In its seven seasons, Once Upon a Time adapted several animated Disney characters into the show not only utilizing plot elements from their respective Disney movies but also giving their own spin on the characters. For the most part they did so quite well. This list takes a look at the best Disney characters the show translated into live action that weren’t mains but still left quite the impression.
1. Cruella DeVil
Of all the three Queens of Darkness (the other two being Maleficent and Ursula) Cruella is hands down the best. Victoria Smurfit not only captures Cruella’s look perfectly but in her performance she brilliantly captures the character’s extravagant demeanor and psychotic and murderous nature within. Smurfit pretty much enjoys every moment she is on screen. The backstory for Cruella was a brilliant one setting it up as a misunderstood woman turned bad and took an amazing twist in having her be pulled into the darkness right from the start and it’s revealed in quite a horrifying manner.
2. Elsa and Anna
This one is a tie because they are good for the same reasons. At the time I was a bit worried about Once Upon a Time incorporating Frozen characters into the mix given that the Frozen movie hype was still widespread. Thankfully Georgina Haig and Elizabeth Lail pretty much gave such an enjoyable life into these two characters with their likeness and personality. The show did well in giving a great amount of layers to these two while staying true to their animated roots. And the two actresses have great chemistry that make you feel the characters’ sibling love in their journey. I daresay I like them here more than I do in the movie. They not only worked well within the context of the Frozen movie (this takes place after the events of Frozen and easily works as a legitimate sequel to those events) but also in interacting off the main character. Elsa’s friendship with Emma easily is one my personal favorite aspects about the Frozen arc.
Mulan’s character in the show was one that sadly wasn’t featured much and didn’t get a happy ending. But she proved herself to be a selfless, honorable, and brave character always doing the right thing even when it came at her personal cost. Mulan was a fierce warrior testing her skill against many of the foes she encountered and ultimately making warriors out of others.
Much like Mulan, Ariel’s appearances were few and far in between. Every time Joanna Garcia Swisher appeared as the character however she gave an adorable and plucky spirit to Ariel that makes every episode with her enjoyable. She had an engaging arc regarding her and Prince Eric although after the two reunite the two go off happily we don’t get to see much of their life beyond that. And it’s rather upsetting. It would have been nice to see more of Ariel’s world under the sea maybe show some of her sisters or even introduce baby Melody.
5. Jiminy Cricket/Archie
Although he only had one episode of backstory it proves to be quite the dark one with him inadvertently turning Geppetto’s parents into dolls. His backstory of growing up with a manipulative family add to this and it really gave Jiminy a desire to do the right thing. Although he didn’t appear much, Archie always served as a moral compass for numerous characters throughout Storybrooke.
6. Peter Pan
The twist regarding this guy being Rumple’s father is hands down the best twist in the entire series. Robbie Kay took the character of boy who wouldn’t grow up and brought out the most evil parts of doing so. Pan was a sadistic and twisted man often toying with the heroes’ plights out of sheer amusement and manipulating and preying on their fears and desires such as young Henry’s desire to be a hero. Pan showed no sign of care for family as he saw all of them nothing more than a burden. He also did the same with the Lost Boys even killing them if any of them thought of leaving. Even though the heroes defeated him it came at a great cost that changed the Once Upon a Time game up.
Are there any other recurring Disney characters you think Once Upon a Time adapted well? Any you agree or disagree with? Well leave your thoughts in the comments below.