TV Binge: Once Upon a Time (Season 5, 2015)

Moving right along in the incredible attempt to catch up with Once Upon a Time, I wrapped up Season 5. Once Upon a Time continues to twists up some of the tales and puts together some interesting pairings which is one thing that I love the most about the show. Plus, after so many years, its hard to not love a lot of the characters. It also helps that last year I did end up going to visit the little town that its shot in in Vancouver and totally fangirled which makes seeing Storybrooke so much more personal (in my mind).

Once Upon a Time (Season 5, 2015)

once upon a time s5 poster

Creator: Adam Horowitz & Edward Kitsis

Cast: Lana Parrilla, Robert Carlyle, Jared Gilmore, Jennifer Morrison, Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas, Colin O’Donoghue, Emilie de Ravin, Rebecca Mader, Sean Maguire, Liam Garrigan, Greg Germann

 Maybe its the fact that hopping back to this that I forgot how packed Once Upon a Time but Season 5 feels like there is a vast amount of characters that traverse the path in the few villains they do cross. As a little season 5 recap, the season picks up where the 4th ends with Emma taking the responsibility to be the Dark One and gets sent back to The Enchanted Forest. The rest of her family finds a way back and they eventually end up in Camelot where they meet King Arthur and Queen Guinevere. They have a secret to complete that involves the search for the Dark One. Somehow they get sent back to Storybrooke and Emma has lost the fight and has embraced has her dark side while wiping away everyone’s memory. A course of events sends Hook to the Underworld where they also follow and get trapped by Hades and confront some of their own people they have lost. When they do find a way back to Storybrooke, they get tricked and sent to The Land of Untold Stories where they meet the infamous Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I think that about covers the general outline.

once upon a time s5

Season 5 is crazy packed as everyone embarks on a journey about their value and whether they are good and evil and being okay with who they are. Some extremities are taken which of course take a turn for a bad the lingers into the next season. Fairy tales are about happy endings and if Once Upon a Time has taught us anything, its that they are quite the rare occurrence in the show especially when it involves Regina and Emma. Being the Savior or a Villain both doesn’t give you the merit to have the happy ending. However, Season 5 may feel packed but its great to see the twists on these characters. In fact it expands on these characters as they also meet Merida and help her with her quest to become queen of Dunbroch.  We flash back to see Mulan and Red Riding Hood and Dorothy and their connection to everything. Of course, it wouldn’t be this show without Rumplestiltskin and his secrets along with trying to get back Belle which also sees a twist on her story and Gaston. Snow also once knew Hercules as well. We see some characters exit the show as well as the Underworld allows some characters to eventually either move on in a good or bad way. Thinking back to the season feels really busy but at times, that is what works to keep us on our toes and always learning that this world still has a lot to offer as they can breakaway from the fairy tales as well as take characters from classics. That is the magic of why I love Once Upon a Time.

once upon a time

The villain this season did have quite a spark. I have to say that in the few times that I’ve seen Greg Germann, he’s always been so fun to watch. This time, he plays Hades and not only does he resemble how Hades looked in Disney’s Hercules but he does take on that villainous role really well. Talking about villains, while I did enjoy the whole Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde bit, the way Mr. Hyde talked was so grating and annoying. If anything, that was the only thing I didn’t like about this season. Once Upon a Time also has these villains that are truly horrible and ruthless. However, they also have this story that gives them a moment of hope for redemption and its always that unknown of whether it will happen or not. Another point of why I do like Once Upon a Time a lot is dealing with the character development and this season may be busy but a lot of the characters had their moment to truly see their thoughts and things they haven’t been able to let go of and in many ways, they did embrace themselves.

once upon a time

Overall, Season 5 was a lot of fun. While you could argue that the huge amount of characters made the story very scattered, somehow it still works very well to keep it fun and adventurous to watch as our characters grew and truly embraced issues that bothered them and confronted their monsters both mentally and physically. A really nice collection of villains and heroes in Season 5 and I’m looking forward to watching Season 6.

Brave (2012)

Now I’m getting amazed at myself.  One movie a week and both that I had anticipated this year. This one I had wanted to see for the last few weeks but never actually got a chance due to going away on vacation, and my boyfriend was interested in other movies, etc.  So what do I do? My best friend and I had a girl’s day out and went to catch Pixar‘s newest feature, Brave.

