A look at some of the most prevalent (and important) Easter eggs across all of the Pixar movies so far.
Making movies may be a serious business, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun while doing so. Pixar is one such example of a movie production company which puts a little more love and care than is typical into its final cinematic products. When watching a Pixar film, you’re bound to enjoy the story, the characters, and the vivid 3D computer-generated animation. But look closer, and you’ll find that the Pixar films are teeming with “Easter eggs”.
“Easter eggs” are like an inside joke, but in visual form. Pixar uses them as a connection between their various feature and short length films, as well as the company’s past. They are a trademark; images, logos, and characters with special meaning to those people working at Pixar and their most dedicated fans. They may be hidden in the background, or a major focus of the plot line. Either way, you’re not likely to understand or even realize their importance on the first viewing. These “Easter Eggs” make repeat viewings fun. Can you spot them all?
This is a look at some of the most prominent “easter eggs” in Pixar films so far. Read below about the importance and where you can find these treasures, and make sure to keep an eye out for them in Toy Story 4!
The Pizza Planet Truck
What it is: Delivery truck from the Pizza restaurant in the original Toy Story.
Why it is important: In Toy Story, Buzz mistakes the Pizza Planet logo and believes the truck is a spaceship. Riding the truck, Woody and Buzz are transported to the restaurant. The truck is used as a method of transport in Toy Story 2 and 3. Also representative of Pixar’s first big success.
Where it can be found:
- A Bug’s Life – Seen parked next to a trailer.
- Monster’s Inc. – Same trailer is seen as from Bug’s life with the truck parked next to it.
- Finding Nemo – Truck is seen through water at the Dentist’s office.
- Cars 1-3 – Todd is a character resembling the original Pizza delivery truck.
- Ratatouille – Pizza Planet truck is briefly seen crossing a bridge in the background.
- WALL-E – One of the places EVE looks for plant life is a rusted old Pizza Planet truck engine bay.
- Up – Pizza Planet truck can be seen in the parking lot at the end of the film.
- Brave – Pizza Planet truck is a wood carving in the witches’ house.
- Monsters University – Pizza Planet truck is parked outside a party.
- Inside Out – Truck is seen in one of Riley’s memories.
- The Good Dinosaur – Asteroid is shaped like the pizza truck.
- Finding Dory – Pizza truck is included in some wreckage.
- Coco – Truck is seen during a montage.
- Incredibles 2 – A stylized version of the truck is seen after Elastigirl saves Screenslaver.
What it is: A classroom number at the California Institute of the Arts.
Why it is important: It is where some of the creators at Pixar studied, including John Lasseter and Brad Bird. Also seen/referenced in other animated works, including The Rugrats, South Park, and The Simpsons.
Where it can be found:
- Toy Story 1-3 – The license plate of Andy’s mom’s car.
- A Bug’s Life – Seen on a cereal box.
- Finding Nemo – Scuba diver’s camera model.
- The Incredibles – Mr. Incredible is held on Level A1 of Snydrome’s lair, in cell #13.
- Cars 1-3 – Mater’s license plate.
- Ratatouille – Lab rat tag#.
- WALL-E – Seen on the ship’s navigator.
- Brave – Roman numerals above the witches’ lair (ACXIII)
- Monsters University – A113 is the classroom for ‘Scare 101’.
- Inside Out – At Riley’s new school, she is assigned to classroom A113.
- The Good Dinosaur – Sticks are arranged to show ‘A113’.
- Finding Dory – License plate reads ‘CALA113’.
- Coco – Office building is numbered ‘A113’
- Incredibles 2 – Movie marquee is split, which makes ‘A113’ appear.
(A few films have more than one reference)
What it is: A mega corporation selling products in various markets across the globe. Often abbreviated as “BnL”.
Why it is important: BnL is a representation of consumerism in modern society. Wall-E provides a cautionary tale regarding the impact of uncontrolled consumerism caused by BnL. Represents the downfall of humanity in the popular “Pixar Theory” linking all the films together in a common universe.
