It is certainly no secret that Disney loves to put little Easter Eggs, AKA tiny things people usually don't notice, in their movies. These things can refer to people who work for Disney, although the company also occasionally adds something relating to previous or future Disney projects. Sometimes these secret things are just extra little details that make the movie more fun, informative or interesting.
Disney is famous for throwing these little tidbits into their films and only a few fans actually ever notice them (and sometimes it takes seeing a movie many times before these secrets ever reveal themselves). From funny text added to the credits that roll after the movie (something few people actually sit through) to a recognizable character from another movie franchise in the background of a scene, these are those little things make Disney movies all that much more fun to watch.
We tried to find some of the best hidden secrets in Disney movies that we've ever seen and hope that this will give you an idea of what to look for when you watch those films again. Have you ever spotted something like this in a Disney movie?
15 Kristoff's booger statement referenced in the credits of Frozen
In Frozen, Anna and Kristoff get to spend some time together, as they're riding on a sleigh. At this point, Anna hasn't realized just how awesome Kristoff is because she is in love with Hans (who we later learn is the villain of this tale). Kristoff, who already seems suspicious of Hans, starts grilling Anna about the prince because he has already figured out that Anna declared love for the man just after meeting him. This means that she really doesn't know much about him at all. So Kristoff starts asking Anna all kinds of questions about Hans. He asks about Hans last name, his favorite food and eye color.
But most importantly, Kristoff asks if Hans picks his nose. Anna, of course, thinks Hans is perfect, as he is a prince and declares that he does not. Kristoff furthers the discussion, though, by telling her that all men pick their noses. Not only that, but Hans states that all men eat their boogers, too. This gets referenced in the movie's end credits scene, something a lot of people haven't seen. Disney makes it clear that Hans' statement does not reflect the general views and opinions of Disney or Frozen's filmmakers.
14 Rapunzel and Flynn Rider crash Elsa's coronation party in Frozen
In Frozen, Elsa's big day arrives: the day that she will be crowned as the queen of Arendelle. Although Elsa is not so thrilled about the parties and celebrations surrounding the events, her sister Anna is excited about everything that's going on. She even sings a song about it, and who can blame her? The castle is usually so grim and they rarely have any parties at all, especially after the funerals of the girls' parents. "For the first time in forever," Anna sings, "there'll be music, there'll be light." She goes on to sing about dancing the night away, dressing up in a beautiful gown, meeting amazing new people (including what might be "the one") and celebrating an event that only happens once in a lifetime.
Part of Anna's duties as sister to the new queen is to greet the guests arriving at the castle. Those guests come from all over the world, but a few even came from other Disney movies. In a "blink and you might miss it" moment, Anna greets two very familiar people who have come to celebrate the coronation: Rapunzel and Flynn Rider from Tangled. It makes sense that Rapunzel, who is also a princess, would attend such an event, right?
13 Nemo in Monsters, Inc.
Sometimes Disney does a little extra promotion for movies the studio hasn't even released yet. That means that the company throws in Easter Eggs from films they have just announced or have just started working on. This happens so often that people rarely even catch on to those little secrets, although there are some hardcore fans who figure it out and grab screenshots, playing a movie over and over until they can pause the scene that unveils the secret.
Here, in Monsters, Inc., we get to see Nemo. And this is the first time that Nemo ever appeared on a movie screen because Monsters, Inc., came out two years before Finding Nemo hit theaters. So when people saw Monsters, Inc. in the movie theater, they had no idea that this was a teaser for another movie at all. They just thought that Boo had a thing for clown fish and that's why she had an adorable little stuffed clown fish in her room. Here, she's handing Nemo over to Sully or "Kitty," as she calls him. This is one of those wonderful moments that fans didn't figure out until well after the release of Finding Nemo. Well done, Disney. Color us impressed.
12 The Shining carpet in Toy Story
If you thought the carpet pattern in Sid's house in Toy Story looked familiar, you're right and you're probably a fan of Stanley Kubrick's horror film The Shining. And yes, that was completely deliberate. The Pixar folks are huge fans of the movie, inspired by Stephen King's book of the same name, which means that it gets referenced quite a bit in the entire franchise of Toy Story movies.
That carpet pattern is nearly identical to the one in the Overlook hotel in The Shining movie.
Horror fans have nightmares about that carpet. The number 237 also comes up a lot in the Toy Story movies: King fans know that number as that one hotel room at the Overlook that is the one room you would never want to go into. There is also a microphone in Toy Story that resembles the one in The Shining, as well as a reference to Tony, which is what Danny in The Shining called his finger when he started talking to it. No, that's not creepy at all. So next time you watch Toy Story, you'll never see it as a kids' movie again. Just remember: all work and no play makes Woody a dull toy.
11 Mrs. Potts and Chip in Tarzan
Tarzan isn't a Disney movie that most fans think of as having a lot of Easter Eggs. And most would think that the secrets kept within its animation cells probably have more to do with The Jungle Book or The Lion King because the settings are similar at times. They are, after all, movies that feature talking animals. But there is a scene in Tarzan where a Disney princess movie makes its crossover. No, it's not the princess, but it is two important characters from that movie.
