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Monday, September 28, 2015

My Favorite Disney Princess Film Openings Countdown

My Favorite: "When You Wish Upon A Star" Score into the Whistle as the Castle Builds Itself Magically, Ending with Walt's Signature Logo
I actually really love the original fairy tale concept of the Disney Princesses and their films and I love the openings that give a more magical and fairy tale kind of feel to them. (By the way, I am primarily trying to stick to the first 2-4 minutes.) So here is my ranking of the DP film openings, I hope you guys enjoy this light read! :D

12. Frozen: Frozen Heart/Ice Opening
I personally found this to be uninteresting and irrelevant to the film's magic, fairy tale and princesses (mostly) in the film. No explanation of how Elsa got powers. Gorgeous Aurora Borealis but everything else was a bit boring. Where are Kristoff's parents? Why are the iceworkers totally comfortable with a young boy and his reindeer running around without parents? What do these iceworkers have anything to do with the story other than Kristoff and Sven hanging out with them until the Trolls take them in? Confusing opening with beautiful landscapes but no real relativity to the story, unfortunately.

11. Tangled: Eugene's Narration
I do not like the idea of Eugene narrating 1%. His attitude in the narration only proves to me that he never really did change to become some valiant gentleman by the end of the film, he was still pretty selfish and not the most decent guy. On top of it, his personality really took away from the "magic" of the narration to me. He didn't compliment Rapunzel at all in the beginning, I wish he would've called her a "beautiful" girl or something like that since he's supposed to be a better man now and in love with her. The story of how the magic sun drop fell to a flower was also pretty lame to me. Why did Mother Gothel need to sing to the flower but the Queen of Corona was able to just drink it? Why did the soldiers ever give up looking for Rapunzel? She is a kidnapped princess! I did like that it at least gave the introduction to the story though whereas Frozen's opening did not.

10. Pocahontas: "Virginia Company"
I like the way it starts with "Virginia Company" and shows how the Europeans were expanding, growing and exploring but it was more of a legendary introduction to John Smith than Pocahontas. I did like how they showed Smith saving Thomas though and that it was relevant later when the men would speak highly of Smith and trust him over Ratcliffe.

9. Mulan: Script Titles & Great Wall of China/Intro to Shan Yu
I like the script on the paper and the overture in the background. It is nice but not super captivating or magical to me. I did like the transition from the drawn great wall to the animated great wall. I will say this opening really presented it's villain the best and as the "big bad evil" brilliantly. This was a nice set up for what Mulan and China were up against. Not very "magical" though as it overall is more of a poetic fantasy story rather than magical fairy tale story. I do love the way the Emperor says that "one grain of rice can tip the scale" which also sets the scene for individuals (Mulan) making a difference and fighting for others beyond just themselves.

8. Aladdin: "Arabian Nights" and Merchant's Tale
Love the "Walt Disney Productions" opening as the picture in the top of this blog explains. I like the desert music which provides a very mysterious feel and splendor. The colors of the desert are also used in a very visually pleasing manner. I love the opening song and think it did a decent job capturing the feel and cultural atmosphere of the film. Aladdin never really deals with the desert heat outside of the town though, and the "Arabian heat" is never really mentioned beyond the opening song. I do love the merchant played by Robin Williams though as I think he did a great job introducing the story. It's been mentioned before - and I agree - that the merchant should also have closed out the story or turned into the Genie to make him more relevant. The lack of full relevancy of this song and merchant keeps this from being higher. I do enjoy the tale of the "diamond in the rough" though.

7. Princess and the Frog: "Evening Star" Princess Frog Reading & Gumbo Soup Sharing
I love the "Evening Star" song and think it sounds absolutely beautiful the way it is sung. I also love the way it starts with Tiana's mom being active in her life, reading her a story. I thought this was a really neat and clever way to put a modern spin while keeping the "fairy tale" feel to the story. I also really liked the way it introduced us not only to the fairy tale we were dealing with, The Frog Prince, but also really introduced us to Tiana's (and Charlotte's) character and views towards romance and love. Seeing Tiana as a small child was also very endearing as well. Her father was such an inspiring character and the family scene back at Tiana's home was a really positive and captivating opening.

