Once Upon A Time: Season One (Blu-ray Review)

The Evil Queen has cast an evil spell on an enchanted forest filled with fairytale characters. The curse trapped these characters in a place where all their happy endings were stolen – our world.  Now the Evil Queen is acting as town mayor, and all of the inhabitants of the fairytale world of Storybrooke can’t seem to remember any details of their past lives. As the truth starts to unfold, the battle between good and evil begins.  Bonus materials include “Welcome To Storybrooke,” a feature that takes you on a tour of the town that was the inspiration for the show, deleted scenes, audio commentaries, bloopers, and much, much more!


The Evil Queen (Lana Parilla) cast a curse over the storybook characters in her realm. She took away their happy endings and sent them all to our world. The town of Storybrooke, Maine is lead by the Evil Queen and now mayor. The rest of the townspeople have no idea who they were but are inexplicably drawn to each other.

No one ever leaves Storybrooke and strangers never arrive until the Mayor’s adopted son Henry finds his birth mother and brings her back to town. Henry has the Once Upon A Time book, which tells the real story of the townspeople. His birth mother, Emma (Jennifer Morrison) is actually the daughter of Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming (Josh Dallas).

Emma was sent, on the day of her birth, through a magical wardrobe which transported her, with the hope that she would save them all. Henry believes she is the one that is going to make everyone remember their true selves, and restore the happy endings.  The fairytale characters living in Storybrooke include Snow White, Prince Charming, Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, Rumpelstiltskin, Geppeto, Hansel and Gretel, Belle, The Huntsman, and Jiminy Cricket among others.

Once Upon a Time is based on a very clever idea. It’s interesting to see beloved fairytale characters and their individual tendencies as they live in present day society. The casting is perfect – it’s easy to see any of the main characters as their fairytale counterparts.  My favorite parts of Once Upon a Time are when we see the fairy-tales. The costumes are beautiful and the attention to detail is significant. They aren’t always the standard fairytale either and I like the twists on the old stories that explain how the characters became who they are.

One last cool thing to mention is something that I haven’t seen before.   Little things sometimes thrill me and in the case of Once Upon A Time, it’s the option to use Season Play Mode, where I can create a named profile so that my place in the series will never be lost.  I hope other shows pick up on this concept because I loved it!


Starting with the menu, the Once Upon a Time Blu-ray looks great.  The 1080p high definition wide-screen 1.78:1 presentation is impressive.  They have made especially good use of the color blue in all it’s hues.  Flesh tones are not only even and accurate, but the detail is sufficient to notice the slightest imperfections in the actors skin.  Whether its in the dark forest or castle of the fairy-tales, or indoor and outdoor sets in Storybrooke the video quality is excellent. This is a show worth watching on Blu-ray.


Whether its a sword being drawn from its sheath in the fairy-tales, or the implosion of the mines in Storybrooke, Once Upon a Time sounds as good as it looks.  The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio presentation offers clear and consistent dialogue and impressive environmental sounds and special effects.

Special Features  

The special features are more detailed and numerous than I expected – a pleasant surprise.

  • Once Upon a Time: Origins – Exclusive to Blu-ray, Josh Dallas discusses classic fairy tales and their origins.
  • Building Character – A look at the character Belle played by Emilie de Ravin from initial concepts to final filming.
  • Welcome to Storybrooke – The transformation of a town in British Columbia into Storybrooke.
  • The Story I Remember…Snow White – A retelling of the tale of Snow White along with childhood memories of the cast.
  • Fairest Bloopers of Them All – A gag reel.
  • Audio Commentary on Selected Episodes – I applaud them for warning of spoiler alerts and suggesting listening to the commentary only after you have finished viewing the season. They warn that the commentary discusses future episodes from the season.
  • Deleted Scenes

Final Thoughts  

Once Upon a Time is a cleverly written show with a nice variety of special features.  The attention to detail in the fairy-tales makes it all work for me.  I also love the fact that each episode begins with almost the same illuminated forest, but with tiny details specific to the episode you are about to view.  The casting is right on and I couldn’t imagine anyone else in these roles.  The best of the casting choices being Robert Carlyle, who plays Rumpelstiltskin to perfection.  I’ve often said that HBO puts out really nice looking shows on Blu-ray, but ABC has exceeded my expectations with this show.

Order your copy today!


1 Response to “Once Upon A Time: Season One (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Kalani

    I didn’t think I would like this show, but I ended up loving it. I just wonder how the show will keep going after the first season finale.