If you look closely at Tarzan and pay attention very carefully to the scene where the animals are destroying a camp site and singing "Trashing The Camp," you'll see Terk drumming on a tea setting that might look a little familiar. Freeze the frame and you'll notice that Terk is hitting a tea set that looks a lot like Mrs. Potts and Chip from Beauty and the Beast (poor Mrs. Potts and Chip!). They don't have the faces that they had in Beauty and the Beast, but you know it's them because there is a chip in the cup! This is literally only shown for a few seconds, so don't feel bad if you missed it.
10 The Jungle Book banner in Meet The Robinsons
Sometimes Disney just likes to pay homage to its past by featuring Easter Eggs in its newer movies that feature something from films that came way before the new releases. In 2007, Disney's animated feature The Jungle Book celebrated its 40th anniversary (the film was released in 1967). The movie is easily one of the most beloved of Disney's classic films, the tale of a young boy literally raised in the jungle by wild animals. It also features a lot of catchy songs that have become the earworms we actually love to hear. So in 2007, when Disney released Meet The Robinsons, the company decided to pay homage to The Jungle Book's history and anniversary by featuring it in a scene that takes place on a ball field.
You probably missed this moment, but when Goob is taking a nap on the field while playing in the outfield, there is a banner for The Jungle Book, featuring that movie's main characters, Baloo and Mowgli.
It appears again later on during that same scene, but there's another banner present, too: this time, the banner is for Toy Story 2, a movie that would arrived in theaters almost a decade before Meet The Robinsons.
9 Pumbaa in The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Some of the most recognizable Disney animal characters probably come from The Lion King, a movie beloved by fans and critics alike. So it's surprising when those characters turn up in other Disney movies and no one ever really notices. Of course, this is usually because they show up in scenes for just a few seconds and only people who are smart enough to freeze playback on the movie can really catch them.
In this case, here's one we never even noticed: did you know that Pumbaa, probably the most famous warthog to ever exist, shows up in The Hunchback of Notre Dame? It's true, as seen in the photo above. Pumbaa is one of the statues on the infamous cathedral, seen briefly in the scene where Frollo (probably one of the most evil villains to ever grace a Disney movie) attacks Esmerelda. Fortunately for her, Quasimodo is there to save her. It's only disappointing that the real Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris doesn't feature Pumbaa anywhere in its architecture: it's just all gargoyles and pretty arches. This is just yet another example of how Disney likes to reference itself in its movies: there are always Easter Eggs if you know where to look for them.
8 Pizza Planet truck in Wall-E
The Pizza Planet truck from Toy Story is a pretty iconic figure. It's also in a lot of Disney movies, if you know where to look for it. Most of the time, though, you completely miss it because it's just speeding by and doing its own thing and only those who know to look for it actually ever see it. But the Pizza Planet truck made its way to outer space in Wall-E. And it even manages to stay on the screen for more than few seconds. But as we don't expect to see it there, we always miss it. But there is a scene where it sits among a pile of junk, just one more item collected by the cute little robot Wall-E.
It is obviously out of commission and its pizza delivery days are definitely not around anymore, but it's a nice reminder to another Disney movie that also made us laugh and cry.
The truck also puts in an appearance in Brave as a carving created by the Witch in her cottage. It's so small that you might miss it, but it also stands out because there were no vehicles in medieval Scotland, which is the setting of that movie.
7 Peg from The Lady & The Tramp in 101 Dalmations
In the original animated 101 Dalmations, a lot of familiar dogs from other Disney movies put in an appearance. If you blink you might miss them, but 101 Dalmations features a few familiar characters from Lady and the Tramp. And why not? The movies probably take place around the same time and even in the same city. And they're all dogs, so it totally makes sense. But it's still not something fans expect to see.
For example, here's Peg from Lady and the Tramp in the scene with the pet store. It seems that her life is a better one here, as she's in a pet store and not a dog pound. But we wonder if she started singing "He's A Tramp" at any time because that musical moment of hers is one of the most iconic from Lady and the Tramp. Whatever the case, the next time you watch 101 Dalmations, do a count of just how many familiar dogs you see in that movie. It might take some pausing and rewinding, but you'll probably find yourself surprised at all those cameos from Lady and the Tramp. It's likely that Disney did this to save time. They already had animated those dogs anyway, so why not use them again?
6 The number A113 is everywhere
Here's a Disney secret that turns up in almost every modern Disney movie. It's one of those things that you don't even notice, but it is still an Easter Egg that the studio keeps putting into its movies. So look for this the next time you're having a binge-watching marathon of Disney movies. What you're looking for is a number: A113. And once you start looking for it, you will see it almost everywhere in movies, sometimes more than once. It has turned up in Lilo and Stitch, all three Toy Story movies, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Up, Brave, Finding Dory, Coco, Inside Out and more. In fact, you'll definitely see it in every Pixar film. It also appears in several TV shows, including American Dad! and Family Guy.
But what is it about A113? What does it mean?
