Who doesn’t love a good Disney movie from time to time? Whether it is a classic like Snow White or Cinderella, or something new like Big Hero 6 or Pete’s Dragon, Disney films will always please you. People who are head over heels for Disney movies will know that there are hidden secrets and meanings to the stories, and Disney likes to recycle characters, scenes, and animations throughout the years. For instance, the Pizza Planet truck from Toy Story makes an appearance in many films, such as Finding Nemo, and Wall-E. And what about the voice of Hamm in Toy Story? This voice actor is getting continuous work from Disney and Pixar studios, as he has also voiced P.T. Flea, The Abominable Snowman, The Underminer, Mack the Truck, Fritz, and the school of moonfish from Finding Nemo…and a bunch of other stuff. His name is John Ratzenberger if you want to look him up.
Today we are focusing on the 15 Disney Movie Easter Eggs You’ve Never Noticed. Everyone knows about the Pizza Planet truck, but what about the more subtle things, like character cameos in the crowded streets of other films? Here are some examples of hidden Mickeys, Disney princesses, and much more. These secrets are going to blow your socks off and get you in the mood to have a Disney-watching movie marathon this weekend! We don’t judge, so snuggle up with a bowl or two of popcorn and get ready to re-watch your fave Disney classics again!
15. Chilly Monsters
In the film Frozen, we can find a lot of hidden Disney Easter eggs. If you can pry your attention away from “Let It Go” and the sought-after Elsa braid, then you might notice some of them. One of these Easter eggs is in Oaken the shopkeeper’s store. If you look closely you can spot some wooden figurines on Oaken’s counter while he holds up a block of wood. Divert your eyes to the figurines and you might make out the shape of Mike Wazowski from Monsters, Inc. This Easter egg might be a bit confusing because we don’t know what time period Monsters, Inc. was from, nor do we really know the time frame of the Frozen storyline. So did these two stories coexist together? Did Monsters, Inc. come before Frozen? Or are the Disney movies their own separate universes, with animators simply sticking Easter eggs in for fun?
14. All Hail King Triton
It looks like King Triton isn’t a ruler only under the sea, he has the city of New Orleans wrapped around his finger! In The Princess and the Frog, there is a scene in which a big Mardi Gras parade is taking place. What fun! The floats, the streamers, the costumes, the music…it’s quite a display. Pay attention and you will realize that the big float portraying a merman king is actually King Triton from The Little Mermaid. The realistic looking King of the sea appears in all his glory with his flowing white beard, his shiny crown, and his long and heavy trident. It’s an impressive sight to behold, and one that we were surprised to see in The Princess and the Frog. Perhaps it was to commemorate the 20th anniversary of The Little Mermaid, which came out in 1989. Wow, has it been that long already?! Sheesh.
13. Asian Invasion
The film Lilo and Stitch was a huge hit, and it was something new and exciting for Disney. The film is set in the beautiful Hawaii, and the art was created in a painterly style that resembled lovely watercolors. Plus, the characters were lovable right from the start: a little girl outcast and an alien creature with super strength. Anyway, Lilo and Stitch was full of adventure and laughs, and it really introduced us to the Hawaiian culture, such as the word ohana, which means family. Yet the culture of Hawaii wasn’t the only thing that was referenced in Lilo and Stitch. Look closely at the town that Lilo lives in. If you pay attention during the scenes that show an aerial view of the street, you can spot a Chinese food place called Mulan Wok. Hmm, we wonder who that would be referring to? Could it be the heroine of another classic Disney film, Mulan?
12. They Killed Scar!
That famed Nemean Lion that makes an appearance as a throw rug in Hercules is Scar from The Lion King. How messed up is that? Maybe Zazu had a role to play in this. There is a scene in The Lion King in which Zazu tells Mufasa that Scar would make an excellent throw rug. Of course, he can be assumed to be joking about that, but was he really? In Hercules, we see the main character throw a slain lion on the floor before Phil’s feet. It is an exact replica of Scar. Some people have tried to piece together the timeline because Hercules takes place in ancient Greece and The Lion King doesn’t really have a time period, but it takes place in Africa. Anyway, why would the Greeks be dealing with lions? They aren’t in Greece, are they?! Looks like the animators were just having fun with this one.
