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[[quoteright:350:[[WesternAnimation/RockyAndBullwinkle http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/FracturedFairyTales_7073.jpg]]]]

-> "Oh, no, no, not the book! [[Administrivia/SeenItAMillionTimes How many have seen "opening the book" before?]] Close the book. We're not doing that."
-->--[[Disney/ChickenLittle Buck Cluck]] [[SelfDeprecation mocking Disney's use of the trope]]

A common device for starting a story, especially fairy tales, is to begin with a book opening. The OpeningNarration goes on as normal, but as it goes on the book opens and we fade to see the story itself being played out. Just as if it came from the book itself. [[BookEnds Usually the story will finish with the book being closed.]]

The TropeMaker here is the Franchise/DisneyAnimatedCanon, which has used it since the very beginning with ''Disney/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs''.

A subtrope of FramingDevice. A sister trope of the one where the book is shown [[IShouldWriteABookAboutThis as it is being written]].



* One Empire Today commercial (boasting dialogue inspired by ''Literature/{{Goldilocks}}'') does this with a book of carpet samples, reading "Once upon a time..." on the front.

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''LightNovel/{{Kampfer}}'': The very silly episode 12 did this.

[[folder:Film -- Animated]]
* Franchise/DisneyAnimatedCanon examples, in chronological order:
** As mentioned above, ''Disney/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs'' is the TropeMaker.
** ''Disney/{{Pinocchio}}''.
** Both segments of ''Disney/TheAdventuresOfIchabodAndMrToad''.
** ''Disney/{{Cinderella}}''.
** ''Disney/SleepingBeauty''.
** ''Disney/TheSwordInTheStone''.
** ''Disney/TheJungleBook''.
** ''Disney/RobinHood''.
** ''Disney/TheManyAdventuresOfWinnieThePooh'', which takes it UpToEleven as it [[NoFourthWall constantly reminds you that the characters are in a book.]] From bumping into the words on the page, to hopping from one page to the next. When Tigger gets stuck in a tree, he's [[InteractiveNarrator saved by the narrator,]] who simply turns the book sideways, allowing him to slide down the letters.
** ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'' uses a variation, with stained-glass illustrations on the Beast's castle windows instead of a book.
** ''Disney/ChickenLittle'' opens with Buck Cluck deciding how best to begin the story. When the storybook appears, he rejects it as too cliched and moves on. Ironically, the storybook opening was originally going to be used for the movie, but was cut for apparently the same reason.
** ''Disney/{{Tangled}}'' was originally supposed to begin in a storybook style, as shown in the Extras on the DVD and also in the "Art Of" book, but was changed to the voiceover they used in the film.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}''
** Subverted by ''Shrek'', which opens with the title character reading a FairyTale... and then ripping out a page as toilet paper. Of course, it's still the same basic type of story anyway.
** Played surprisingly straight in ''Shrek 2'', but even that turns out to be a setup for a gag that kicks off the rest of the films plot.
** Used again in ''Shrek Forever After'', with multiple pages being ripped off in frustration by the villain, Rumpelstiltskin.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Hoodwinked}}'' uses it not only to begin the film, but also for [[TheRashomon each of the versions of the story as told by the various characters]].
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfMarkTwain'' begins with a [[PlayingWithATrope variant]] where the contents of an opened storybook spill out and form the world.
* ''[[ComicBook/DCTheNewFrontier Justice League: The New Frontier]]'' starts like this. It's a very dark version, as the storybook is about the monster that's coming to destroy humanity, and the writer finishes by [[RRatedOpening committing suicide]].
* At the very beginning of ''WesternAnimation/RockADoodle'', just right after we see Chanticleer quitting his job at the farm of waking the Sun up with his crowing and moving to the city after the other farm animals make fun of him after seeing the Sun rise without him one day, the camera pulls back to show that the entire prologue (which is animated) is just a storybook a mother is telling to her young son Edmund (both played by live actors) when the evil owl is introduced for the very first time.
* Another Creator/DonBluth film, ''WesternAnimation/ThePebbleAndThePenguin'', actually did this with a songbook.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSmurfsAndTheMagicFlute'' starts off with a book page that the narrator reads "once upon a time" until he decides to tell the story without resorting to using a book and just turns the page to the picture of the king's castle that the camera zooms into.
* ''WesternAnimation/StrangeMagic'' starts with a scroll being opened to show the map of the Fairy Kingdom and the Dark Forest while the opening narration explains the setting.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheChristmasTree'' is a textbook (storybook?) example. The storybook doesn't have words or even word-shaped scribbles, just the kind of colored VideoGame/{{Tetris}}-like blocks that frequently showed up in low-budget animation before the AllCGICartoon became common.


