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Once Upon A Time (2011)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger

Once Upon A Time (2011) In the pilot for this new ABC Television series twenty-eight-year-old Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) finds a ten-year-old boy in her apartment. He claims to be the son she gave up for adoption. He carries a book of Fairy Tales and insists they are true, continuing with this tale the entire time she drives him back to his town of Storybrooke, Maine.

The program cuts back and forth between our world and the Fairy Tale world. We learn that Snow White and Prince Charming are married and are expecting a child. The Evil Queen isn't so happy about their happiness, so she curses the land. The couple confront a seer-- Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle of STARGATE UNIVERSE) to find out if this will happen or not. He confirms that something bad happens and that it will be up to their daughter to save them in 28 years. Just before the curse overtakes the land Snow White gives birth to Emma and sends her to our world. Of course, this turns out to be Emma Swan. Once she's in Storybrooke she meets the boy's mother, who turns out to not only be the mayor but the Evil Queen. And we see some of the seven dwarves and Jimminy Cricket in human form. We're also introduced to the boy's elementary school teacher, who is really Snow White (and Emma's mother).

This show sounds like a good idea and the previews were intriguing--but everything

is too flat and it's not effective cutting back and forth between the Fairy Tale Land and the "reality". The producers/writers should have just gone with the reality and unvealed the other stuff through dreams or visions, so that we gradually learn who is who. Too much info is smashed into the forty minutes.

If you're looking for a great treatment of Fairy Tale characters in modern day, check out the FABLES graphic novels by Bill Willingham. This show pales in comparison to those tales.

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Rating: 7.5 out of 10.0 - 2 votes cast total
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