Do You Know the First Phrase in These Disney Movies?


By: Lauren Lubas

7 Min Quiz

Image: Walt Disney Pictures/Walt Disney Feature Animation

About This Quiz

Some people consider themselves Disney experts: They know the title and release date of every Disney movie ever made. They can tell you the backstories of every character Disney ever created. They know every hero's animal sidekick. They can tell you the story of the first time they watched each film in its entirety. They know pretty much everything there is to know about the Disney corporation and its movies. 

If you consider yourself one of these experts, you may even know a little bit about the opening scene of each Disney movie, but do you know the opening lines? From introductory song lyrics to some of the craziest words ever spoken in a children's feature-length film, Disney has given us a lot of memorable opening lines. While you may think that all Disney movies begin with the phrase "Once upon a time," you'd be surprised as to what comes out of the mouths of some of these animated characters. 

If you think you have what it takes to figure out the first lines of each of these Disney movies, it's time to test your skills. Take this quiz (which we've made pretty darn challenging!) to see just how much of a Disney expert you really are.

Can you name the Disney movie that opens with six girls coming out of sea shells, singing: "We are the daughters of Triton"?

Everyone remembers "The Little Mermaid" (1989) for its great songs and excellent visuals. However, we rarely review what the story is actually about: a teenage girl who wants to run away from home.


What is the opening line of "Mulan" (1998)?

"Mulan" (1998) was an excellent taste of girl power in a Disney film. Not only did Mulan do what she wanted to do, she also saved her entire country — just to save her father's life.


The first phrase in Disney's first full-length animated feature might surprise you. Do you know how "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" begins?

We all know that this first line wouldn't fly these days (or even the days shortly after this movie was released), but in 1937, the world was different, and if the villain had a magical slave, no one seemed to worry about it.


Do you know which Disney classic from 1950 begins with the narration "Once upon a time in a faraway land, there was a tiny kingdom"?

If people thought Disney had it right with "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (1937), they were soon surprised by the most stunning visuals the world had ever seen with "Cinderella" (1950).


"The Princess and the Frog" (2009) caught audience's attention, but what was the first phrase of the movie?

Nothing beats a Disney movie that dabbles in Voodoo. "The Princess and the Frog" (2009) shows us a hardworking woman who is ready to make her own dreams come true, until she meets a frog that she falls in love with.


The opening scene of "Dumbo" (1941) can be a little intense, but what is the first line?

The story of "Dumbo" (1941) shows us that our differences give us strengths. Even if we're made fun of, we can learn to use what others see as shortcomings to succeed in life. It just takes a little creativity and confidence.


Which '90s Disney film opens with a song begins with "In 1607, we sailed the open sea"?

When we first saw "Pocahontas" (1995), we were stunned by the gorgeous visuals. However, as with most Disney films, the historical inaccuracy really got the better of us, and we realized that the story was just a story.


Do you know what song kicks off "Bambi" (1942)?

"Bambi" (1942) was one of our first encounters with showing the entire human race as the villain. Of course, they never actually showed a member of the human race, but if man entered the forest, all of the animals knew it was time to run.


Can you name the movie that begins with this narration: "Legend has it, in the mystic land of Prydain ..."?

There is something so simple about a story of a regular person becoming a hero. "The Black Cauldron" (1985) is what that's all about, as Taran can finally do more than just herd pigs.


Can you name the Disney animal movie that begins with an owl saying "You poor little fella" to a fox?

In this opposites-attract movie, a young puppy meets a baby fox, and they become best friends. We won't spoil the ending for you, but we're sure it will have you in tears as their friendship comes to a turning point.


"In the beginning, there was only ocean" are the opening words to which Disney hit?

Disney really brought the heat with the strong female characters in its movies of the last decade, and "Moana" (2016) is no exception. Moana saves the world with her free spirit and determination.


Do you remember which Disney movie begins with "You know, there's been a heap of legends and tall tales" about this character?

How do you make an old story appeal to children? Well, you turn all of the characters into animals, of course! Robin Hood can be a fox; that will make him less creepy as a thief. This 1973 film really showed that Disney loved making characters into animals and was good at anthropomorphism.


"Now it's always once upon a time, in New York City" is the beginning of which Disney film?

"Oliver & Company" (1988) is the story of "Oliver Twist" ... if he was a cat ... living in New York City. It works on a lot of levels, including the classic "Disney turns people into animals" level.


Do you know how the beginning narration of "The Jungle Book" (1967) goes?

If you were ever wondering what would happen if a boy was raised by wolves, "The Jungle Book" (1967) can answer that for you. While there was a live-action remake in the 1990s, Disney decided to create yet another one in 2016.


Do you remember the opening line of "Brother Bear" (2003)?

Native Americans take a lot of pride in the beautiful stories that they tell. These stories are mythology and history wrapped into one. Unfortunately, some of these stories leave out the goofy moose friends found in "Brother Bear."


What movie begins with Jiminy Cricket singing "When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are"?

There are no strings holding down this puppet, and if he's good enough, he gets to be a real boy. We're not exactly sure why someone would want to be less magical, but it's clear that people always want what they can't have.


Can you remember the opening line of "Tangled" (2010)?

"Tangled" (2010) gave an interesting retelling of the Rapunzel story. However, many people were really displeased that her hair lost its magic when it was cut short and turned brown.