[[folder:Film -- Live Action]]
* Used in ''Film/{{Enchanted}}'', for both the opening and the closing. Fittingly, the song that ends the movie opens with a line about "storybook endings".
* Oddly used in ''Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail''. It doesn't happen at the beginning or end, but about twenty minutes into the film, with the description of King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table.
* The extended edition of the ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' DVD menu.
* Disney's ''Film/TwentyThousandLeaguesUnderTheSea'' opens in this style.
* Used in the 1937 Shirley Temple version of ''Heidi'' for the opening credits and first paragraph.
* Used in the Laurel and Hardy version of ''Film/BabesInToyland'', but cut from many prints.
* ''Film/{{Elf}}'' not only has a storybook in its prologue, opening credits, and closing scene, but the menus on the DVD resemble pop-up books.
* ''Film/SnowWhiteAndTheThreeStooges'' opens this way, with the Stooges having fun at points.
* In the extended version of David Lynch's ''Film/{{Dune}}'' one of the first shots after the opening credits is a shot of a copy of the original book by Frank Herbert.
* In ''Film/TheSmurfs2'', Narrator uses a pop-up book to tell the story of how Smurfette came to be at the beginning of the movie.
* The 2016 version of ''[[Film/TheJungleBook2016 The Jungle Book]]'' doesn't have a storybook opening, but it does have a storybook closing, with the book being [[BookEnds the very same one that opened the original animated classic]].
* The Creator/DisneyChannel original movie ''Film/{{Descendants}}'' "modernizes" this using a computer tablet in its opening.

* Used in a flashback in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheChamberOfSecrets''.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''{{Series/Monk}}'' uses this for the summation in the last episode of season 3, "Mr. Monk and the Kid"
* ''{{Series/Hustle}}'' does it with the season 4 episode "A Designer's Paradise", although the book doesn't appear until partway into the episode when Albert starts explaining the con in terms of the fairytale "The Emperor's New Clothes".
* The "Gingerbread" episode of ''{{Series/Taggart}}'' used this. (The story was loosely inspired by Hansel and Gretel).
* The ''Series/{{Highlander}}'' episode, "The Stone Of Scone" has this.