Where it can be found:
- WALL-E – Company in charge of the Axiom and clean-up efforts on Earth.
- Up – Company that demos Carl’s house
- Toy Story 3 – Buzz’s batteries are BnL brand.
- Cars 2 – “Allinol” is a play on the phrase ‘by and large’ (All in all).
- Cars 3 – BnL raceway.
The Luxo Ball
What it is: Plastic toy ball – yellow with a blue stripe and a red star
Why it is important: First seen in the Pixar animated short Luxo Jr., from 1986. This was the first computer-animated short film to be nominated for an Oscar, and would be an important milestone for the company.
Where it can be found:
- Toy Story – One of Andy’s toys. (Used by Buzz LIghtyear to “fly”)
- Toy Story 2 – Seen at Al’s Toy Barn.
- Finding Nemo – One of the toys in the toy chest at the dentist’s office.
- Monster’s Inc. – One of Boo’s toys.
- The Incredibles – Seen in the short film ‘Jack Jack Attack’.
- Up – One of Russel’s merit badges.
- Toy Story 3 – One of the toys at the Sunnyside Daycare
- Monsters University – Ball is seen in a school demonstration.
- Inside Out – Seen in Riley’s flashback.
What it is: A person. Actor who first became famous for his portrayal of Cliff Clavin in the TV show ‘Cheers’.
Why he is important: Ratzenberger’s voice has been featured in all of the Pixar films to date. He was given the nickname of the company’s “unofficial good-luck charm”, thanks to the success of all the Pixar films he has contributed to.
Where he can be found:
- Toy Story 1-4 as Hamm
- A Bug’s Life as P.T. Flea
- Monster’s Inc./Monsters University as Yeti
- Finding Nemo as the Fish School
- The Incredibles/Incredibles 2 – The Underminer
- Cars 1-3 – Mack, other various characters.
- Ratatouille – Mustafa
- Wall-E – John
- Up – Construction Foreman
- Brave – Gordon
- Inside Out – Fritz
- The Good Dinosaur – Earl
- Finding Dory – Husband Crab
- Coco – Juan Ortodonica
Representations of Characters Showing up in Other Films
What it is: Characters or references to characters show up in films where they did not originate (obviously we’re excluding characters reoccuring in sequels).
Why it is important: Pixar has established itself with these characters, and what better way to pay homage to what you have accomplished than to feature references to your previous films in your new films. Also, for a computer-animated film, it is probably easy to bring over a model already made from another film.
Some of the more prominent examples:
- A Bug’s Life – One of the characters says Buzz Lightyear’s catchphrase in the bloopers.
- A Bug’s Life – Woody is one of the crewmen seen in the bloopers.
- Toy Story 2 – Flik and Heimlich are seen in a blooper scene.
- Monster’s Inc. – Boo hands Sully a Jessie doll.
- Monster’s Inc. – Boo hands Sully a Nemo toy.
- Finding Nemo – Buzz Lightyear is one of the toys laying on the floor of the dentist’s office.
- Finding Nemo – A boy at the dentist office is reading a Mr. Incredible comic.
- Cars – WALL-E can be seen in the background during the Piston Cup.
- WALL-E – Buzz Lightyear lunch box.
- WALL-E – Rex from Toy Story can be seen in WALL-E’s shed.
- WALL-E – There is a Frozone toy in WALL-E’s shed.
- WALL-E – A Lightning McQueen toy is seen.
- Up – Lots-O Huggin’ bear can be seen in one of the apartment rooms as the balloons rise.
- Toy Story 3 – Toy versions of Boo and Mike Wazowski are seen at Sunnyside Daycare
- Toy Story 3 – There is a Nemo sticker on Andy’s toy chest.
- Toy Story 3 – Finn McMissile poster is seen on the wall.
- Toy Story 3 – Carl and Ellie Fredricksen’s names are seen on a post card.
- Brave – Wood carving of Sully is seen.