6. Beauty and the Beast: Prologue
Where do I start? The gorgeous opening landscape with the castle in the background was an awesome touch. The haunting yet beautiful and mysterious-sounding score is magnificent. I love the use of the windows to show the curse of the Beast as well as the introduction into the fairy tale we were about to experience. I love the introduction of the "enchanted rose" as well which is very iconic of Disney magic. I also love the way it was a subtle introduction to Belle's character by saying "Beauty is found skin deep" and "for who could ever learn to love a beast?" then started playing Belle's song and showed Belle's sweet, honest and down-to-earth character after the opening title card (which I adore❤). I don't like that there is never an explanation for what happened to Beast's parents though... (or Belle's mother.)

5. The Little Mermaid:
I love the score in this! I love the use of showing simple scenes out on the open water in nature (especially the dolphins❤). I love how the song "Mysterious Fathoms Below" introduces us to the tales of mermaids. I greatly enjoy the introduction to Eric's character as well: sound and logic enough to not know the wifty sailor stories but loyal and in love with the sea enough to appreciate the "salty sea air" and "wind on [his] face". I absolutely adore the opening after the fish gets safely back to the ocean though. The score, the colors, the splendor! I love seeing all of the ocean life and the introduction to the mermaids and Atlantica City. It had all of the right feel of magical, mysterious, great splendor and overall unique and fun. I thought it was a great way to introduce us to the world of "mermaids"! ❤

4. Brave:
The absolute most adorable Disney Princess as a child ever! I love how this opening incorporates so many wonderful things... Good score and gorgeous scenery. Active, loving, devoted and protective parents raising their adorable princess daughter together and spending time like a family. I cant get over how insanely adorable and cute Merida is as a child, her excitement at the bow and little voice at "I missed" and "I saw a wisp!" are too cute to overlook. I also love the introduction of magic here, through the princess's child eyes! How brilliant! I love seeing the fascination in Merida's big eyes and little voice as well as the fact that the magic here was leading her as an innocent child to safety, back to her parents. Finally, I like the introduction of the villain without the infamous "losing a parent" scene that Disney has done before. It was beautiful to see Merida's parents so active in trying to protect her without the audience having to go through those Disney heartbreaking openings like Fox & the Hound or Bambi etc.

3. Cinderella:
My favorite types of openings admittedly are the classic ones with the overture melody mix of the scores visited in the film as well as the beautiful fairy tale books that made me feel like I was about to jump into the fairy tale story. I love the introduction song telling of Cinderella's grace even though she's dressed in rags. I also love the opening narration that tells us about what Cinderella has had to deal with up to this point and how valiant she is for not losing her optimism through it all.

2. Sleeping Beauty:
I ADORE the songs and score to this movie so I find this overture to be the absolute most pleasing to the ears. I love it! ❤ I also love the colors used for the credit backdrops during the overture. I love how this not only jumps from the overture to the beautiful book to read the fairy tale but that the narrator reads the beginning of the story to us. I think it's a neat touch. :D I love seeing the pages from the fairy tale book! I also like how the narrator gives us a little bit more info than the pages so it's like we're getting the "inside scoop" on the fairy tale. I especially love the way the camera zooms into the picture from the book and transitions into the film.

1. Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs:
I love the overture in this song and the way it sets up for the film. I adore the opening shot where Walt Disney thanks his team for making this production available. I love the way the titles go into the book to introduce us into our princess, villain and fairy tale and we get to read the opening pages before diving into the details of the story. I also love how this shows how cultured America used to be. The film starts off with the opening of the book, many colors used in the writing, classical music for the score/overture and no narration so that the children are expected to be able to read or watch with their parents so their parents can read it to them. I love that subtle family/kid stuff. ❤