11. A Tale of Two Princesses
The Disney Princesses are so famous that they have their own line of merchandise that rakes in millions of dollars each year. We have the classic beauties such as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Belle, Ariel, and Snow White. Then there are more contemporary princesses like Rapunzel, Tiana, and Elsa. If you have watched Tangled, you may have noticed something strangely familiar about Rapunzel’s tower. In her room, you can spot a spinning wheel, and it looks very similar to the one that Princess Aurora pricked her finger on in Sleeping Beauty. It is, in fact, the exact same spinning wheel; the animators put it there to pay homage to another Disney princess. The Disney princesses make cameos in other ways too. Princess Aurora is on the street in Oliver and Company, and Mulan is featured on a poster in Lilo’s room. It is clear that Mulan would be a great role model for Lilo!
10. We Found Nemo!
2003 was a big year for Disney and Pixar. Finding Nemo was a smash hit and was released in May, while Brother Bear came out in October of the same year. And the two of them had some things in common, sort of. If you watch Brother Bear and pay attention during the scene in which Kenai is getting into the salmon fishing, you can see a wave of fish pop up out of the water. Don’t blink or you’ll miss it: Nemo can be seen among the salmon, flopping about. His appearance is a bit different, given the differences in animation styles between Disney and Pixar, but it’s definitely him! Why else would a clownfish be hanging out in a river of salmon? It looks like Nemo has gone a long way from the waters of the Great Barrier reef in Australia. Brother Bear takes place in North America!
9. Frozen Friends
Odds are, you have seen Frozen – multiple times. It was one of the most successful Disney films of all time and it sparked a huge anthem that was sung around the world: “Let It Go.” Well, let’s see if you have noticed this Easter egg in Frozen! During the scene in which Elsa is celebrating her coronation, we can see that many people showed up to commemorate the event. If you look closely, you can see a couple that looks strikingly like Rapunzel and Flynn Rider. That’s because it really is them! Another couple that some people have spotted at the coronation include Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen. Their appearance is a bit more fuzzy, but some viewers have determined that it really is them, which would make sense. Disney is all about that friendship stuff. It would be cute for all of these princesses to be together in support for Elsa.
8. Ill-Fated Doe
Remember the film Bambi? If that wasn’t a movie that made you cry your eyes out, then you might have a heart made of stone. The film dates all the way back to 1942 and was one of the first Disney feature films. It remains a classic, even though it had us bawling our eyes out. As most people know (and we’re sorry for any spoilers here), Bambi’s mom is hunted down and killed in the forest by a man. The whole story of Bambi is about how man is ruining nature, so it made sense for Disney to kill off a character that was near and dear to our hearts. Yet this poor doe was always doomed to be dead. She makes a cameo appearance in The Jungle Book, in which she is to fall prey to Shere Khan the tiger. Come on Disney! We can’t take much more of this. Let the poor doe live! Let her live!
7. Kermit the Frog
Kermit the Frog is a Muppet, and the Muppets are a creation of Jim Henson, who partnered with the Disney company. So technically the Muppets are Disney characters, even if they don’t really seem like it. In fact, the Muppets are in a world of their own, but they are adored by many! One of the most popular Muppets is Kermit the Frog, a cute little green guy with an undeniably cute voice. While frogs in real life would never be found in the depths of the ocean, Kermit the Frog seems to be an exception. In the film The Little Mermaid, we can see Kermit the Frog chilling among the crowd as King Triton makes his big appearance. You have to look closely, but if you try you will see that green frog sitting among all of the mermaids and mermen. It is a cute little Easter egg that Muppets fans will love.
6. Video Game References
In the film Wreck-It Ralph we can find a whole load of cameos, some of which might surprise you. After all, this is a Disney film, and they are a company that is very much separate from Nintendo. Yet Wreck-It Ralph features a group called Bad Guys Anonymous, in which we can find none other than Bowser from the Super Mario Brothers games! So, what was up with that? Well, when the Disney teams were working on the story, they wanted to have a group of villains from famous video games. While Mario himself is not a bad guy, Bowser is, so he was the perfect bulky guy to stick in there. Other cameos include Dr. Eggman, the orange ghost from Pac-Man, Shinobi, Zangief, M. Bison, and Neff. The main character of the film, Ralph, finds himself attending weekly meetings with the Bad Guys Anonymous group, in which they discuss the struggles of being villains.
