31 Details From Animated Disney Movies You Probably Missed
There’s nothing quite as magical as a wonderful Disney movie. The thoughtfulness behind every story mixed with the iconic characters they create makes it no surprise that Disney basically dominates everyone’s childhood (along with its Pixar subsidiary).
But there are a number of hidden details in basically every Disney cartoon that are extremely easy to miss. Luckily, eagle-eyed viewers almost always find these hidden Easter eggs. And, thanks to the internet, they’re able to share them with the world.
So, the next time you watch any of these animated Disney movies, be on the lookout for these easy-to-miss details that add even more excitement and flair to the already delightful storyline.
The Genie’s Outfit in ‘Aladdin’ Is Based on One Robin Williams Wore
At the very end of “Aladdin,” the Genie is finally freed and gets so excited about his newfound freedom, he decks himself out in a very touristy outfit and prepares to see the world.
Complete with goofy ears and a floral shirt, the outfit isn’t just a generic Disney visitor outfit. It’s a nod to an outfit Robin Williams wore when he shot a short video called “Back to Neverland” that was shot at Disney’s MGM studios in 1989. It’s not only hilarious, but it’s also an appropriate choice considering Williams was the voice of the iconic character.
The Opening Sequence in ‘Up’ Features a Pink Light That Fades When Ellie Dies’
As if the opening sequence from “Up” wasn’t enough of an emotional roller coaster, there’s one colorful detail that adds more emotional layers into the mix. When Ellie and Carl first get married, the screen is filled with bright pink everywhere, which is meant to represent the wilder and playful Ellie’s energy.
As she grows sick and begins to fade, so does the light. And in the final sequence, as Carl walks back into his now-dark home after her funeral, the last bit of pink fades from the frame. But wait — there’s more. At the very end of the movie, there’s a moment when it cuts to Paradise Falls, where she always wanted to go, and the sky and frames are again filled with that same pink. (Somebody pass the tissues.)
Mike Overlooks Important Sticky Notes in ‘Monsters, Inc.’
In “Monsters, Inc.,” Mike Wazowski leaves himself multiple sticky notes in his locker to remember to file his paperwork. They can be seen quickly in a glimpse throughout the locker. But, as what often happens to even the best of us who use sticky notes to try and remember major tasks, he forgets.
And, in doing so, this drives the plot of the rest of the movie. And, also, makes the (hilarious and terrifying) Roz very mad.
’Coco’s’ Land of the Dead Is Filled With Skulls in the Sky
Of course, there are skulls all over the place in “Coco’s” Land of the Dead. Every person who enters it (until Miguel) is dead and, therefore, a skeleton. But in the impressive shot of the entire landscape, you may also notice a number of carefully placed skulls that are even silhouetted in the sky.
You’ll see skulls in the snakes the buildings themselves make and even cleverly hidden in the spaces between the architecture.
The Tires in ‘Cars’ Are Buzz Lightyear Tires
A quick look at Lightning McQueen and the other tires on the various racecars in the 2006 “Cars” movie, and you can see a familiar brand. They’re all “Lightyear” tires, likely a play on the famous Goodyear racing tires that also conveniently ties them back to “Toy Story” and Buzz Lightyear.
But the reference doesn’t stop there. Animators went into even more detail if you zoom in: While the tires are being changed, you’ll see that these Lightyear tires are from Sector 4, Gamma Quadrant, the same place Buzz is proudly from.
Tamatoa in ‘Moana’ Is Hoarding Aladdin’s Genie Lamp
The first meeting of Tamatoa in Disney’s “Moana” is certainly unforgettable, to say the least. The coveting crab who must have everything shiny and pretty is certainly out on a mission to keep and hoard everything he finds that he likes.
When Maui confronts him on a pile of his own gold, detail-oriented viewers noticed that there was a conspicuous shiny gold lamp in the frame that looks exactly like the lamp from “Aladdin.” It’s (presumably) Genie-free at this point but still valuable for its shiny gold.
Nani from ‘Lilo & Stitch’ Has a ‘Mulan’ Poster
In “Lilo & Stitch,” Nani becomes responsible for Lilo after their parents die, which is not an easy task. A quick glance into her room, you’ll notice a prominent poster in the background that shows she may be drawing inspiration from another very powerful woman, Mulan.
So, while she may have a difficult task of raising her younger sister and also, you know, dealing with Stitch, she has some good examples to admire in the process.
Scar’s Claws Are Always Extended
In “The Lion King,” most of the lions extend or retract their claws depending on the circumstance. When they’re relaxed, they’re retracted. If they’re threatened or fighting, they extend.
That, in itself, is a pretty cool detail. But the evil, scheming Scar’s claws are always extended. While you may not have noticed it before, it’s hard to unsee once it’s pointed out. That detail adds to him feeling more dangerous and threatening than the other lions.