* When it first opened, the 2013 musical adaptation of ''Theatre/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory'' had an animated opening sequence about the making of chocolate that began this way (the book a large, purple one with a golden ''W'' on the cover). The narrator began with the lines "This is a story about the most important thing in the world: Chocolate." This sequence was cut in 2014 with the first cast turnover, possibly for pacing reasons.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The old Crystal Dynamics game ''VideoGame/TheHorde'' does this.
* ''VisualNovel/RadicalDreamers'': This SuperNintendo Stellaview game uses it as well. One of the few examples where the story is related through (it is implied) the text of the book itself. ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'' does the same thing, only since it isn't a text-based game, the example isn't quite as unusual.
* ''VideoGame/{{Myst}}'' has a variant; Atrus narrates as the Myst book tumbles through a starry void, before landing in front of you on a...surface. Open the book, touch the picture, and the game begins. Since you're supposed to be in a library as the FramingDevice, one can assume that it was actually falling off a shelf, and the player picks it up to begin.
** The book is actually falling through a starry void, having been dropped into it as explained in the sequel Riven. [[spoiler:If you've played your way through the entire Myst series including Uru, you'll know that the book fell through the Star Fissure, and that the "surface" mentioned above would be the ground in the New Mexico desert. A funny FridgeLogic twist is that, if you've also read the books, you'll know that you could have picked up the Myst book, entered the Crevice nearby, and navigated your way through the caves to D'ni just like Ti'ana did in Myst: The book of Atrus. Then you could hand the book directly to Atrus where he sat, avoiding the entire first game and "winning" without ever having linked anywhere nor visited Myst island.]]
*** [[spoiler: [[FridgeLogic Assuming you could reach K'veer Island, let alone the chamber Atrus was trapped in, and knew to go there in the first place.]]]]
* ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros''
** ''VideoGame/YoshisStory'' features a pop-up storybook. The opening scene presents the first several pages introducing the story. During gameplay, the page turns for each new world. At the end, the storybook reviews all six worlds, the final pages present a happy ending, and the book closes.
** ''VideoGame/PaperMario'': Each game begins with a book opening and the narrator informing the player what "Today's story" is going to be. This is one of the few aspects of the series that ''[[VideoGame/PaperMarioStickerStar Sticker Star]]'' kept.
** ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy2'' shows one of these when starting a new file, and during the credits. At the end, it is revealed that [[spoiler:Rosalina had been narrating it as well as the whole game]]. The end scene also transitions into the Green Star Challenge.
* ''VideoGame/OdinSphere'': The story of is contained within a series of books a young girl is reading one afternoon. Each character's NewGamePlus is simply Alice closing the book at the end and starting again from the beginning.
* ''VideoGame/KirbysEpicYarn'': Every cutscene is presented as a storybook, with anything not from the yarn world presented as a paper cutout. It's also narrated by a calm and soothing audiobook-style voice.
* ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles'' opens this way, and uses the book as a menu interface throughout. At the end, [[spoiler:Ellet, the reporter following Squad 7]] turns out to be the writer.
* ''VideoGame/{{Castlevania 64}}'' starts with the book already open on the a page holding the file select menu. Starting a new game results in your signature appearing on the document, and the pages flipping backwards to reveal it's a copy of [[spoiler:the Necronomicon]].
* ''VideoGame/GrandKnightsHistory''
* ''VideoGame/ChronoCross''
* ''VideoGame/WildArms''
* ''Atelier Marie''
* ''Film/BramStokersDracula'' for the SNES and Genesis has the player opening a book titled "Vampyres" and turning to a new page between levels. However, there are no cutscenes.
* ''VIdeoGame/MaceTheDarkAge''
* ''VideoGame/DarkCloud''
* ''VideoGame/MapleStory'' originally had a login screen which was the first page in a book.
* ''VideoGame/BraveHeroYuusha'': The storybook is called The Hero & The Demon.
* ''VideoGame/{{Cuphead}}'' opens with a live-action storybook cutscene explaining Cuphead's situation, and closes out the same way.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* ''WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation'' did this with the review of ''[[RedFaction Red Faction: Guerrilla]]''.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''[[Disney/TheManyAdventuresOfWinnieThePooh Winnie the Pooh]]'': Disney's short subject versions take this to its logical conclusion by actually taking place in the book itself.
* ''WesternAnimation/RockyAndBullwinkle'': The "Fractured Fairy Tales" segment used this, but played with it, with the fairy first having difficulty turning the pages due to her small size, then having the book slam shut on her.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': The first episode opened with one, telling the "old pony's tale" that sets the events of the series in motion.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Chowder}}'': The opening credits, only instead of a storybook, it's a ''cookbook''.
* The 30-minute adaptation of ''Literature/TheLittleEngineThatCould'' opened and closed this way.
* ''WesternAnimation/FerdinandTheBull'' didn't have one originally, but it was retroactively added in the 1950s when it was broadcast on [[Series/WaltDisneyPresents Walt Disney's television show]].