5. Disney Foreshadowing
Animators usually like to sneak in hidden Easter eggs wherever they can, sometimes to refer back to a classic movie, scene, or character, and sometimes to foreshadow upcoming events or soon-to-be-released movies. In the film The Princess and the Frog, you can spot a copy of the fairy tale Rapunzel on a shelf in Charlotte’s room. The Princess and the Frog was the Disney movie that preceded Tangled, so this was a reference to Disney’s next feature film. Other references to films include the books in Rapunzel’s tower: Beauty and the Beast and Sleeping Beauty. And in the 1951 movie Alice in Wonderland, we can see the blue bird from Bambi. At least that creature survived. Speaking of Bambi, the title character’s mom makes an appearance in Beauty and the Beast. Now how could that be? We thought she died in Bambi! It must be that the Disney films take place in their own realities.
4. A Flash of the Past
In the not-so-popular Disney film Meet the Robinsons, there is a scene in which we are witnessing a baseball game. As the camera focuses on one scared little boy playing in the outfield, we can see some signs on the fence. One of them clearly says “Go Dinos” in an effort to support the team. Yet if you look more closely, you will notice that there are some poster images next to that sign. One of them is a movie poster for The Jungle Book and there is also a movie poster for Toy Story 2. Both of these films came out years before Meet the Robinsons (2007), which takes place in the unidentifiable future. How far into the future they are, we don’t know. But clearly there is still a lot of love for Disney in this futuristic decade, even for a film that first premiered in the 1960s.
3. Putting it All “Out There”
The Hunchback of Notre Dame came out in 1996, and it references some Disney films that preceded it a few years earlier. Plus, all of these references and cameos are revealed in the same scene! Check out The Hunchback of Notre Dame and play the scene in which they sing “Out There”. During this scene, you will spot some Easter eggs that will remind you of Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and The Lion King, Disney films that came out in the early 1990s. This scene gives us a look at the marketplace in Paris, France during King Louis’ reign. We can see the villagers selling their wares, purchasing goods, and roaming on the cobblestone streets. Yet look closer…do you see Belle from Beauty and the Beast? She is walking while reading a book. There is also a man trying to sell the magic carpet from Aladdin. And Pumbaa the warthog is there…dead on a spit.
2. That’s No Gargoyle!
The Hunchback of Notre Dame was a really interesting Disney movie because it took on a darker tone and was a more serious film that its predecessors (and successors). This movie told the story of Quasimodo, a social outcast who rings the bell towers while hiding his unsightly hunchback from others. He then comes across the mystical and beautiful gypsy Esmeralda, and the two develop a relationship. Gypsies, danger, and Gothic architecture take center stage in this film, which takes place in during the Middle Ages in Paris, France. So it would seem a bit odd to see a reference to the African savannah in this movie, wouldn’t it? Not if it’s a Disney film! In the scene in which Quasimodo is hanging off the side of the tower with Esmeralda in his arms, we can spot gargoyles on the ledge. Look closer because one of them isn’t a gargoyle at all; it’s a Pumbaa made of stone!
1. The Hidden Mickeys
Of course, Disney would not be Disney if they didn’t sneak in their iconic mascot in their films and theme parks. Mickey Mouse makes an appearance in various instances, such as during A Goofy Movie. In the scene where Max and Goofy are performing on stage with Powerline, there is a shot of the audience cheering them on. If you look closely, you can spot Mickey Mouse in the crowd enjoying himself and the sights. In Pinocchio, there is a chair in Geppetto’s house that is shaped like Mickey’s head. In many underwater scenes in Disney films, you can spot bubbles that create Mickey heads. The 1977 film The Rescuers features a Mickey Mouse clock in the kitchen. Mickey Mouse heads also appear in shadows, treetops, and leaves. Pretty much anything can be a Mickey head and it starts to drive you crazy! Even in Tron, the simulation grid is shaped like a laughing Mickey head!