Well, it references something very important: it is the number of a classroom at the California Institute of the Arts, which trained some of those responsible for the Disney movies we love, including John Lasseter, Brad Bird and even Tim Burton. It is the first year graphic design studio of that school, the place where the animation greats first discovered their love for animation.
5 Hans is a wanted criminal in Big Hero 6
There is one Disney villain who doesn't get much attention. He's not as popular as the Evil Queen, Ursula or even Jafar, but he is truly despicable, nonetheless. That villain is Prince Hans of the Southern Isles, the man who had Frozen's Anna fall in love with him so that he could marry into the family and take over the Kingdom of Arendell for his own dastardly plans. Fortunately, Anna discovered that he was a liar before she married him, and in the end, she found her true love in Kristoff instead.
Hans was evil, but we don't see a lot of him, at least as represented in Disney merchandise, not like the other Disney villains. But he does turn up elsewhere. In fact, in a moment that you will literally miss if you blink, there is a photo of Hans hanging on the wall of the police station in Big Hero 6. It only shows up for a few seconds, but it is definitely there. And that photo is part of a wanted poster, because Hans is the most wanted man in Arendelle. Considering how awful his betrayal was of Anna (and how some children found that upsetting), we would say so.
4 Scar as a throw rug in Hercules
Hercules is one of those underrated movies that not a lot of people have really seen, but they should see it. The animated film was a departure from the studio's usual animation style and featured some really cool Greek mythology stories that had never been animated before. It also featured some super catchy 1950s-inspired rock and roll musical numbers, complete with a girl group of Muses that had attitude and style. It also had another terribly underrated villain in Hades, who was literally the evil god of the Underworld. And who can forget the sassiness of Megara, Hercules' love interest?
Whatever the case, we really wish more people had seen that movie.
One important thing it also showed, though, was a conclusion to The Lion King. In that movie, someone even comments that Scar would make a good throw rug. And then in Hercules, Scar's carcass is seen as a pelt that Hercules tries on in one scene, but then throws to the ground. So now we know what happened to Scar. It's pretty disturbing when you think about it: one of Disney's most iconic and deceased villains' bodies is still around and being used as a throw rug. That's seriously macabre, Disney.
3 Dumbo in Lilo and Stitch
Nemo turned up in Monsters, Inc. as a plush toy that Boo tried to hand to Sully (or "Kitty" as she called him). And that's not the only time that Disney characters have turned up in other Disney movies as stuffed animals. This is deliberate and usually has several different meanings attached to it. Dumbo was a special movie because each of its backgrounds were painted in watercolor. That was not the usual technique and it wasn't until Disney created Lilo and Stitch that it used watercolor again, utilizing the technique for the animate alien adventure.
So although it seems random that Lilo has a Dumbo stuffed animal in her room in Lilo and Stitch, it's not so random at all because it's likely that Disney was marking the occasion of the watercolor backgrounds in the only way that it knew how: with a secret Easter Egg that only a hardcore Disney fan might really understand. It's only in that one scene, but it's a nice reminder of all the work that went into the beautiful backgrounds of both animated movies. Even in a world where everything is digitally painted, Disney still occasionally reverts to the old techniques and their love for the art shows.
2 The Hercules muses meets the Haunted Mansion
As previously mentioned, Hercules is one of those movies that is entirely underrated. The mythological tale follows Hercules, the hero of Greek mythology, as he tries to make it in the world while falling in love with a woman who is sworn to the god of the Underworld, Hades. In the background, there are Greek muses, who sing about Hercules' plight, as well as serve as background singers for everyone else in the movie. It's different from any other Disney movie and any hardcore Disney movie fan will talk about how brilliant the animation style was (although it's much different from typical Disney animation).
It also has Easter Eggs, though because that is just Disney tradition.
One of those secrets involves a scene where the muses are singing: their heads, though, just appear on pedestals. This might not mean much to anyone who has never visited a Disney Park, but for those who have and are fans of the Haunted Mansion, they caught this immediately. This is exactly like the singing heads inside that attraction at Disneyland, Walt Disney World and the other Disney Parks all over the world. Disney did this intentionally as an homage to one of its most popular rides of all time.
1 The spinning wheel from Sleeping Beauty in Tangled
It's really interesting to see how much Disney princesses have evolved. In 1938, Snow White became the first Disney princess, but she was old-fashioned and spent much of her time in the movie stupidly biting into a poison apple given to her by an evil witch and sleeping. The movie is more about the dwarves trying to find a prince to kiss her so she would wake up. Fast forward to today, though, and Disney princesses kick butt and take names.
For example, Tangled featured a Disney princess who did not know that she was a princess, but went on an adventure with a man that she later fell in love with after she had time to get to know him (that was unheard of in most previous Disney princess movies). Rapunzel was a lot more independent and had more personality than many princesses who came before her. In Tangled, though, there is an homage to a princess who was her exact opposite: Aurora. In Sleeping Beauty, Aurora is a pretty dull character who pricks her finger on a spinning wheel, which casts a sleeping curse on her: she has to wait for a prince to come save her. Aurora's spinning wheel appears in the tower in Tangled, though, maybe as a sign of just how far Disney princesses have come.