I submit the intro for Hunchback of Notre Dame beats Circle of Life raw.
Especially since the former doesn’t have flocks of pink birds that immediately make me think, “Sure, Disney, you weren’t influenced at all by Osamu Tezuka. Tell us another one.”
This movie was surprisingly hardcore for a Disney retelling of Victor Hugo’s really screwed up story.
It also did a ton of great stuff with God and religion and Catholicism that somehow managed to still be about people and not bring “Why Religion Sucks” into the whole thing, which is aces.
One thing that surprises me is how well the animation has aged. Strangely enough, it looked weird at the time; we weren’t really used to traditional animation blended with computer backgrounds. But now that pretty much everything is computer animated, you can really appreciate how effin’ gorgeous the Cathedral backgrounds are.
Also, God Help the Outcasts is the most honest song featured in a Disney movie. “Honest” meaning it doesn’t feel manufactured specifically to be played in a suburbanite van ferrying kids to McDonalds. It’s raw, open, and genuine.
(Needless to say, there is nothing suburban about Hellfire, ho ho ho. Will we ever again see a Disney villain essentially sing, “Help me Mary, I have an unholy erection?”)