Overall, the experience was fantastic, making that 45 minute walk in 38C hot and humid weather to the farther theatre so much more worth it.  We saw pretty interesting previews also.  I had already seen on Youtube the ones for Despicable Me 2 and Hotel Transylvania but it also had the previews for Monster University (next year’s Pixar, I believe) which looked funny, and Wreck It Ralph, which I’m still thinking if it will be good.  I’ll see if other trailers come out closer to the release date to get a better idea of what to anticipate.

The other treat we usually get with our Pixar movies are the short films.  This year’s is called La Luna.  I have to say that I really enjoyed it.  The concept was cute, humorous and simple but definitely original.  It was appealing and warmed our hearts.  If you get a chance, do check it out.  I don’t want to go too much into detail because it is a short movie so there’s not much saying the plot that wouldn’t ruin the experience.

Now we get down to business.  The main feature, Brave is pretty much a movie about a princess who wants to take her life in her own hands.  She wants to change her fate and destiny simply by winning her own hand of marriage for starters.  Our princess, Merida  was a charismatic one with a cute accent and a great personality.  To some, Pixar finally falling into a princess movie to follow the line of Disney‘s long line of classic princesses might not be appealing.  To me, this princess, Merida was very different.  She portrayed a more free minded princess who didn’t want to be saved by Prince Charming.  In fact, the movie didn’t have much of any male leads except for the king (Merida’s father) and the 3 clans who came to have their first borns win her hand in marriage.  Brave featured pretty strong-minded women.  Even the king Fergus was not as good as working the crowd and controlling the environment in the room as well as his queen, Elinor’s ability to do that.  She stood up to protect when she needed to in a more emotional and psychological way whereas the men were portrayed as more physical protection.

There were a few things that stood out in this movie more than others.  I like the whole concept of taking your fate into your own hands a whole lot because it broke out of the normal and it does send a nice message to the new generation. Second, I liked how they utilized the concept of freedom.  It also shows you that everything comes with a cost.  “Are you willing to pay the price that your freedom will cost you?” The lesson behind this story was the story not only that you can change your fate, you can earn your freedom but in order to do that, you need to know that there’s always a price to pay.  Its never a free lunch.  For her, it was meeting a witch and hoping that things would change, that her fate would change but of course, we know that course of events never simply go as planned and she learns in the process of the value of responsibility for your choices and actions, and of the costs of earning what you want, but most of all, it leads us to learn something else and thats the third concept in this movie that I enjoyed. The third concept was there because it wasn’t about romance or finding Prince Charming, instead they replaced it with a family bond, the mother-daughter relationship.  This was definitely an original idea, especially for Pixar.  It showed its new ideas to touch the screen.  It set itself apart from any other princess movie.  It lead us to pull our heartstrings and keep us attached to the characters.

Aside from portraying some fantastic themes, this animated feature was very appealing to watch.  Exactly what you would expect from Pixar of course, its a standard they’ve been good at.  All the characters added a bit to the storyline, whether it was to move the story along or simply to bring in a few laughs, it was absolutely worth it.  You could hear that they successfully made us attached to the characters as when certain things happened, you could hear the audience react.  In an animated feature, we don’t expect too much from acting, more tha vocal talent which I will look at later on.  We look at the storyline, the characters they’ve developed for it, the animation itself’s quality.  With Pixar, we never truly question the quality as they’ve always brought us the best.

Now, vocal talents. Queen Elinor was done by Emma Thompson and she was simply fantastic at it.  King Fergus was voiced by Bill Connolly and he gave the King a humorous and witty spirit. Merida was voiced by Kelly Macdonald and she was great at giving life to a rebellious princess.  We had the three sons of King and Queen and they were just silly little rascals who brought in laughs in the most serious situations.  I think that is really important, especially in animated features.  The tone should never tense up too much because it should be geared towards a more lighthearted crowd.

Overall, it as a great experience.  I enjoyed the fact that Pixar did a princess movie and gave it its own twist.  It was not only original for that but also the fact that it gave us a focus on family values and relationships.