Imagination Land in ‘Inside Out’ Has a ‘Finding Nemo’ Game
If at first you don’t see this detail, just keep swimming. Or, in this case, keep looking. In “Inside Out,” when Bing Bong wanders through Imagination Land there’s a conspicuously labeled game with a familiar-looking clownfish on it.
The game is called “Find Me.” It doesn’t take all that much imagination to put together that animators created a “Finding Nemo” reference hidden in plain sight.
Imagination Land Also Has Personalized Playing Cards
Behind Bing Bong in Imagination Land aren’t just a bunch of games. There is also a stack of playing cards. Three of the cards — the Queen, King and Jack — have really familiar faces.
The King looks like Riley’s dad. The Queen looks like her mom. And the Jack, which has been changed to an R instead of a J, looks like Riley herself.
In ‘101 Dalmatians,’ Lucky Has a Horseshoe Pattern on His Back
This little detail is somewhat difficult to spot (all puns intended). While there are millions of little spots to keep track of throughout the entire movie, most of them don’t have any discernible pattern. But for the very lucky little pup who almost didn’t make it into this world, Lucky, you can actually see that his spots are shaped like a horseshoe on his back.
Since a horseshoe is considered good luck for many people, this adds an extra layer of luck to this little dalmation doggo’s vibe.
In ‘Zootopia,’ Nick Uses His Scout Handkerchief as an Adult
One of the most traumatic moments for young Nick in the storyline of “Zootopia” happened when he tried to join the boy scouts. As a predator, he wasn’t welcome or trusted in the prey’s pack.
But he thought he could make it work. It wasn’t until his “initiation” when the others ostracized and humiliated him. And that experience informed many of adult Nick’s decisions. And the handkerchief he wore is still clearly used by adult Nick throughout “Zootopia.”
There’s a Conspicuous Skeleton in the Land of the Dead Line in ‘Coco’
This detail is literally a blink-and-you-miss-it detail. But, luckily for all of us, some people didn’t blink. And those people found that, as Miguel is waiting in line to cross the border into the Land of the Dead, there are two shady-looking skeletons looking like they’re engaging in some sort of deal they don’t want others to notice.
That in itself, is a fun find. But what makes that catch even more delightful is that one of the skeletons bears a very similar resemblance to the notorious Pablo Escobar.
Buzz Lightyear’s Batteries Are Made by WALL-E’s Company
In “Toy Story 3,” Buzz Lightyear’s batteries become exposed. When they are, they show a BnL symbol, which represents the Buy n Large Brand.
And if that name sounds familiar, it’s from a different Disney movie. In the movie “WALL-E,” he is made by the Buy n Large company. Little details like this are what makes Disney so good at what they do.
In ‘Cars 2,’ There’s a Tapestry That Matches One in ‘Brave’
While the cars in “Cars 2” are out making mischief at a pub in London, there’s a tapestry featured in the background on the wall of the pub. That tapestry seems to mirror one featured in the movie “Brave.”
Only, in cars, the tapestry doesn’t feature people. Instead, it features, well, cars.
When Maui Becomes Half Shark in ‘Moana,’ So Do His Tattoos
Maui from “Moana” has a magical tapestry on his skin. It’s more than just a “map of the victories I win,” which he sings about. It’s also an active and reactive part of the demigod’s character.
The tattoos move and change and even seem to feel emotions. But, it turns out, they can also transform like Maui himself. When he becomes a half shark, the mini Maui on his body also becomes a half shark.
Ariel From ‘The Little Mermaid’ Resembles Alyssa Milano
Before you ever even see an animated Disney movie, the main characters may look or feel familiar to you. And that could be because they are sometimes inspired by real-life people. That is certainly the case when it comes to Ariel in “The Little Mermaid.”
Ariel’s features and even some of her gestures are based on actress Alyssa Milano. While there are obvious differences like the oversized blue eyes and bright-red hair — oh, and the mermaid fin, of course — the likeness is obvious once it’s pointed out.
And Tom Cruise Inspired Aladdin
One of the most successful actors in the 1990s was Tom Cruise, which is why they chose to base Aladdin off of him.
They wanted Aladdin to have an edge and exude confidence, which is why they specifically modeled him after Cruises role in “Top Gun.”
’Wreck It Ralph’s High Score Is Walt Disney’s Birthday
In “Wreck It Ralph,” you can see the high score set on the Fix It Felix game for just a moment. The number is 120501.
While it may seem like a random number, very few things are random in the Disney universe. That number is actually a reference to Walt Disney’s birthday, which is Dec. 5, 1901.
There Are Only 6 Planets in ‘Hercules’ Because That’s What the Ancient Greeks Believed
In “Hercules,” when The Fates tell Hades about all the planets aligning at a specific time in the future, they look up into the planets themselves. When they do, there seem to only be six planets that align, including Earth.
This may be confusing for those of you who know there are actually eight planets in the solar system (not counting Pluto … sorry, Pluto). But it’s not a mistake. The Ancient Greeks actually only knew about five other planets. And since that’s when the movie takes place, it’s actually a historically accurate reference.
