The beginning of a film is always very important as they set up the whole story and introduce the characters. Disney films are no different, and here are the 10 best introductory scenes that have made the most impact:
Honorable Mention: Hercules (1997)
Many people don't like Hercules but I think it's a very funny and fast-paced film. The beginning clearly demonstrates the frantic pace of the movie, with colorful animation and gospel music. Hercules may not be for everyone, but it's beginning is just an absolute blast.
10. Treasure Planet (2002)
Treasure Planet is not a perfect film and it's probably the weakest link in Clements/Musker otherwise stellar filmography. However, one of the good things that the film has is its gorgeous visuals, and one of the best examples is in the opening scene. A perfect blend of CG and traditional animation.
9. Bambi (1942)
One of Walt's masterpieces, Bambi showcases superb watercolor backgrounds that come to life right at the very beginning, making it an unforgettable experience.
8. The Rescuers Down Under (1990)
This underrated film may not be very well known, but it was the first to use the CAPS system to digitally paint the film. The opening is an exhilarating sequence that will give you goosebumps.
7. Mulan (1998)
Mulan features the most badass heroine of the canon and the action-packed beginning, backed by Jerry Goldsmith's magnificent score, is just amazing.
6. Tarzan (1999)
Tarzan starts with a bang, with a wonderful montage of "Two Worlds" colliding. The sequence is both beautiful to look at and packs an emotional punch as well.
5. Lilo & Stitch (2002)
Technically, this is not the opening scene, but the sequence where we first meet Lilo is just splendid with the wonderful "He Mele No Lilo" song in the background. The perfect start for this charming, off-beat film.
4. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
Talk about a powerful beginning! Hunchback begins with a dark and thrilling sequence that gets additional oomph from Alan Menken's unforgettable score behind it.
3. Sleeping Beauty (1959)
Arguably the most beautiful Disney film ever made, Sleeping Beauty's visuals are just breathtaking and it grabs you from the very beginning, and doesn't let go until the very end. The level of detail in the beginning is simply astounding.
2. Dumbo (1941)
One of Disney's sweetest films has a low-key but charming beginning that introduces us to the colorful world of the circus in a funny, charming, and ingenious way. Oh, and the song "Look Out for Mr. Stork" is great as well.
1. The Lion King (1994)
Was there any doubt this film was not going to be no. 1? Yeah, I didn't think so. 20 years later and "Circle of Life" is still the best intro scene I've ever seen. Just a superb showcase of powerful animation with an equally powerful song.