It’s clear “Maleficent” is going to be a different from your average Disney movie right from the opening seconds. In the place of the regular CGI version of Cinderella’s castle, viewers get a shot of the logo revamped with Sleeping Beauty’s castle, quickly fading to the “real” thing in the film.
It’s a surprising way to start off, but not that surprising if you look back on all the times the studio has played around with their own opening animation in the past. Here are our 9 faves:
“Inspector Gadget” (1999)
One of the earliest uses of CGI in a Disney logo, the regular flat castle looked like it was made out of popping gears, before fading to the opening credits. It was later reused for the direct to DVD “Inspector Gadget 2.”
“Atlantis: The Lost Empire” (2001)
Rusted metal, shimmering waves and the lack of Disney’s familiar opening music set the moody tone for this animated experiment. Watch it here!
“Lilo & Stitch” (2002)
A beeping green light forms the usual Tinkerbell trail over the castle, activating a tractor beam that sucks the logo out of frame.
“The Shaggy Dog” (2006)
The logo turns into a doghouse, get it? Because Tim Allen turns into a dog.
Not only was the fairy-tale riff “Enchanted” one of the first Disney movies to use the vastly revamped, 3-D/CGI castle logo, it went from zooming out to show off the castle, to zooming back in to start the movie. Watch it here!
“Tron Legacy” (2010)
The logo for the computerized sequel takes its cue from the redesigned “Grid,” home of the programs from the movie. Glowing lights, darkness and a general feeling that we’re not in Cinderella’s Castle anymore. Watch it here!
“Wreck-It Ralph” (2012)
When the logo shows up again at the end of the movie, it “breaks,” turning into the fabled kill-screen from “Pac-Man.” Adorbs. Watch it here!
“Oz The Great And Powerful” (2013)
Taking a visual cue from the geniusy opening credits, the castle is transformed into a black and white, 4:3 ratio puppet show version complete with shadows and tinkly music. Watch it here!
For pretty much every variation throughout history, down to color choices and slight differences in font, check out the exhaustive research done by Closing Logos.