It is almost Easter! This Easter, we would like to give you some Easter eggs. No, not the chocolate ones, but the digital ones. The hidden messages in films. Disney and Pixar (which is currently also a part of Disney), have tons of Easter eggs in their movies! Many of you will probably know the pizza truck that makes an appearance in all Pixar movies, or the code ‘A113’, referring to a room where many Pixar studio artists sat when studying at the California Institute of Arts. In this article, we have tried to list some better-hidden Easter eggs and intertextualities you might not have noticed before.
Some Disney movies take place in the past. Disney often references cultural habits, buildings, and clothing from decennia back. Sometimes, however, these references are extra detailed. Did you ever notice that in the movie ‘Hercules’, when the protagonist talks about the planets aligning, only six planets are shown? We know that there are more planets out there. However, in ancient Greece, when this movie takes place, they were convinced that there were only six planets. So, if you ever noticed a few planets missing, this is not a mistake from the animators, but a historical reference!
Hercules is not the only movie for which the producers had considered ancient Greece. In the movie ‘Aladdin’, Aladdin throws an apple at Jasmin while they fly over Greece together. A surprised Jasmin happily catches the apple. Back in the day, in Greece, you gave an apple to someone to ask that person to marry you. Did you know that? Well, we didn’t!
What’s in the name?
The Little Mermaid. Who doesn’t love that movie? When the sea witch, Ursula, transforms herself into a human, her human name is Vanessa. You probably thought that this was just a random name chosen by the writers of the movie. However, Ursula uses a butterfly to transform herself into a human. You can probably guess the name of this exact butterfly species… exactly! The Vanessa butterfly. This butterfly stands for ‘transformation’, hence, the sea witch turning into a human.
Another film where the writers played around with names, is the Disney film, ‘Luca’. If you have seen the movie, you know that Luca Paguro and his friend, Alberto Scorfano, become fish when they touch the water. Wait, let’s take a look at those last names again. Paguro - doesn’t that mean ‘hermit crab’? And Scorfano translates to ‘redfish’, right? Both animals live in the ocean. Smart, those Disney writers!
This next reference is an obvious one. However, many Disney fans have never noticed it. You will probably be bummed out that you haven’t figured this one out yourself. The cute little elephant, Dumbo, is part of the WDP circus and by now we know, Disney doesn’t do random names. Of course, the WDP circus stands for the Walt Disney Pictures Circus!
Most people who watched the film ‘Encanto’, have a weakness for Camilo. Camilo, who can turn into any person he wants to, is named after a chameleon. As we know, this animal can also change its looks! Furthermore, like many characters in Disney movies, Camilo is named after a real person. A tour guide from Colombia, that helped the crew during the making of Encanto, is also named Camilo.
Real villains and artists
There are not only Disney characters who thank their name to real persons. Some Disney characters are based entirely on existing people! The villain, Charlie Muntz, is an example of this. If this name doesn’t ring a bell right away, we will give you a hint. A beautiful movie about an old man who lost his wife, but makes a new friend in the form of a young boy scout. Hmm, maybe that was basically the plot of the whole movie, instead of a hint. Anyway, Charlie Muntz is the villain from the movie ‘UP!’. This character was based on the existing person, ‘Charles Mintz’. Mintz stole Oswald the Rabbit. This rabbit was apparently the first character that Disney created. This makes Mintz a real-life villain, even though he is probably not as evil as the Charlie Muntz from the movie!
In ‘The Jungle Book’ a bunch of birds, that are bored out of their minds, appear. If they reminded you of someone, but you never knew who, we will help you out. The Beatles! Fact is, the Beatles were also supposed to give these birds their voices. However, John Lennon decided not to do it. Still, we feel like the birds have some similarities with the members of The Beatles.
The text says it all
One of the Disney movies that uses multiple textual hints is ‘Mulan’. When we think of Mulan, the song “I’ll make a man out of you” immediately comes to mind. Two of the lines in this song are: “With all the force of a great typhoon” and “With all the strength of a raging fire”. Probably to you, these are nothing more than nice metaphors. Well, actually, these lines are quoted from the book ‘The Art of War’, written by Sun Tzu, who was a general and used to take care of the military strategy of the Chinese kingdom.
The last hidden message of this article is not a textual hint, but is in the picture itself. Or is it a textual hint? Hmm, let’s just say it is a combination of the two! Mulan proved to all of us that women are not inferior to men and that a woman doesn’t need a husband to get by. At the beginning of the film, Mulan is told that every girl needs to find a good match, meaning that she needs to find a husband. And do you know what Mulan does in the movie? In the fight against the Huns, she literally creates her own match to light an explosive!
And? How many of these Easter eggs had you already found by yourself? Maybe it is time to sit down with some chocolate eggs, watch the Disney classics again, and look if you can see these digital Easter eggs. No better way to spend your Easter break we would say! Enjoy!