What I changed and what I couldn't change.
Updated: Jan 24, 2019
As of the writing of this, the project is still ongoing - but I wanted to generally lay out the details of what I changed from the series to the chronological recut. As I said on the homepage, I changed some things for continuity as with Snow's comment about the Queen poisoning her because she was "prettier".
Other things I cut because of redundancy. In 0507: Nimue the second "present day" part of that episode featured an establishing shot of storybrooke before cutting back to Emma holding a sword. I cut out that establishing shot. With those scenes being in chronological order, the shots of Emma holding the sword fit together and there is no reason to cut away to establish the scene. Things like this abound in the series and were omitted so that the editing does not feel too jilted or awkward.
I also just cut things because they annoyed me. In season 6 a retcon of Baelfire's character is put in place where he (spoiler) forces his father kill a man. This is so out of line with every other instance we've seen of Baelfire I decided to skip it as it alters his character too much. I also decided not to include the musical episode's retroactive addition to the days right before the curse. It was just too kooky to include alongside all the genuine drama, although I left all those scenes in for later on as part of their original episode. There are a few other cases, but probably one of the biggest omissions is Merida whose backstory I didn't include at all, both because it was too hard to place chronologically and because it's pure Disney/Pixar fanfiction with no ties to literature or fairytales and stresses the limits of my credulity. I would have cut the Frozen stuff too, but it was way too ingrained into the plot. However, for the most part, all storylines (including those I disliked) are intact.
In terms of new material, I readded some of the deleted scenes. There are not too many included for release in home media - but the ones without VFX that I felt added to the story I included. The ones with VFX were usually unsalvageable because the animators never finished them (as the scenes were being deleted).
Unfortunately, there are some things that I would have liked to change that I couldn't. There are a lot of title cards in this series, and many of them become redundant or nonsensical when the series is placed in chronological order. For instance, the first scene of the chronological series is the one in which Merlin first acquires magic. The title card reads "1000 years before the age of Arthur". We have not met Arthur at this point, so the title card doesn't really make sense. Furthermore, there are a number of actors credits which appear over top of various scenes. These credits are not particularly helpful, because those actors will not show up until hours later in the chronological version of OUAT. Perhaps with enough time I could have masked out the titles in After Effects, but the sheer volume of these titles was too staggering to fix for all of the many hours of this show.
The one other thing I left alone were some kinds of flashbacks. Flashbacks by characters in the present (distinguished from scenes taking place in the past) abound, but they are unfortunately interlaced with visual effects and character dialogue - making them fairly difficult to separate out from their place in the series. For that reason, I have mostly left these kind of flashbacks alone. This may create a few annoying gaps for the viewer, but those gaps will be filled if the viewer is only patient for the present day storyline to arrive.
I do not accept creative feedback as far as what was or was not included, but if you notice a glaring issue (like a modern scene in the past) you can email: email@example.com Also I skipped season 7 and any references to it. Because who cares about season 7?