Each movie has its bag of secrets. From the start, Walt Disney’s animators have contributed to the works. In the beginning, each animator created a character and some even did voiceovers. Although now the more experiences animators each has a team, they still come together to collaborate. In the movies, previous works are honored but not only that; there are subtle hints to upcoming films.
Disney and his animators had a running joke of sneaking in Mickey Mouse into all the films. It is now a tradition. That wasn’t the only hidden character or object that continually shows up throughout the movies. Another consistent symbol throughout the Disney Collection is A113. This symbol represents the California Institute of the Arts animation department. Most of the Disney animators studied there.
According to Lee Unkrich, another one of the Pixar’s animators, there are “hidden easter eggs” throughout their films. Some examples are as follows: In “Toy Story,” on Andy’s shelves are boos that correspond to Pixar’s shorts, as is when Hamm the piggy banks flipping through channels to find the commercial of Al’s Toy Barn. Mr Potato head makes a reference to Picasso and at one point when the toys are in the toy box Mike Wazowski from “Monsters Inc.” is seen. Another great reference to future movies was when Andy’s mom stopped at the Dinaco gas station. Dina later appears in “Cars” and “Cars 2.” In “Cars,” when Mac the truck was driving on the highway there is a clip from the short “For the Birds” and when he passes a rest top, on one of the truce was the “Incredibles” logo. “Tangled” animators give a big homage to the classic Disney movies. Princess Aurora’s spindles, Cinderella’s dress form and her glass slipper, the Beast’s rose among other things have been spotted in Rapunzel’s tower. Another great but very subtle hint was Mother Goth’s reference to Snow White. She is typically seen wearing a red renaissance dress but when she is arriving back at the tower she is wearing a black coat and carrying a basket of red apples. Mother Gothel also happens to loo very similar to the evil Queen, who both obsessed with beauty and carried the same dagger. This is important because it directly compares the traditional hand drawn animation process to the computer generated imagery process using the same character.
Remember how Mike Wazoski had showed up in “Toy Story,” well he and his buddy Sulley also appear in “Cars 2,” “Brave,” “Finding Nemo” and “Frozen.” They weren’t the only two characters who found their way into other films. Jessie and Nemo were spotted in “Monsters Inc,” Buzz Lightyear can be seen in “Finding Nemo,” and Lotso appears in “Toy Story 2,” “UP!,” and “Cars 2.”
The movies I have talked about were all mentioned in the “Pixar Theory,” with the exception of “Tangled.” However with some research, the classic Disney films also have these subtle references to other movies. For example in “Pinocchio,” Jiminy Cricket was created as Pinocchio’s conscious but Jiminy is also in “Fun and Fancy Free.” In “Dumbo” the four birds making fun of him are “The Salads Amigos.” In “Snow White,” Bambi and thumper are among the animals she befriends but also the same sequence where Snow dances with the dwarves was also used for the dance in “Robin Hood” with Maid Marian’s dance. Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip’s dance in “Sleeping Beauty” was also used when Belle and Beast are dancing in the end of “Beauty and the Beast.”
This doesn’t just pertain to Disney though. So many films have easter eggs. While some theories do pop up, Disney theories seem to be the most popular. You can check out my upcoming book The Disney Pixar Connection, coming out November 20th, 2020. I’ll be posting some more Sneak peaks about it.