A Look at Disney’s LGBTQ Characters Pt. 3: Ruby Slippers (Once Upon A Time Pt. 1)
Once Upon A Time’s history with its LGTBQ+ characters is a bit messy. There are three sets that from this show that I’ll be looking at and let’s just say that none of them got treated all that well. There are two other sets of characters that I’ll be looking at but considering those two at least got actual arcs (albeit not great ones), I’m going to save them for later. Whereas these two only got one episode. This was during the show’s fifth season and the Underworld arc. Yeah, this show found a way to make Hell boring.
Now, the character of Dorothy was recast for this episode as the first time we saw her, she was a little girl that was closer to her age from the books.
Which hey I’m fine with this. Zelena aka The Wicked Witch had taken a page from The Evil Queen’s book and put Dorothy’s page and placed her under a sleeping curse. So yeah, you know the drill that true love’s kiss is the only thing that’ll wake her.
The characters first relate over their tragedies, Dorothy being committed after she first returned from Oz and Red/Ruby being out of her village when they found she’s The Wolf, and oh yeah, she killed her boyfriend Peter. Dorothy is presented as a strong warrior type and that’s fine and Ruby didn’t really have much character around this time. In the early seasons, she was a bit flirty. Here though, you get the impression that she is a character that is hoping to her best in the flashbacks showing where the two first met.
The characters do seem like they’d make a cute couple. Now, going back to the idea of true love’s kiss, they first think that they could get Aunt Em to help her but well Hades turns her into a puddle. Ruby does have a realization that she loves Dorothy
I think I’ve been looking for someone like her
This is cute and Dorothy does have her reservations about the Wolf thing. Understandable and it is cute seeing Ruby confide in Snow her feelings for Dorothy. Now, we are getting to the issue that I and many others had with this episode regarding the moment that it was building up to.
This Bustle article sums it up quite well.
…. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was left feeling underwhelmed at best and cheated at worst. OUAT did indeed follow through on its promise to portray an LGBT romance, but it left a bad taste in my mouth. For one, since the characters are sealed away in Oz, we likely won’t be seeing them much more after watching them go from their first meeting to a True Love’s Kiss in the span of a single 40 minute episode.
As this says, on the one hand, it’s great that the show did follow through on its promise but after all the build-up to the kiss, we never see these characters again. Yes, we would get another same-sex couple in season eight but at the time, the audience didn’t know that. These characters are nice and we did get to know them during the episode but that’s it. And that easily leaves a bad taste in the mouths of fans. It feels as though it is just teasing the LGBTQ audience that watches the show. It’s just I dunno, kinda disappointing considering how we were dragged along with another believed couple for quite a while to finally get one in an episode and that episode is the last time that we ever see these characters.
I’d like to say things got better but that’s not really the case. It perhaps got even more uncomfortable. We will get that to down the road because trying to cover this show in succession would be exhausting. Take it from someone that tried reviewing the show. Join me next time as we head to the Disney Junior side of things and look at an episode of Doc McStuffins.