It’s not a huge secret that Pixar regularly sneaks an assortment of easter eggs and meta-textual callbacks into their films. Internet sleuths are forever waving their hands about and spotlighting the weird ways that the Pixar universe seems to be connected. YouTube is full of this stuff, which is, in essence, a celebration of animators’ inside jokes. That said, it’s increasingly clear that some people within the studio are frustrating by the fact that superfans are actually missing a bunch of little connections and clever visual allusions. That’s the only plausible explanation for why Pixar has started releasing videos pointing out and explaining easter eggs. No one wants to be clever without an audience.
And the easter eggs being revealed are genuinely clever. Even parents who’ve rewatched Cars 45 times likely didn’t catch this stuff. It’s subtle. And there’s joy in that — in recognizing that however well you might know a children’s film, you’ll never be as familiar with it as the folks who made it. The proof is right there in the video.
This first one is pretty recent. If you look closely you can see that the people painted onto the wall during the oil spilling bar scene in Cars 2 are actually Deirdre’s family members from the movie Brave. The attention to detail is pretty nuts, the whole clan is standing in exactly the same order and is scaled about the same too.
The poster on Andy’s wall during the moving scene in Toy Story 3 is actually no one other than Finn McMissile, the British spy car from Cars 2.
Toy Story 3
Hank the octopus, the-jaded-grumpy-pants-with-a-heart-of-gold, from Finding Dory actually popped up in The Good Dinosaur one whole year before the sequel to Finding Nemo.
The Good Dinosaur
The use of the sequence “A113” is probably the most meta easter egg on this list. A113 is actually a running inside joke used by people who attended the California Institute of the Arts. The number refers to a specific classroom used by graphic design and character animation students, many of whom have gone on to work with Disney and Pixar. If you look long hand hard enough, you’ll see some reference to A113 in pretty much every Disney Pixar movie ever made.
That scene in UP where Carl begrudgingly gives Russel a Grape Soda merit badge is actually a call back to the grape soda cans that nearly rolled over Woody on his way back to the suburbs from Pizza Planet in the original Toy Story. The logos are exactly the same even though the movies were released five years apart.