Brad Bird / Paramount Pictures


The film series that revamped the classic TV show got another makeover in the 2011 release of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. Using a combination of complex 3D animation and VFX work, Prologue put a 21st century spin on one of the most iconic opening sequences in television history.

The lit fuse from the TV show opening now becomes a motif in a thrilling montage connecting the various set pieces of the film. The typography further unifies the sequence, as the type tilts and dips along with the dynamic camera. The main title logo is divided into two distinct pieces: “Mission Impossible,” which uses composited layers of digital fire, sparks, and smoke effects, and “Ghost Protocol,” appearing in the form of white smoke before vanishing.

Several shots of live-action footage from the film are augmented by CG models and various VFX shots created for the opening. The end result is an edit with seamless transitions between its many shots, designed to leave audiences breathless and primed to experience the rush provided by this action blockbuster.

Main Title


"While the television show was far before my time, I have seen several episodes with my dad. One of my favorite aspects was always the opening title sequence in which a fuse would be burning and in the background, clips and pictures of things that were to come later in the episode were shown. Ghost Protocol’s opening title sequence is an homage to this and it works perfectly. It will make any fan of the series smile."

− Explorer News

"Starting with a cameo by one of Abrams' 'Lost' alums that gets the McGuffin moving (literally, in this case), things quickly takes off, pausing only briefly for a title sequence that nicely homages the TV show's intro each week with a montage of context-free clips from that episode, cut to Lalo Schifrin's propulsive music."

− Opposing Views

"Director Brad Bird is perhaps best known for his considerably successful animation films, like 'The Incredibles' and 'Ratatouille.' This affinity with animation is clearly visible in for example the title sequence of 'Ghost Protocol.'"

− Almer S. Tigelaar

"Right from “Protocol”’s “coming this episode” opening titles for “Light the Fuse,” Brad Bird wants his Imax audience to know they’re back at home watching the most souped-up hour ever, and Giacchino has a blast reminding us of that intent in a way that would undoubtedly make the composer he so obviously loves smile."

− Film Music Magazine

"The main title is awesome, and there are some good bits of action music. It fits the film well..."


"From an opening credits sequence and Lalo Schifrin's superb musical score that pays greater homage to the TV show original than previous installments, and a classic James Bond meets The Incredibles sort of sensibility; Bird combines these elements and more into a finely crafted action film that lives up to every positive yet cliche' ridden superlative ever uttered about a film of this genre."

− Tim Estiloz, Boston Movie Examiner

"Then it leads to an equally fun credits sequence that gives full play to the awesomely cool 'Mission: Impossible' theme, which I also appreciated, because you only lose goodwill by leaving out the cool theme music, which the last installment did pretty much entirely."

− Cinema De Merde

"The opening is also probably one of the best executed of the year, as well. Something as simple as the combination of a very long fuse being used in a unique way, that familiar theme music, and an elaborate title sequence somehow make all the difference in the world."

− Examiner