Once Upon a Time has added a bunch of new actors for its seventh season.
According to Entertainment Weekly:
“Gabrielle Anwar (Burn Notice), Adelaide Kane (Reign), Dania Ramirez (Devious Maids), Mekia Cox (Chicago Med), and Rose Reynolds (Poldark) are joining the cast of the ABC fairy tale series.”
This wonderfully diverse new group of actors will play significant roles in the show, with several set to become season regulars, but at present, we don’t have actual details on the characters that these new actors will play.
You know what that means – rampant speculation!
Of course, the best characters in Once Upon a Time are the ones that connect directly to a Disney counterpart, so let’s skip the fluff and get straight to the meat of this – here are the Disney characters that most need to appear in Once Upon a Time, whether or not any of these new actors will be playing them.
Perhaps one of the most commonly requested Disney Princesses that we haven’t yet seen in the show is Tiana, the excellent chef from New Orleans who is turned into a frog in her movie. The last traditionally animated Disney movie to get a theatrical release (thus far), The Princess and the Frog was met with lukewarm reviews, and wasn’t helped by the number of pretty appalling stereotypes that ran through the movie.
Nevertheless, Tiana is a very important but sadly often overlooked Disney Princess, and some extra representation of women of color in Once Upon a Time would not go amiss.
On the other end of the spectrum is Giselle, from Enchanted. Played in the movie by the whiter-than-white Amy Adams, the character serves as a parody of every Disney Princess trope, while simultaneously reinforcing the message that if you wait around for Prince Charming, he’ll drop into your lap eventually (even if he is a slick New York divorce lawyer rather than Cyclops from the X-Men, as you’d previously assumed).
Either way, Giselle would be a fun character to see in the show, even if to poke at the absurdity of the entire Disney formula. Amy Adams obviously won’t give up on Oscarbait roles and her time with Disney’s enemy at DC in order to do an ABC show, but there are several actors among this new bunch that would be a good fit for the role.
Alternatively, we could have good old Rapunzel. The character feels particularly young in Tangled, as a naïve eighteen-year-old, but that hasn’t stopped Once Upon a Time from aging up characters in the past to make them less problematic.
The only real challenge with this character would be the fair – you’d need a very, very impressive wig to do this justice, and if ABC’s Inhumans is anything to go by, the entire network could do with avoiding magic hair for the foreseeable future.
While it’s very, very unlikely that we’ll get Moana in the upcoming season (none of the announced actors are Polynesian), the latest addition to the Disney Princess roster (even if she is, in reality, the badass daughter of a village chief rather than a traditional, demure princess) would be amazing to see in live action.
Let’s face it, though: there’s only one person who could possibly play Moana in live action and do her justice. Auli’i Cravalho, who voiced the character (and who looks exactly like her) was snapped up by NBC’s fledgling show Rise, which is in development, so if that show takes off, getting the real Moana to appear in ABC’s Once Upon a Time might be tricky, but it would add so, so much to the show as a whole.
Other than these characters, there’s one remaining pair of characters that the show could really do with: Mike and Sully from Monsters Inc.
Don’t pretend this wouldn’t be awesome – especially if, by some stroke of luck, ABC could convince John Goodman and Billy Crystal to dress up in costume to play their characters.
Come on, ABC. We need to see this.