This movie opens with a play within a play, and the opening line is "Fear, treachery, bloodlust!" Can you name the movie?

"Zootopia" (2016) brings out Disney's political side. Not only does the main character overcome gender stereotypes, she also helps others overcome the stereotypes that they fall into.


"Here, boy" is the opening line of this movie about an action hero. What is the name of the movie?

Nobody tells a story about delusions of grandeur better than Disney Studios, and "Bolt" (2008) does not disappoint. In this story, a dog really believes that he's a hero, and in true heart-warming Disney fashion, he eventually becomes one.


In "Meet the Robinsons" (2007), a baby is dropped off at a door step. What are the first words spoken?

Disney has its fair share of orphan movies. While most orphans are simply looking for a home and family, "Meet the Robinsons" (2007) shows that, no matter what your history, you can achieve greatness.


Which Disney movie begins with a frustrated narrator who asks "Where to begin?"

"Chicken Little" (2005) had a memorable opening scene, because the narrator was so frustrated with how Disney likes to open their movies that he went through all of them (including the opening of "The Lion King").


What are the first words in "Lilo & Stitch" (2002)?

Everyone can agree that "Lilo & Stitch" (2002) was a different kind of Disney movie. The main characters don't necessarily get along, and they aren't perfect (just like every family in America), and that made them different from the Disney norm. Their uniqueness in the Disney canon made them special.


Which Disney animated feature begins with a narrator saying "All this has happened before"?

If you're looking for a movie that shows what it's like to remain a kid forever, "Peter Pan" (1953) will give you everything you need. If you haven't watched this classic in a while, make sure you take a look. You might be surprised by Tinkerbell's attitude.


This Disney movie begins with a dog judging other dogs, and the opening line is "My story begins in London"?

"101 Dalmatians" (1961) probably has the longest opening-credit sequence in the entire world. Luckily for us, the animators at Disney studios made it interesting and included some great visuals to go along with the laundry list of names that helped create the movie.


"Lady and the Tramp" (1955) might open with a woman opening a present (and finding her gift was a dog), but what's the first line of the song that plays during the opening credits?

When a rich girl meets a guy from the wrong side of the tracks, you know you're going to have a great love story. Now imagine that they're both dogs, and you have the perfect Disney movie.


In this movie, our narrators are painted on to vases, and the opening line is "Long ago, in the far away land of ancient Greece ..." What movie is this?

Disney likes to borrow from history and books that are public domain, but they often miss important parts of the story. "Hercules" (1997) was no different; Disney likes to make a clear distinction between good and bad, so they went ahead and made Hades the devil. Sad.


"The Emperor's New Groove" was an instant classic, but how did it begin?

In 2000, Disney broke the mold with "The Emporer's New Groove." This movie was funny, action-packed and almost scary at times. With this film, Disney finally learned how to blur the line between friend and foe with the character Kronk.


Which movie begins with a boy playing with toys and saying "All right, everyone! This is a stickup!" as he plays?

If you're going to do CGI, you have to do it right. Disney knew this when they signed up with Pixar to make "Toy Story" (1995). It's hard to believe that a movie from nearly 25 years ago still holds up, but it does.


"Morning in Paris, the city awakes" are the lyrics to the opening song in which Disney film?

When it comes to dark Disney movies, "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" (1996) really takes the cake. Not only was the main character abandoned as a child, there were people chasing his love interest and trying to kill her.


A book opens, trumpets blare and "A legend is sung of when England was young" is heard in what movie's beginning?

When King Arthur was a little boy, he wasn't much. When he goes in search of a sword, he stumbles upon one that is set in the stone. Of course, he removes it with minimal trouble, when it takes men all their might to leave it just where it is. It's how we know he's destined to be a hero.


Do you know the lyrics to the song that opens "Sleeping Beauty" (1959)?

When the villain in "Sleeping Beauty" (1959) turns into a dragon, all of the rules of movies go out the window. Disney could now do anything they could dream up, and all it took was some visual magic from their animation team.


Mary Poppins was the best nanny ever, but what is the first line sung in her movie from 1964?

Disney loved crossing cartoons with live action. It wasn't an easy feat, but it consisted of some of the first visual effects that were so cutting edge, people loved going to see Disney films in the theaters. The most memorable of these crossover films is "Mary Poppins" (1964).


"The Great Mouse Detective" (1986) is set in London, in 1897, but what is the first line of the movie?

His name is Basil, and he's a detective in London. In "The Great Mouse Detective" (1986), he tries to find a kidnapped toy maker, and it becomes an adventure to defeat his nemesis, Professor Ratigan.


"Once upon a time in a faraway land, a young prince lived in a shining castle" is how which Disney film opens?

Supposedly, when Disney makes a new princess, they often think about what spoiled children would do. However, with "Beauty and the Beast" (1991), it was the prince who was spoiled and the princess (okay, she was really a commoner; she became a certified Disney Princess by marrying royalty!) simply wanted to explore and learn.


In "A Goofy Movie" (1995) we learn what our favorite characters do when they have to raise teenagers, but what's the opening line of this movie?

Yes, "A Goofy Movie" (1995) opens with Goofy's son Max having a dream about the girl that he likes. However, the dream soon turns into a nightmare, as Max turns into Goofy himself.


Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!