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Literature / A Twisted Tale

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A Twisted Tale is a series of young adult's novels written by Liz Braswell, Jen Calonita, and Elizabeth Lim, and published by Disney Press.

Set within an Alternate Continuity, each novel revolves around a What If? story if a certain event in a Disney Princess film had played out differently, usually by a negative outcome that results in the story's Downer Beginning by The Bad Guys Win while the heroes work towards fixing it.

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As of 2019, entries in the series include:

  1. A Whole New World: What if Aladdin had never found the Genie's lamp?
  2. Once Upon A Dream: What if Princess Aurora never woke up from her cursed eternal sleep?
  3. As Old As Time: What if Belle's mother was the Enchantress that cursed the Beast?
  4. Reflection: What if Mulan had to travel through the Underworld to save a dying Shang?
  5. Part of Your World: What if Ariel and Eric didn't defeat Ursula?
  6. Mirror, Mirror: What if the Evil Queen poisoned Snow White's prince?
  7. Conceal, Don't Feel: What if Anna and Elsa never knew each other?

Compare these other Alternate Continuity approaches to the Disney Animated Canon:


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Tropes in this series include:

    In General 

    A Whole New World 
  • Broad Strokes: Aladdin and the King of Thieves is referenced, with Aladdin's father having left the family in search of a better life for them and Aladdin's mother dying while her husband is gone, resulting in Aladdin becoming a street rat. However, it is stated that Abu was a gift from Aladdin's mother, while Aladdin: The Series establishes that Abu left a circus of thieves to join Aladdin.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Iago is nowhere to be seen in A Whole New World. This is because he was killed so that Jafar could see into the future.

    Once Upon A Dream 

    As Old As Time 
  • Big Bad: Monsieur D'Arque, who has revealed to have been locking up those with magical abilities, including Belle’s mother.
  • Gratuitous French: French words are dropped every now and then, but much of it is used incorrectly. For example, Lumiere continuously calls Belle, "mon chéri", rather than "ma chérie".
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    Reflection 
  • Chinese Mythology: In Reflection, Mulan journeys with the Shang family's guardian, ShiShi, into the Chinese underworld, Diyu, which is ruled by King Yama.
  • Demoted to Extra: In Reflection, Mulan leaves Mushu, Khan, and Cri-Kee in the living world while she travels to Diyu. She specifically leaves Mushu because she knew that he would complain during the journey.
  • Downer Beginning: Reflection starts with the Huns definitely being killed by the avalanche this time, but Shang is fatally injured by Shan Yu in the process.
  • Missing Mom: Averted. Shang mentions that his mother is at home, which is why she isn't seen in the movie.
  • Real After All: When Shang recovers, he comes to assume that his experience in Diyu was just a dream. Ping reveals to him that it was real after all by claiming she had the exact same dream as him and recounts the specific details of it to him.
  • Rescued from the Underworld: Reflection is about Mulan journeying into Diyu to rescue Shang.

    Part of Your World 
  • Adaptation Expansion: Eric's kingdom is named Tirulia.
  • Classical Mythology: Ariel mentions that her cousin Lara is an athlete and at one point mentally prays to the gods that things work out.
  • Downer Beginning: Part of Your World starts with Tirulia having become an empire two years after the events of The Little Mermaid and has been invading neighboring countries while Eric and Vanessa are in charge. We learn shortly afterwards that Ursula/Vanessa succeeded in marrying Eric without intervention and Ariel was forced to return home without her voice as the new queen of Atlantica while her father has been presumed killed by Ursula.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: At the beginning of Part of Your World, Tirulia invades a village near the Ibrian Mountains in the kingdom of Alamber. In addition, the village lives near the Veralean Mountains, the village of Garhaggio, and there is a later mention of the village of Arlendad. Judging by these pseudo-Spanish names as well as the Ibrian Mountains likely being a reference to the Iberian system of mountains in Spain, Alamber is likely the equivalent of Spain.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Ursula has Flotsam and Jetsam 'fish' for Flounder, and Ariel and Sebastian are horrified at what she may do to Flounder while he's in her clutches.

    Mirror, Mirror 
  • Abusive Parent: Ingrid and Katherine's father is hinted to have beaten them as children and is also misogynistic, yelling at them for not doing chores like the women they are when he finds them playing with toys on the floor.
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • Snow White's parents are named King Georg and Queen Katherine.
    • Snow White's parents ruled over a province and answered to the Holy Roman Emperor.
    • The Evil Queen's name is Queen Ingrid.
    • The Evil Queen is the sister and lady-in-waiting of Snow's mother.
    • The name of Snow White's prince is Prince Henrich.
    • Henrich's kingdom borders north of Snow White's.
  • Adaptation Name Change: The Evil Queen's name is Queen Ingrid, rather than the typically used Queen Grimhilde (which hasn't been used as much recently, except for in A Tale Of...).
  • Age Lift: Snow White is seventeen during her story, rather than her more well-known age of fourteen.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Snow White is most well-known for being a kind and gentle girl, but when she finds out that the Evil Queen not only poisoned her lover, but also killed her mother and banished her father, this takes her on a path to remove her evil aunt from power and have her tried for her crimes.
  • Cain and Abel: Ingrid is glad that her sister, Katherine, is gone so that she can marry Georg and be the new queen. In fact, Ingrid lethally poisoned her own sister. However, a flashback shows that it wasn't always like this, as Ingrid used to be a good big sister to Katherine and both were subject to their father's abuse.
  • Disappeared Dad: After the passing of her mother and marrying her sister, Snow's father disappears. The Evil Queen spreading false rumors that he went mad leads to the assumption that he ran off. He was actually banished by her, but he and Snow manage to reunite during the story.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Snow leads her kingdom in an uprising against the Evil Queen with help from the Dwarves and throw her in jail to have her tried for her crimes.
  • Ironic Name: The Evil Queen's real name is Ingrid, which means "Ing is beloved/beautiful".
  • Missing Mom: Snow White's mother fell ill and died. She was actually poisoned.
  • Mistaken Identity: Near the end, after suffering a Villainous Breakdown, Ingrid mistakes the young woman before her for Katherine. It's Snow White.
  • Mythology Gag: A Tale Of... previously used the idea that the Evil Queen's father turned out to be abusive.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Snow is described as having her mother's face and her father's eyes. Near the end, Ingrid mistakes her for Katherine.
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