Is The Author On 'Once Upon A Time' Walt Disney? The Series May Pay Homage To The Man Who Started It All

It all started with a storybook. On Once Upon A Time, Henry's book of fairytales was what propelled him to find his birth mother Emma in order to save the town from the curse on their happy endings. Since then there have been plenty more curses to break and villains to fight, but one thing remained — the mystery of the book. Season 4 of Once Upon a Time finally brought the mysterious storybook into the forefront, making the audience finally question who the real author of Henry's storybook is. In the midseason finale, Henry, Emma, and Regina found a library in Belle and Rumple's honeymoon house that was filled with blank books, meaning that house must've belonged to the author at some point. The author is definitely the biggest mystery to hit Storybrooke, but fans may be more familiar with him than we think we are.

Executive producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz told Entertainment Weekly that we will meet the author in the second half of Season 4, but were awfully quiet about any other details. One fan theory that seems to hold up? That the author is a very famous storyteller, one whom without Once Upon a Time would cease to exist. I'm talking, of course, about Walt Disney.

Disney didn't create any of the fairytale characters depicted on Once Upon a Time from scratch — those tales were around long before any of the animated movies we grew up with. However, the Walt Disney Company did create the specific versions of the fairytales told by Once Upon a Time — at least in the most basic sense. The show takes plenty of liberties with ideas and characters, but at the end of the day these characters are far more true to Disney's vision than any other. Case in point: the Little Mermaid doesn't always have red hair, her name isn't always Ariel, and she's not always in a requited romance with Prince Eric. That's the Disney version, and since Once Upon a Time is an ABC show (and ABC's parent company is Disney), it's clear that this is where they're borrowing characters from.

So could Walt himself show up as the author? I think it's pretty likely — or at least likely that the show will reference Walt in their portrait of the author. If the author isn't Walt Disney as we know him today, he could be a version of the storyteller that bends the rules of his actual persona in the same way that Once Upon a Time alters its fairytale characters. Either way, it would be cool for the show to reference the person who helped start an empire built on the stories it continuously borrows from.

Images: ABC; Giphy