Most Disney movies end happily. After all, the company is built on the magic of our dreams, and has tried since it began to instill wonder in its audience. By the same token, many of Disney's movies start on a somewhat dour note. Some of them suggest tragedy, while others offer narration that suggests where the story will be headed as it unfolds. Whether these beginnings and endings are happy or something more melancholic, many of Disney's films have closings and openings that are memorable to say the least.
Over the course of the company's history, they've produced hundreds of films, and many of them have been quite popular. From Snow White to Pocahontas, many of Disney's films have been about princesses, or have at least focused on female characters who are in some way aided by their male counterparts. Of course, in the company's recent history, they've started to mix things up a little bit.
This quiz contains films from every Disney era, and describes their opening or closing scenes in some detail. It's for devoted Disney geeks. Are you one of those geeks? If you can name these Disney films from their opening or closing scenes, you just might be.
Which Disney Movie Starts With a Discussion at Sea?
This Disney film's opening scene introduces us to a world filled with water. We're introduced to Eric, a prince who's part of a voyage on a wooden ship bound for an unknown destination. Eric points out that the weather is excellent for sailing, and is introduced to King Triton, a mythic figure he's never heard of before. Although some of the men on the ship seem sure that he is real, Eric's personal aid is more skeptical of whether there are really mermaids in the water below.
Which Disney Movie Starts With a Siege on the Great Wall of China?
This Disney movie begins with guards protecting the Great Wall of China. One guard is startled when a hawk appears out of the sky, and then he sees grappling hooks attach to the wall. Although he is eventually caught by the film's villain, the guard manages to avoid capture long enough to light a signal fire that will notify all of China that they are under attack. "Now all of China knows you're here," the guard says. "Perfect," the villain replies.
Which Disney Movie Ends With a Meeting Between Long Lost Relatives?
This Disney movie's final scene sees the main character reunited with her parents after a long time apart. Accompanied by her thieving male counterpart, we see a joyous party throughout the kingdom that celebrates her return and manages to make time for all of the characters we've met over the course of the film. We learn that the princess ruled over the kingdom with the kindness and fairness her parents had. Eventually, we learn in voice over that the film's central couple got married, and, in classic Disney fashion, everyone lived happily ever after.
Which Disney Movie Ends With a Character Reclaiming Some Lost Property?
This Disney film ends with a rousing sequence where the film's main character escapes from the gallows and reclaims a piece of property he's spent the whole film trying to get back to. The character returns to his property, and finds a loyal crew eagerly awaiting his orders. He's ready to sail off on another grand adventure, and we're eager to see where this next adventure leads. As it turns out, this first adventure was almost definitely the very best.
Which Disney Movie Starts With Men Chopping Ice?
We're introduced to the world of this Disney film through workers who are cutting ice off of the top of frozen water. These ice miners sing while they work, explaining the dangers of ice and its power over even the strongest man. Although the scene doesn't feature either of the film's protagonists, it does feature one of the supporting players, who tries to mine the ice alongside the men. With the help of his reindeer, he manages to snag a piece and carry it away.
Which Disney Movie Opens With a Prologue Filled with Stained Glass?
Disney's connection to the world of fairy tales has rarely been more obvious than it is during this opening scene, which features narration that tells the story of a cruel prince who is eventually punished for his sins. Using only images that have been drawn like stained glass, the film beautifully sets up the stakes of its central story. The film that follows pays off this opening wonderfully, even as it reinforces the idea that beauty is something to be found within.
Which Disney Film Ends With the Main Character Comforting his Grieving Father?
This classic Disney entry ends with the main character discovering that he's earned his deepest desire. When he awakes from his sleep, he discovers his father crying over his bed. When he asks his father why he's crying, the father insists that the young boy is dead. When the father discovers this isn't the case, the pair have a triumphant celebration in which the father turns on all of his cuckoo clocks. The young boy has proved himself to be selfless and courageous, and he earns his heart's deepest desire.
What Disney Movie Ends With the Main Character Leaving his Friends Behind?
After an extended journey, this Disney movie closes with the main character being lured away from the friends he's known. He's beginning a new chapter of his life, one that his old friends can't join him for. His old friends are upset by his departure, but they also understand that his departure was inevitable. The pair walk off together shoulder over shoulder, ready to begin a new adventure, and glad that their old friend has found a life outside of the world he was raised in.
What Disney Movie Starts With the Birth of the Main Character?
Few Disney films open with a greater sense of triumph than this one. As a king and queen welcome their new child into the world, we see the majesty of their entire kingdom, and are treated to a celebration of the new child. Because the film tells its story chronologically, we actually get to see quite a bit of this young child, and we watch him grow into a man. In this first scene, though, we meet him as a baby, and he gets a glorious musical introduction fit for a king.
What Disney Movie Ends With a Series of Kisses?
This Disney film ends with a sleeping princess who's awakened by her prince. While animals and friends look on with concern, the audience is forced to wait with bated breath for her to stir. When she eventually does, there's a merry celebration, one that culminates with our princess kissing all seven of her friends goodbye, and riding off into the sunset with her prince by her side. She's been saved, and now she's ready to begin her life with her new prince.
What Disney Movie Opens With a Crew Boarding a Ship?
This Disney film begins with a scene that doesn't feature the film's main character. Instead, it focuses on the crew of a ship getting ready to depart from London in the distant past. We're introduced to several of the film's minor characters, as well as the film's male lead and the film's villain. As the crew departs, we also see them get stuck in a violent storm at sea, and learn that the film's male lead is an expert seaman and ranger.
What Disney Movie Ends With the Hero Deciding Where He Belongs?
