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Establishing Character Moment: Animated Films
  • Mulan shows off her cleverness and resourcefulness to the viewers when she fashions a means of getting her dog to feed the chickens so she still has time to change her clothes. Soon afterward, she reveals a lack of grace during a meeting with the matchmaker, suggesting that life as a trophy wife will not properly fulfill her destiny.
    • The Emperor when told his armies will protect him immediately declared that the armies should go out and protect his people.
    • Mushu's first words upon awakening was "IIIIII LIIIIIIIIVE!"
  • Shifu from Kung Fu Panda effortlessly evades all his students' attacks during a training session and then rebukes them for "doing well if they were trying to disappoint [him]."
  • The Incredibles has Dash using his speed to pull pranks on his teachers. Violet turning invisible and shyly looking at her crush as he walked by.
    • The first minute or so of the movie also sets up a nice Subversion for Bob, Helen, and Lucius. Bob expresses a desire to settle down and Helen says she cant get enough of the superhero gig, veiwpoints that the both do a complete 180 on once the main story has actually started. Lucius is portrayed at first to be a womanizer who doesn't like to get intimate, but is shown to have a wife later on in the movie.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas does this for each of the main characters. Jack gets a dramatic entrance during the Halloween celebration, but it's during his song a few minutes later that his real character is shown.
    • Sally's is more subtle. In her first few seconds onscreen she is shown doing what she will spend the rest of the movie doing: gazing lovingly at Jack and rebelling against her mad scientist creator/father figure.
    • The Mayor gets an ECM as well, albeit a little ways into the story, when he goes to Jack's house for advice and panics when he finds Jack has disappeared. This is the first time we see him wear his second face.
    • Oogie Boogie's reputation precedes him as the most malevolent resident of Halloween Town, but his first few seconds on screen (even though only his shadow is shown) make his creepiness, evil intentions, and love of gambling very clear.
  • Aladdin: Aladdin, shows himself to not only be a affable thief, but a guy whose soft enough to give bread away to children. The "One Jump Ahead" song tells you absolutely everything you need to know about the guy in a catchy 2-minute package.
    • The later reprise after giving away the bread also reveals his more vulnerable side and that being called street rat really does bother him, and this insecurity eventually leads to further conflict in the movie.
  • Gothel from Tangled is shown discovering a magical flower that could heal people from any disease, including aging. Instead of sharing it, she hoards this flower for hundreds of years, using it for her selfish gain of remaining young.
    • She gets another one, showcasing her skill at subtle emotional abuse in one of her earliest lines:
    Rapunzel, look in this mirror. You know what I see? A vibrant, confident, beautiful young lady. Oh look! You're here too! Ahahahahah! Oh darling- I'm just teasing!
  • Gru from Despicable Me is shown to be Affably Evil as he makes a balloon for a crying boy only to pop it and when he goes into a coffee shop, he freezes everyone around him so he could be first in line but tips the cashier before he leaves (though he doesn't actually pay for the coffee or muffin).
    • Miss Hattie firmly establishes herself as a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing when she cheerily greets the girls. But as soon as Agnes ask if anyone has come to adopt them, she brutally tells them "Hmm, let me think ... NO!"
  • Scar from The Lion King is introduced "playing" with a helpless mouse he is about to devour while skipping out on his nephew's birth ceremony. When Zazu reprimands Scar (causing him to lose the mouse) he immediately tries to eat Zazu.
  • The Princess and the Frog has several:
    • Prince Naveen from gets a wordless one: his very first scene has him ripping off his royal decor, grabbing a ukelele, and disregarding his manservant and any royal pomp as he joins a street band, complete with immediate posse of fawning ladies. It easily establishes him as an impulsive ladies' man completely dedicated to enjoying himself.
    • The film's Big Bad Dr. Falicier gets one too; He's a street corner fortune teller who gives a spell to restore a bald man's hair- which soon covers the rest of his body. This establishes the doctor as a man out to use other people's needs to profit and screw them over. And that Living Shadow shows he's NOT just a Snake Oil Salesman...
    • Spoiled rich girl Charlotte gets a delayed one. When Charlotte finds Tiana sitting amid the ruins of the beignets with which Charlotte had hoped to seduce the Prince, she might have bawled Tiana out and demanded the beignets be replaced. Instead, she abandons the Prince and takes Tiana upstairs to get her cleaned up and into a fresh costume.
    • Her father gets one during the opening scene as well; he buys a newspaper off of a little boy, and pays him with what is probably the biggest wad of cash in Disney history.
  • When asked what makes an effective roar in Monsters University, Mike rattles off the five-point strategy. Sulley just roars.
  • The Wonderlanders in Alice in Wonderland each get a moment to show just how crazy they all are; the White Rabbit frets over how late he is, the Doorknob expresses irritation at Alice waking him up and goes on a tangent of making terrible door related puns, the Dodo sings about being a sailor and displays a method of drying off that makes no sense, the Caterpillar yells "Who are you" at Alice, the Cheshire Cat trolls her, the Mad Hatter, the March Hare and the Dormouse have an "unbirthday" party and the Queen of Hearts sentences her own guards to beheading for painting her roses red.
  • Ralph in Wreck-It Ralph declares he doesn't want to be a Bad Guy anymore to his fellow video game villains, but then he proves to the audience that he's not a bad guy...by giving his Pac-Man fruit to some recently unplugged characters.
  • Several in The Hunchback of Notre Dame:
    • Frollo's moment comes after he's chased down the Gypsy Woman, and in the struggle to relieve her of her "stolen goods", caused her death. Now he realizes that the bundle in her arms was actually an infant, and a deformed one at that. So what's the right thing to do? Why, drop the kid in the nearest well and justify everything! Only the threat of eternal damnation can shake him.
    • Quasimodo, despite his hunchback, squashed nose, and bent eye, is established as a kind and gentle spirit as he encourages a baby bird to fly.
    • Phoebus is established as a snarky smartass with a good heart who doesn't hesitate to do the right thing when he witnesses Esmeralda being unfairly persecuted by Frollo's men and helps her get away. Even before he sees Esmeralda for the first time, he puts coins in the Gypsies' hat, even though Gypsies have been established as social outcasts, showcasing that Phoebus is charitable to the less fortunate, pretty girl or not.
    • Obviously Esmeralda's biggest moment in the film is her rescue of Quasi from the crowd, then straight up defiance of Frollo when he tries to forbid her from doing so, giving him a world class "The Reason You Suck" Speech while she's at it. But before all of that, she has a minor moment when Quasimodo crashes into her tent while she's dressing. She could've screamed, yelled at him for being clumsy, gotten angry. But what does she say? "Are you all right? You're not hurt, are you?"
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