20 Once Upon a Time fairy tale and Disney adaptations ranked worst to best

The magical series brought so many stories to life, from The Little Mermaid and Frozen to Cinderella and Peter Pan, here's what we think about the show's adaptations.

(ABC/AUTUMN DE WILDE)
(ABC/AUTUMN DE WILDE) /
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Alice in Wonderland

Alright, let's start with the Mad Hatter here. What I love about Once Upon a Time is that, especially in the beginning, they provided such colorful backstories for characters in a way that made sense. Like truly, why is the Mad Hatter mad? Well, we find out that when Regina goes to get her father back from the Queen of Hearts in Wonderland, she recruited Jefferson since he has a hat that can travel to other realms. But, there's a catch. If two people go through the hat, only two can leave. And when Regina gets her dad back, unbeknownst to Jefferson at first, she freezes him and he ends up stuck in Wonderland.

What's heartbreaking is that he has his daughter Grace waiting for him back home in the Enchanted Forest. But the Evil Queen was cruel and selfish, and left him there separated from his daughter. He goes mad, staying up day and night to try and create another hat that will work and get him back to Grace. In Storybrooke, he's cursed to retain his memories and watch his daughter from afar. Thankfully, the two are eventually reunited though! Another major Wonderland twist is that Cora is the Queen of Hearts. It was so smart and made so much sense.

Rumpelstiltskin/Beauty and the Beast

Rumple was a bunch of characters all wrapped up into one - Rumpelstiltskin who could spin straw into gold, the Beast from Beauty and the Beast, and even the crocodile from Peter Pan and Hook's greatest enemy. Rumple is a complicated character and to be honest I don't think his relationship with Belle was healthy. Though as a villain and antagonist to the story, I thought he was brilliant. There were so many different shades to him, you didnt know what to expect. Granted the Beast in the animated version is sweeter than Rumple. But the OUAT version also has many more difficult experiences and is initially a coward. Combining him into these three characters was genius, and one of my favorite parts about the story.

The Wizard of Oz

The Wicked Witch! The story of The Wizard of Oz isn't played out much other than to focus on Zelena, but that's ok. Because she was great! At least in the third season, but that's a different story. The Wizard of Oz is more of a book than a fairytale, but it worked in the magical world of OUAT and actually fit seamlessly into the show's lore. I mean, the twist that the Wicked Witch is actually the Evil Queen's sister? Who would have seen that coming!? It doesn't get better than that. No one could have played Zelena better than Rebecca Mader did. She was wickedly delicious and her big evil plan put everything at stake for the heroes. Time-traveling to go back into the past, but needing baby Neal to do so, really worked. And it lead to the awesome Captain Swan adventure that resembles Back to the Future too!

ONCE UPON A TIME
ABC/Jack Rowand /

Snow White

The whole Snow White story and adaptation of it just worked. Period. And that's a good thing because it was the heart of the whole fairy tale series and how everything began! Once Upon a Time took this beloved tale and spun it on its head in the best way possible. From Snow White being a bandit and strong female lead, to Charming's unique backstory as a shepherd and having a twin brother. Even his tale is an adaptation of The Prince and the Pauper (which is a novel not a fairy tale, but it works!). Exploring what comes after happily ever after and adding the element of Emma being their daughter and the Savior from the Evil Queen's curse? All elements for the perfect story come to life.

And then we have one of the best villains of all - the Evil Queen! Lana Parrilla's delivery scared us all (in a good way), and the queen's sarcasm, outfits, backstory, and everything else in between gave her depth while being entertaining as well. The way the Magic Mirror was first a genie and in love with Regina, getting Graham's tragic backstory, and even learning why Grumpy is grumpy spun this tale into perfection. All these elements from Once Upon a Time season 1 are what contributed to the success of the show and made us fall in love with it in the first place.

Peter Pan

The Snow White adaptation almost took first place and is a very close second, but for me nothing tops Neverland and the Peter Pan story! It was perfection. It worked in all the best ways. It was smart, innovative, and I just love everything about it. Pan is my favorite villain from the series and Robbie Kay brought such an xxx. It was so smart to switch it around and make Pan the real antagonist of the story for the heroes. Plus, the biggest shocks of all - he's Rumple's father, aka Henry's great-grandfather.

Like, what? To an outsider this sounds crazy. But to a Oncer, it was the best! Nothing beats finding out all these plot twists for the first time. Even the Darlings story had a more tragic twist to it, but thankfully all the siblings are able to reunite. And I like how Bae had a history with them. And of course, we can't forget about the dashing rapscallion, devilishly handsome Captain Hook that is a much better version than the one we're used to seeing in media. He's suave, he's slick, and he pulls off his black leather ensemble like a pro. The captain of our hearts, and half of the fine ship that is Captain Swan!

All seven seasons of Once Upon a Time are streaming on Disney+ and Hulu.

Next. Once Upon A Time villains ranked from worst to best. Once Upon A Time villains ranked from worst to best. dark