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Top 10 Hidden Easter Eggs in Pixar Movies

Pixar has done an incredible job of creating a universe full of fun, little secrets for those fans who are paying attention.

Each of these hidden details is a testament to the sheer brilliance of Pixar. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the "Top 10 Easter Eggs in Pixar Films."

For this list, we’re taking a look at hidden surprises in Pixar movies that fans are sure to appreciate. We’ve excluded voiceover cameos—so don’t plan on seeing Pixar’s good luck charm, John Ratzenberger, singled out.

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Buy-n-Large—Toy Story 3

You’ll find, throughout this list, that all of the Pixar films are likely part of the same universe. This Easter egg is just one of the many pieces of evidence that adds to The Pixar Theory. In Toy Story 3, an entourage of hostile playthings access Buzz Lightyear’s battery compartment in order to reset him. The space ranger’s batteries have a BNL emblem, which is a nod to Buy-n-Large, the mega-corporation responsible for Earth’s downfall in WALL-E. Are Woody and Buzz out there in the post-apocalyptic wreckage nearly 800 years in the future? We know where Rex the Dinosaur is!

Favorite Chinese Food—Various Pixar Films

It’s safe to assume that the animators at Pixar have eaten a lot of Chinese food over the years. That would explain why a particular Chinese takeout box keeps resurfacing in their movies. With a pagoda drawn on its side, this oyster pail first appeared in A Bug’s Life. Referred to as the Chinese Cabinet of Metamorphosis, it played a key role in Manny’s circus act. Since then, similar Chinese takeout containers have emerged in Toy Story 2,  Ratatouille, and Inside Out. As different as all four of these films are, they all seem to be weaved together through the Pixar staff’s craving for Chinese cuisine.

95—Toy Story 3

1995 was a historic year for Pixar, as it marked the release of their first animated feature, Toy Story. 15 years later, Toy Story 3 opened with a thrilling runaway train sequence. The number on the locomotive’s front is “95,” which references the year the original Toy Story hit theaters. It’s also Lightning McQueen’s racing number in Cars. Speaking of Lightning, Toy Story 3 works in a clever nod to everyone’s favorite race car. At Sunnyside Daycare, a little boy wears a red t-shirt with a lightning bolt and the number 95. That’s like an Easter egg within another Easter egg, demonstrating that there are numerous layers to Pixar’s genius.

Sulley Carving—Brave

The witch from Brave not only specializes in magic, but carving wood as well. One of her many woodcarvings happens to feature an image of James P. Sullivan. At first glance, this might seem like a throwaway. However, it actually plays into one of the most popular Pixar theories. Some fans believe that Monsters, Inc. takes place in a future where humankind no longer reigns supreme. Since monsters need children’s screams, though, they created time travel doors to visit the past. If this is indeed the case, Sulley’s little buddy, Boo, could’ve traveled back to Medieval Scotland and learned magic. Thus, the nameless witch might be Boo as an elderly woman. Why else would she carve the big, cuddly kitty?

Pixar Shorts—Various Pixar Films

Outside of feature-length movies, Pixar has given us a wide collection of animated shorts as well. The Adventures of André and Wally B., Red's Dream, Tin Toy, and Knick Knack all helped put the studio on the map. In Toy Story, Andy’s books share the same titles of many of Pixar’s original shorts. As Hamm flips through channels in Toy Story 2, clips from several Pixar shorts briefly pop up. Geri from Geri’s Game also makes a cameo in the film as a toy repairman. Most recently, the titular character from the 2016 short Piper appeared in Finding Dory. Even though Pixar is now an animation giant, it’s good to know that they haven’t forgotten about the little guys.

The Toys—Various Pixar Films

Remember Rex’s cameo in WALL-E? Well, he’s not the only Toy Story character that’s been found in other Pixar movies. In Monsters, Inc., Boo’s room is littered with toys, including a Luxo Ball and Jessie doll. She even has a clownfish toy, which would hint at Pixar’s next film. While we’re on the subject of Finding Nemo, Boo’s teddy bear and Buzz Lightyear show up in the dentist’s office. A boy in the waiting room reads a Mr. Incredible comic as well. Up would additionally foreshadow Toy Story 3, as Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear sits in a girl’s bedroom. Meanwhile, Red the fire truck and Lightning McQueen appear as toy cars at Sunnyside Daycare. Talk about a toy chest of Easter eggs.

Apple—Various Pixar Films

In addition to cofounding Apple, the late Steve Jobs was one of Pixar’s most prominent shareholders. Since Pixar likely wouldn’t be the studio it is today without Jobs, they constantly pay homage to Apple. The tech company’s products have been featured in numerous Pixar films, most notably Toy Story 3. Where Apple Inc. encourages us to “think different,” Monsters, Inc. encourages us to “scare different.” A racer named Mac iCar zoomed by in Cars while Lord Macintosh tries to impress Merida in Brave. The best Apple reference arguably occurs in WALL-E. As the little robot charges up, the noise he makes sounds exactly like an Apple computer turning on. Who says product placement can’t be done with wit and charm?

A113—Various Pixar Films

It might sound like a secret code of some kind, but “A113” is actually a classroom at California Institute of the Arts where students study character animation and graphic design. Among the university’s alumni are John Lasseter, who went on to direct Toy Story, and Brad Bird, who went on to direct The Incredibles. As a tribute to the classroom, this assortment of letters and numbers has appeared in every Pixar film. While this Easter egg is easy to miss, you can spot “A113” on license plates, boxes, cameras, and so much more. Pixar isn’t the only studio that frequently references “A113” either. It’s become a reoccurring in-joke in the entertainment industry, exemplifying the widespread impact of CalArts.

Pizza Planet—Various Pixar Films

This intergalactic-theme restaurant made its debut in the original Toy Story. Outside of The Incredibles, a Pizza Planet truck has turned up in every Pixar movie since. The vehicle naturally appears in the Toy Story sequels, as well as both Cars movies. This truck can also be found as a woodcarving in Brave, within a memory orb in Inside Out, and under the sea in Finding Dory. In addition to Pizza Planet, Dinoco is another company the regularly appears in Pixar films. These reoccurring businesses truly make it feel like the Pixar movies are all connected, as if the filmmakers were creating a cinematic universe right under our noses.

Before we get to our top pick, here are some honorable mentions:

  • Gastow’s—Cars 2
  • Correspondence from Carl and Ellie Fredricksen is seen in Andy’s room [aka Is Andy related to Carl from Up?]—Toy Story 3
  • Drive-In Movies—Cars
  • Andy's Wallpaper—Monsters, Inc.
  • The Shining References—Toy Story Franchise
  • Totoro Toy—Toy Story 3

Luxo Ball—Various Pixar Films

The 1986 short Luxo Jr. gave us two of Pixar’s most iconic figures: a living desk lamp and a yellow ball. While the lamp would eventually become the company’s mascot, the Luxo Ball has gone on to star in several Pixar projects. As stated before, Boo from Monsters, Inc. has a Luxo Ball of her own. It can also be seen as the stage floor in Red’s Dream, on a wall in Monsters University, and in a child’s room in Up. Of course audiences probably recognize the ball best from the Toy Story films, particularly when Buzz Lightyear first takes flight. Whenever we encounter the Luxo Ball, we’re always reminded of Pixar’s ability to take us to infinity and beyond.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite Pixar Easter egg? For more entertaining Top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to MsMojo.

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Top 10 Hidden Easter Eggs in Pixar Movies
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