Last spring, Once Upon A Time creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz began working with Disney to figure out a way to bring the wildly popular Frozen characters to the small screen. The co-creators of ABC's hit series eventually got the greenlight, creating a plot that takes the original characters from the franchise and reimagines them in the world Once Upon A Time has created.
In the premiere, this means plenty of time hopping, with Storybrooke, Arendelle and more coming into play. It also means we get to see plenty of flashbacks occurring to the time period just after the events in Disney’s hit movie. During past seasons, Once Upon A Time’s weird brand of storybook characters living alternate lives in the present has worked rather well, but when you add recently created Disney characters to the mix, things get flipping weird. Here are 11 of the oddest things we learned and saw in the first Season 4 episode.
Elsa… in Storybrooke? Disney’s popular animated tale is set in the kingdom of Arendelle. However, when we first meet Elsa on Once Upon A Time she has popped up in modern-day America. As you might guess, things like roads and cars are confusing to her, and she ends up neutralizing a car with her ice powers because technology is a bummer.
In a flashback, we get to hear from Elsa and Anna’s parents right before their deaths. Remember Disney’s sad scene showing the sinking of the ship carrying the Queen and King? Once Upon a Time is even more tragic, because we get to hear from her parents as the ship goes down. Mom and dad discuss a secret plot and put a message in a bottle before succumbing to the waves. Because it's totally normal to put all of your faith and efforts into a message in a bottle before dying.
In another flashback, Elsa finds a secret diary her mother kept. She promptly reads a few pages and declares their deaths “her fault.” Apparently, they were looking for a cure for her snow powers, not “heading on a diplomatic expedition,” as they had implied. Doubtless the poor ice queen could use a ton of therapy at this point.
Anna tells us that Sven is getting properly attired to be a part of Anna and Kristoff’s wedding. These are the jokes, people.
Elsa unleashes her creepy snow monster in Storybrooke. In the present, Emma and Hook are on Elsa’s tail. She escapes them by unleashing the monster. I know she’s scared, but this goes against all of those strides forward she took as a Disney character. I guess that’s what people have been saying when they note this version of Frozen is “different.”
In the flashbacks, Pabbie is a creepily CGI’d troll. In Storybrooke, poor Pabbie is actually a statue. There’s a quick shot of the stone statue right before Emma and Hook discover the snow monster. Poor Pabbie!
Kristoff is extremely serious. Once Upon a Time’s version of Kristoff is a sincere guy who truly loves Anna. He gives a few gallant speeches, telling Elsa she should let her sister journey to the middle of nowhere by herself. From what little we get to see of Kristoff in the first episode, he and Anna seem like an okay team. However, he’s decidedly not funny, and we miss out on jokes about sleigh lacquer and one-day engagements.
Many of the scenes between Anna and Elsa are set shortly after the events in Disney’s Frozen. Crazy time shifts? Check. Weird flashback scenes? Check. Totally bonkers behavior from all of the characters? Check. They are about to untangle some crazy secrets and I'm keeping my fingers crossed they will be PG-13 secrets.
Days before the King and Queen’s journey, Elsa and Anna’s parents were headed to some place called “Mist Haven.” Oh yeah, Mist Haven is apparently a nickname for The Enchanted Forest. Oh wait, that’s the fairy tale world that has been featured in Once Upon A Time since Season 1. The plot thickens.
Hans and his 12 angry brothers are totally out in the wilderness and waiting to “pounce” on Anna. That’s right, Anna has to worry about a baker’s dozen of men jumping out of the bushes to kidnap her and try to win back Arendelle. So, of course, she should try to journey to Mist Haven all by her lonesome. It’s like watching a character from a horror film walk right into the killer’s path.
At the end of the episode, we learn Elsa is searching for Anna. She’s even willing to pick locks and throw out snow monsters to achieve her goal. Ah, the bonds of sisterhood.
You can catch new episodes of ABC’s Once Upon A Time on Sunday nights at 8 p.m. EST. Or, take a look at the rest of the fall premieres, here.
Photo Credit@ ABC
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Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.