into a snowy forest in search of Snow White, (Ginnifer Goodwin). He finds her in an open coffin, seemingly dead, and surrounded by seven rather gnarly looking dwarfs. But as in the timeless tale, his kiss awakens her and in the next scene they're being married. Suddenly, a sexy, snarly, Evil Queen, dressed in black-leather (Lana Parrilla - who is fantastically BAD), busts in to the celebration to inform everyone that "I shall destroy your happiness, if it is the last thing I do." What a GREAT Gift!!!!
Meanwhile, back in modern day Storybrooke, Emma Swan, (Jennifer Morrison), a bounty hunter and bails-bond collector from Boston, is on the track of a fleeing defendant. As she drives toward Storybrooke, searching for her "missing person," she sees a boy walking alone, along the dark nighttime roadside. Dangerous! She stops the car and asks him where he is going and if she can help him. The boy is Henry Mills.
Emma had given a baby boy up for adoption 10 years before and now discovers that the infant is 10 year-old Henry. Although he has not yet reached the town's limits, he has traveled quite a distance. He is running away from home, looking for her....trying to find her because, as he tells Emma, "No one can ever leave or enter Storybrooke." This is Emma's 28th birthday and she wants, more than almost anything, to not spend it alone. As it were, she does get to spend at least part of it with her son. In any case, a disbelieving Emma drives the boy back home to the mother who raised him. So, Emma, innocent of her role in Storybrooke, enters the town, (probably the first person to do so), and into the story, as the prospective heroine.
As mentioned above, Henry has in his possession a special volume of fairy tales from long ago - certainly not your mother's book of fairy tales. The boy is convinced that Emma, his birth mother, is the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming. The royal couple sent her away so she would be protected from the deadly curse. They placed her in a magic wardrobe made from a block of wood by Mister Geppetto and his son Pinocchio. The infant was transported from the Enchanted Forest, within the fairy tale world, as a babe before she could be cursed. As such, she is the only person who can break the curse and restore the characters' lost memories.
The town is indeed populated by fairy-tale characters such as the above mentioned Snow White and Prince Charming, only they have no idea of their true identities. The only two who do know are the Evil Queen, a.k.a. Regina Mills who is also the town's powerful mayor and Henry's adoptive mother, and the villainous Rumplestiltskin, (Robert Carlyle). a.k.a. Mr. Gold, the enigmatic owner of the local pawn shop, as well as the town itself. Jiminy Cricket, Geppetto, Pinocchio, Captain Hook, Red Riding Hood, the Seven Dwarves, Hansel and Gretel, Belle and the Beast, etc., are all characters in both worlds.
I love the concept of the program, but then I always loved fairy tales. And, even this late in my life, I do believe there are at least a few happy endings. "Once Upon A Time" is very different from what what's on television at the moment, ("Grimm" cannot even begin to compare with the quality and talent of OYAT). The cast does a fantastic job! And the clothing, scenery and decorations in fantasy land are sumptuous. I can not wait to continue watching the show and see how the storyline develops in Season 2. Very highly recommended!
Once Upon a Time - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)(5 Discs)
2011 - 2012, 946 min
Video: 1080p High Definition Widescreen 1.78:1
Audio English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 2.0 Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Thai
"Pilot" with Co-Creators/Executive Producers Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz
"7:15 A.M." with Actors Jennifer Goodwin & Josh Dallas
"Skin Deep" with Actor Robert Carlyle & Writer Jane Espenson
"The Stable Boy" with Co-Creators/Executive Producers Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz & Actor Lana Parrilla
"A Land Without Magic" with Co-Creators/Executive Producers Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz & Actor Jennifer Morrison
Once Upon a Time Orchestral Suite (HD) (4 min.)
Once Upon a Time: Origins (HD)
Fairy Tales in the Modern World (HD) (20 min.)
Building Character (HD) (7 min.)
Welcome to Storybrooke (HD) (7 min.)
The Story To Remember... Snow White (HD) (4 min.)
Fairest Bloopers of Them All (HD) (2 min.)
Deleted Scenes (HD) (13 min.)
As far as acting goes, everybody's great, except Jared Gilmore, though he's not the worst child actor I've seen. A lot of credit to Lana Parrilla for really making the Evil Queen come to life (never cared for her all that much in Snow White), along with becoming one of my favorite villains, and making me hate what should be a despicable character for all the cruel things she's done, like framing Mary Margaret for murder. But then I felt sympathetic when her flashback story was revealed and I didn't want her to lose Henry to Emma in the real world since she is his mother. Then I wanted to slap the brat when he was revived since all he did was stare at her with a vacant expression after she told Henry she truly loved him (more on my feelings of the heroes in season 2). The writing for the most part is good but I'm still waiting to find out what happened to Cinderella's prince at the end of her episode (still wondering what's become of her character in general). I've never seen Lost so I don't hold whatever issues people had with the storylines on that show to what goes on here (though they do love recycling actors from that show). Special effects however, could be better. The two dragons and the magic effects look great along with how they do the green screen work for the fairies (the film version of Maleficent should've taken a cue from this show) but then I see laughable efforts like when the Huntsman shoots a terrible CG deer then pulls the arrow out of a real stuffed deer. Was it too hard to find stock footage of a real deer eating, looking up and running away? Didn't need to show the guy actually killing the animal.
If there's any complaint I have with the show it's a minor nitpick to probably a lot of people but pretty major to me and that is Maleficent, my favorite Disney villain (I'm talking about the animated version). She gets two scenes in two separate episodes and all I know of her in this universe is she traded her sleeping curse to Regina, she's gotten over the whole ordeal with Aurora and now has a black unicorn pony (I assume in place of her raven if the show goes by what happened in the movie). I want to know more! On top of that, she's dispatched by her friend pretty easily when she's purportedly the most powerful of all these characters (with the exception of Rumplestiltskin) but I'm going to say she was caught off guard by Regina when she attacked her little pony.
If you haven't seen the show yet, give it a try if you like fairy tales, particularly the Disney versions, and different twists done on said stories.