There’s a Hidden Mickey in Ursula’s Contract in ‘The Little Mermaid’
Anyone who has ever visited Disney World or Disneyland may know all about Hidden Mickeys. They’re little Mickey Mouse silhouettes that you can find in the most surprising places.
But what may be truly surprising for many fans of “The Little Mermaid” is the fact that there is a hidden Mickey right smack dab in the small print of the contract Ariel signs with Ursula to give over her voice in exchange for being human. It’s only there for a split second, but it’s a fun catch once you find it.
The Zootopia Dollar Bills Feature Actual Bucks
When money is exchanged in Zootopia, the animals are transferring bucks back and forth. And that’s actually more literal than it may seem.
The pictures featured on the dollars in the movie are pictures of large male deer, which are of course also known as bucks. While we only see this on single dollar bills, it’s very likely the bigger bucks feature, well, bigger bucks.
The Dentist in ‘Finding Nemo’ Doesn’t Properly Wash His Hands
When the dentist emerges from the bathroom in “Finding Nemo,” he’s clearly just done his business. And he goes straight to putting his hands all up in a patient’s mouth.
But, as is shown from the fish’s perspective, it’s obvious that when he leaves the restroom that he doesn’t wash his hands before putting them directly in the patient’s mouth. His spinoff movie could be named “Finding a New Dentist.”
Dr. Facilier in ‘The Princess and the Frog’ Turns The Wallpaper Into Skulls
Dr. Facilier, like most Disney villains, is not a good guy. His trademark top hat with a skull and crossbones combined with his love for macabre and, well, skulls doesn’t just manifest on his clothes. He also seems to make them appear.
At one point, he casts a shadow on the wallpaper of a room, and the parts of the wallpaper his shadow hits transform into a skull and crossbones. Spooky!
Mother Gothel from ‘Tangled’ Only Kisses Rapunzel’s Hair
In “Tangled,” Mother Gothel doesn’t ever kiss or hug Rapunzel herself. While it may be subtle, one quick glance at where her interest actually lies, and you’ll notice she only ever plays with, touches or kisses her hair.
Rather than even kissing her forehead, she kisses the top of her hair and says “I love you most,” reminding the hair that she loves it more than Rapunzel herself.
‘James and the Giant Peach’ Encounters Jack Skellington
In “James and the Giant Peach,” James runs into a ghost ship at one point in the waters. The ship is scary and unnerving. And its captain, The Skeleton Pirate, is both terrifying and terrifyingly familiar.
That’s because he’s portrayed by “The Nightmare Before Christmas’” hero, Jack Skellington. Seeing Jack in full Halloween-style scare is delightful. And while Centipede does reference “A Skellington?” his cameo is otherwise never officially confirmed.
Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Has a Cameo in ‘The Princess and the Frog’
As the movie pans into the busy streets of New Orleans, where the story of “The Princess and the Frog”takes place, there’s a lot of hustle and bustle. At one point, there’s even a woman who is dusting out a colorful rug.
While it may just seem like an act to add to the ambiance of the community, it’s actually a very conspicuously colored rug that looks exactly like the magic carpet from “Aladdin.”
The ‘Frozen’ Credits Clarify That Not Every Man Eats Their Own Boogers
In “Frozen,” Kristoff claims that all men eat their own boogers. While most people tune out of the credits at the end or get lost in the long list of names that made this movie magic come to life, there’s actually a fun easter egg hidden in these credits.
The credits clarify that the views of Kristoff and how interested men are in boogers are his and his alone and do not represent the views of the company. While this might seem like serious legalese, it’s also just plain fun since it’s juxtaposed with the idea of eating boogers.
Rapunzel Has the Largest Disney Princess Eyes
Disney princesses are notorious for two things. First, breaking out into songs that conveniently clarify their very specific wants. And secondly, their oversized eyes.
But while all the Disney Princesses have eyes that are comically unproportional to their face shapes, Rapunzel has the largest of all the Disney princesses.
Gaston’s Eyes See Skulls When He Falls
The ending of “Beauty and the Beast” is already pretty dark, even for a Disney movie. But when Gaston falls to his presumed death, a small detail was added to make the moment even darker.
If you freeze frame, the look of fear he gives Beast just before the fall, you’ll see two skulls in his pupils. While you might expect to see skulls in “Coco” or “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” they are certainly off-putting in this ending moment. And it also doesn’t exactly leave room for a Gaston-centered sequel since it pretty much confirms he’s dead.
Aladdin’s Turban Feather Is a Lie Detector
Aladdin may have done his best to pretend he’s a prince, but he had a tell that outed his lies right in front of all his face. Whenever he outright lies, his turban feather falls in his face.
He does a good job of casually playing it off, but if Jasmine were trained in reading people like professional poker players do, she would have seen that immediately.