Disney and Pixar films are enjoyed by audiences of all ages. From children to adults, the storylines and animation are eye-catching and captivating for everyone. Deadline recently announced that Disney has a new movie in the works based on Disneyland’s famous ride, Big Thunder Mountain.
The ride opened in the late 70s and has since become a Disney favorite, and joins the forces of other rides that have become movies, like Jungle Cruise and The haunted mansion. The opening scenes are some of the most special moments from these films (plus all the Pixar additions). While endings are important to any movie, some opening scenes stuck with audiences more than others.
In 2009, Disney released the moving story of an older man named Carl Fredricksen and his new friend Kevin. Carl and Kevin quickly became some of Pixar’s best characters. The two go on an adventure to Paradise Falls to fulfill a promise Carl made to his late wife, Ellie.
At the top began by showing Carl and Ellie’s childhood together and their love of adventure. As the two grew, a musical montage ensued without lyrics. With righteous actions and sweet melody, fans watched Carl and Ellie’s friendship blossom into a marriage where they tried to have children and create their dream home. In the first two minutes, viewers were transported on a rollercoaster of emotions as they saw Carl’s life flash before their eyes without his wife by his side when he finally lost her after a long life together. It was deep, moving and incredibly impactful.
The Lion King (1994)
The Lion King is one of Disney’s most inspiring films. Simba’s coming-of-age story and his transformation from a young bear cub to chief pride has been a long time coming. Tears were shed and laughter was had – The Lion King had everything.
The film’s opening scene had the iconic song “Circle of Life” playing in the background as viewers saw different views of the Pride Lands with a beautiful sunrise in the background. The scene ended with all the animals heading to Pride Rock to get a glimpse of their future king, Simba, for the first time. With just a song and animation, viewers got to see how important Simba’s birth was while seeing incredible images of Africa.
Lilo & Stitch (2002)
Lilo & Stitch had one of Disney’s best friendships. When an alien named Stitch landed on one of the Hawaiian Islands, he was mistaken for a dog and adopted by a young girl named Lilo. Unbeknownst to Stitch, Lilo and her older sister Nani were going through a tough time after their parents died and were hanging on to a string. Stitch’s alien antics only made things harder for them.
Although dramatic, Lilo & Stitch had an amazing opening scene. After seeing how Stitch arrived in an alien galaxy, viewers then saw the islands of Hawaii and what life was like for Lilo as she rushed to Hula lessons. Between Stitch’s hilarity and the beauty of Hawaiian culture, it was a great start to the movie.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame was one of Disney’s darkest films, but it contained an important story about trials and triumphs. Because of the trailer for the film in the late 90s, viewers knew it was about a young bellringer who had hidden himself from society due to his severe kyphosis. But the opening scene showed how Quasimodo was born.
With the song “The Bells of Notre Dame” playing in the background, the opening sequence was quite dramatic. It showed Quasimodo’s mother being killed by the villainous Frollo as he attempted to kill her young child because of his appearance. It was an exciting debut that made the hearts of viewers race.
Aladdin is one of Disney’s best movies and became a successful live action remake in 2019. When a poor man named Aladdin dreamed of a bigger life and lived on the streets to survive, things changed when met a magical genie and Princess Jasmine. His new desire was to marry her and start a new life.
Like many other Disney films in the 90s, an entertaining song (“Arabian Nights”) played in the background as the premise was narrated by a street vendor in an episode of dramatic scenes. The merchant (who was a Genie) told viewers about the magic lamp and how the lives of those who found the lamp were changed forever.
Inside Out (2015)
Upside down was a Pixar creation that dealt with serious issues, like happiness, depression, and anger. With the main characters being a young girl named Riley’s Emotions, the opening scene showed the creation of those emotions, memories, and feelings.
Starting with Riley’s birth, viewers see the creation of Riley’s first emotion: joy. After that, other memories and thoughts of Riley formed and she began to experience different emotions. It was a unique concept for a film and an amazing visual interpretation of the human mind.
Toy Story 3 (2010)
Fans weren’t afraid to say it Toy Story 3 made them emotional. Many thought the third installment would be the franchise’s last and were sentimental from the start.
The opening scene showed Andy’s toys in a theatrical performance during recess, with Woody and Buzz saving the day against the villain, Mr. Potato Head. Recess quickly ended and viewers realized they were looking at memorabilia of a young Andy playing. A montage of Andy growing up and playing with his toys was shown, making viewers emotional seeing how much Andy has changed over the years now that Andy is heading off to college.
WALL-E was a groundbreaking and culturally significant film that provided an emotional response with little words spoken throughout. Since the main characters were robots, minimal dialogue took place and the story was told visually through the eyes of a robot named WALL-E.
The opening scene had “Put Your Sunday Clothes” playing in the background as viewers saw a futuristic Earth. With smog, trash, and towers strewn everywhere, it’s clear that humans have ruined Earth and left it in ruins. For an opening scene, it was both eye-opening and heartbreaking because it’s a future that could potentially happen.
Monsters University (2013)
monster university was the sequel to Pixar’s beloved Monsters Inc. Since the original ended beautifully, the sequel was actually the prequel. Fans had a chance to see how Mike and Sully met in college – Monsters University.
Unlike many other Pixar movies, monster university The opening scene wasn’t heartbreaking, but it was an adorable start to Mike and Sully’s friendship and love of scaring. It’s also a Pixar movie that’s aimed at adults because of the college aspect.
Cars didn’t just have a great ending, it also had a phenomenal opening scene. Cars followed the exciting life of a racer named Lightning McQueen. Lightning embarked on an unexpected adventure when he fell off his trailer on his way to a race. He then had to find his way to the championship, but not without a little help from new friends in Radiator Springs.
The opening scene was filled with excitement as Lightning gave himself a pep talk during a big run. Between the close-ups of Lightning’s car, the lights and sounds of the crowd, and the excitement of a racing atmosphere, Cars opening scene was a rush.
NEXT: The 10 Best Endings From Disney & Pixar Movies