Once Upon a Time in Wonderland Review: Curiouser & Curiouser

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One of the things I've always loved about Once Upon a Time is its ability to take characters that we all believe we know so well and give them a completely different twist.

I expected no less from Once Upon a Time in Wonderland - and "Down the Rabbit Hole" it didn't disappoint.

Peter Gadiot And Sophie Lowe In Wonderland

The story began when Alice returned home from her trip down the rabbit hole only to find her father completely distraught. Alice had been gone so long he thought her dead. He was so upset that you'd think he wouldn't mind her crazy stories about talking white rabbits and hookah smoking caterpillars. 

But when Alice grew up and continued to insist it was all real, well, there's only one thing a loving father could do: Have her tossed into an asylum. 

But let's back up a bit. Apparently Alice spent years jumping back down that rabbit hole in the hopes of bringing back proof for her disbelieving father and in her travels to Wonderland something even more unexpected happened…she fell in love. 

I'd assume we'll get plenty more back story on Alice and Cyrus the genie, but so far I liked what I saw. Even with the few scenes they shared they had some nice chemistry. I especially liked it when in this Once Upon a Time in Wonderland quote, Cyrus pointed out his disappointment in Alice's father's disbelief…

So you're risking your life for someone who doesn't believe in you. | permalink

That one line made me all the more sad for Alice. Unfortunately her troubles were far from over. 

Thankfully she appeared to have one true friend in The Knave of Hearts. One of my favorite scenes was just as Alice has given up and awaits her lobotomy in the asylum. The Knave broke in and convinced her that Cyrus was still alive and back in Wonderland. That's all Alice needed to hear. Suddenly our sullen wallflower was taking down multiple guards using not much more than her shoes. 

Who doesn't love a girl who can handle a sword?

That's one of the things I immediately loved about the original Once Upon a Time. That the wimpy Snow White I'd read about or seen in movies didn't exist in this world. Here she picked up a bow and arrow and fought for herself.  That's certainly one of the things I liked about Alice here.

Along with the love story and a fair bit of action we also got humor.  One of my favorites was when Alice and the Knave of Hearts started sinking in the Mallow Marsh.

Knave: This is humiliating. I'm going to die like a bloody s'more. | permalink

There's plenty to love here in Wonderland. Dragonflies that are actual dragons. A Cheshire cat with some serious bite. A formidable villain in Jafar who has the impressive choking ability of Darth Vader couple with an imposing viper staff and cool flying carpet. 

The only one I questioned was the Red Queen. Jafar seemed to overshadow her in the villain department and she didn't have nearly the presence of the original Once Upon a Time's Evil Queen, Regina but since this was just the pilot, I'll give her some time before I draw a final conclusion.

So what did you think of this version of Alice in Wonderland? Were you surprised to see a Wonderland and Aladdin mashup of sorts? And how should Alice use those wishes in her shoe? Grade the premiere now:


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.7 / 5.0 (77 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.


So while everyone is complaining about the CGI I thought it was brilliant lol. It was meant to be that way: kind of cartoonish and whimsical. The creators of this show have proven on Once that they can do good enough CGI. Why all of a sudden would they have forgotten how to? Exactly! They didn't because it was like that on purpose. I really loved this show. Alice is an amazing lead and the chemistry between her and Cyrus was great. I love that her and the Knave are going to be strictly friends because they have great chemistry as well, I'm just not in the mood for a love triangle. The ONLY two complaints I have about this show are: 1. I don't like the Queen of Hearts casting. She is no Cora. How did she possibly get control? 2. The Knave was in present day Storybrook (or at least SB of however long ago Emma showed up) yet Alice was living in what appeared to be late 1800s/early 1900s England? What is with the timeline discrepancy there? Is the rabbits hole a portal not only to other dimensions but other periods of time? Also, what it is it about the residents of Wonderland that allowed them to retain their memories when they went to SB (first the Mad Hatter now the Knave)? Would really like those two questions explored more! But really love this show. Hoping that Jafar's presence means a possible Aladdin/Jasmine intro (crossing fingers!!!)


loved the episode. once upon a time does it again. it was perferct (despite the horrible cg). love alive, waaay better than emma, was curious that they didnt have her write her last namd liddle when she signed for permission for the operation. a lot of questions i so want answered yesterday. i was under the impression that the mirror was the genie from aladdin seeing as he is from akkrabah but could it be cyrus instead? what twist in the story of aladdin landed cyrus and jafar in wonderland? jafar is obviously more powerful than the red queen so how did she rise to power and what is her history with alice? great casting and a fun ride all around


What a disappointment. Bad casting as well as bad acting. CGI subpar. GO back and start over.


What the previous three said. Donning my "Mckayla Maroney is NOT impressed face."

Kitanishi h mcdonald

Quite disappointed with this:
- Overuse of bad CGI.
- Disjointed frantic plot. With A LOT of cheese.
- Logic-defying character decisions and stupidity. The only good parts seem to be Jaffar/Red Queen plotlines(even if both of them give off the vibe of power rangers villains right now, visually) and the fact that the whole thing( especially Alice’s character as they seem to be touching upon what being locked in freaking mental asylum does to you) seems to be HEAVILY inspired by Alice:Madness Returns. Otherwise, REALLY disappointed.


I wasn't impressed at all with the Premier of "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland". The acting is sub-par and the graphics are something you would see on like "Blues Clues" that children's show that plays early in the mornings. I will watch it once more and decide whether or not the keep it in the shows to watch. I'm on the fence with "Once Upon a Time" too. I was excited about this season with Once Upon a Time, but it too is falling flat.


It was terrible. It is not worth watching.


I will have to say I did not feel the chemistry between Cyrus and Alice at all. I was rooting more for the friendship of Knave and Alice then the romance of Cyrus and Alice. I also thought that they was portraying Jafar and Red Queen as the wonderland version of Rumple and Regina but Jafar and Red Queen do not have that much chemistry. Also, it seems the Red Queen is too terrify of Jafar to be consider a villain. I like that Knave was considering a life in SB. I will be tuning in next week in the hopes that they can make me like all the characters because so far I only like Alice and Knave and root for Cyrus and Alice. Although I did like the Red Queen wardrobe it is not like Evil Queen on OUAT.

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Once Upon a Time in Wonderland Season 1 Episode 1 Quotes

So you're risking your life for someone who doesn't believe in you.


It all began with this white rabbit and he wanted to take my hat.