This struggling hero spends an entire film trying to figure out where he belongs. Torn between two worlds and separated from his parents at a young age, he ultimately proves his heroism by sacrificing his life for the woman he loves. When he discovers that he can rejoin his parents, he realizes it will mean leaving the love of his life behind. Ultimately, he decides to remain where he was, and stay with the girl he's fallen for over the course of the film.
What Disney Movie Ends With a Character Taking Flight?
One of the more surreal entries in the Disney canon comes to a close when the main character, who remains silent for much of the film, takes flight with some help from his trusty manager. Although he loses the trusty feather that helped him build up the courage, he manages to fly anyway, and stuns the circus crowd he's performing in front of. Eventually, the character becomes famous around the world, and is no longer the subject of ridicule that he was earlier on in the film.
What Disney Movie Starts With the Line "This Has All Happened Before?"
Opening with voice over from an omnipotent narrator, this Disney film begins by explaining that its story isn't brand new. In fact, it's happened before, but this particular version involves one family who believes in the titular character. The film's first scene takes us to London, introducing us to the family and explaining the dynamics between them. Eventually we are introduced to Nana, a house dog who takes care of the family's children, even as we watch the two boys in the family roughhouse with each other.
What Disney Movie Starts With the Classic Fairy Tale that Inspired the Film?
Focused on two young girls listening to a fairy tale, this Disney film opens with one of the characters telling the story of a prince in a hideous form being kissed by a beautiful princess. Wisely underlining class dynamics, the film uses its opening to establish a relationship between one of these young girls who is, spoiled rotten by her wealthy father, and the other, whose mother is frequently employed by the father. This first scene tells us what's to come, even as it gives us a sense of what the movie might really be about.
What Disney Movie Ends With a Reprise of an Earlier Song from the Film?
This Disney film ends with a family portrait, one that features a new member of the family that wasn't there at the beginning of the film. After that, all of the film's main characters take part in a swinging jam that was already featured earlier in the film. A mother and her children all join in the dancing as we get glimpses of all of the animal characters we've met over the course of the film. It's safe to say the mother's prim and proper life has been jazzed up.
What Disney Movie Ends With a Commencement Speech and a New Case?
This Disney film ends with a commencement address from the main character, one that urges new police recruits to try to understand one another instead of putting each other in boxes. From there, our main characters are shown being assigned a new case, one that will test their skills and persistence. The film's final scene involves the pair headed to their new case when they're passed by someone zooming down the road. When they pull him over, they find it's someone they know quite well.
What Disney Movie Starts With a History Lesson?
Opening with a fairly uninteresting history lesson, this entry in Disney's canon introduces us to our main character as she's being bored out of her mind by recitations from a book. Eventually, she goes on to explain that in her world, everything would be governed by nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. She also explains that cats would be just like people, before she proceeds to burst into song, as many Disney characters often do.
What Disney Movie Opens With a Cloudy London and a One Man Band?
This Disney film introduces us to all of the movie's major musical motifs as it glides over the skies of 1920s London. Introducing us to the titular character as she sits among the clouds, the camera then descends onto the streets of London to find the film's male lead, who's currently passing as a street performer. Singing a song in front of an assembled crowd, he's a one man band, and performs his act ably, introducing us to more of the film's musical themes.
What Disney Film Starts in an Arcade?
This Disney entry starts with the main character explaining how hard it can be to be a villain. He's beaten by the hero day after day, and the hero gets all the glory. There's no prize for ruining things well, only for fixing them. The main character joins fellow bad guys, explaining that he doesn't want to fight the good guys anymore. Naturally, this shocks many of his fellow bad guys, who believe he should stay in his lane and try as hard as he can not to rock the boat.
What Disney Film Ends With a Final Dance?
After the prince has vanquished his enemies, he ascends a tower to awake his princess. From there, the pair descend to a great hall where they greet their parents and begin to dance with one another. Although the prince's father is a bit confused, he eventually decides to go with the flow. Meanwhile, the princess's three guardians look on and fight over what color her dress should be. As the film comes to a close, her dress changes from pink to blue as she dances with her prince.
What Disney Movie Starts With a Bot Fight?
Introducing us to a technologically advanced world, this Disney film begins with an image of what appears to be large robots engaging in battle with one another. These battles go on until one of the robots is destroyed, although we eventually see that they're much smaller than they initially seem. Our main character emerges as one of the robot fighters, and cons his way into some serious cash after he initially seems to be incapable of handling his stronger and older opponents.
What Disney Movie Opens On a Merchant?
This Disney movie starts by introducing us to a merchant who's very interested in selling his wares directly to the audience. He shows us several of the products available in his shop before landing on an enchanted lamp, one that has a story well worth telling. The rest of the story of our main character is framed through the merchant explaining its history, and he introduces us to the world of this story with a fun fourth wall break that separates this movie from most of the Disney canon.
What Disney Movie Opens With a Creation Story?
Focusing on a demigod who chooses to steal a sacred stone responsible for all of creation, this Disney opening serves as a prologue to the main story. We meet one of the film's central characters, and the film explains what he was up to before the story began, and how this particular demigod disappeared after stealing the sacred stone. We then learn that the narration we've heard is actually an old woman explaining the story to young children, one of whom is the protagonist.
What Disney Movie Ends With a Fitting and a Wedding?
This Disney movie ends with a scene in which the main character produces a shoe from her person, and proceeds to slide it onto her foot. From there, the film cuts to a wedding in which this character is married to a prince, and the two ride off in a chariot towards a happily ever after as her animal companions watch and cheer. The ending promises that dreams really do come true, even for maids who suffer the blows of their wicked relatives.