Hidden messages and common themes have been a part of the creative process since its beginning. In all types of art, these messages can range anywhere from symbolism to subliminal advertising, to even hinting at fun. In movies, hidden themes are often included so that the director and/or crew can tease or provide a ‘nod’ (of sorts) for die-hard fans to-be. The practice is commonly referred to as “hiding Easter Eggs”. For example, Roland Emmerich’s ‘Godzilla’ (1998) included obscure references to the Fox show, ‘The Simpsons’. Another famous Easter Egg can be found in George Lucas’s ‘Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace’ (1999), where he pays homage to E.T. by having other E.T.-esque creatures appear in the background.
In doing so, he repaid Steven Spielberg’s favor of featuring Yoda the 1982 film ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’.
However, it’s the animation company Pixar that is probably the most famous company to include numerous movie-linking Easter Eggs.
Pixar has been using Easter Eggs to hint at future movie projects and tie together the Pixar film universe since their debut movie ‘Toy Story’ in 1995. While, for instance, toys from ‘Toy Story’ appear in other Pixar features, their most famous Easter Egg is probably the Pizza Planet truck. Aside from ‘The Incredibles’ (2004), the pizza delivery truck has been included and can spotted in every Pixar feature.
For the average viewer this may not seem like much, but fans of the production company actively search for this Easter Egg in every film. It has become less of an animator’s treat to him or herself and more of a community scavenger hunt. In fact, over the years it’s actually been getting harder and harder to find the truck. While the truck was prominently featured in ‘Toy Story’ (because it was integral to the movie’s plot), it was extremely hard to find in Pixar’s newest piece, ‘Inside Out’ (2015).
After months of searching, it was only recently revealed that the truck in ‘Inside Out’ could be spotted in several memory orbs from the movie. Even more recently than that, images started popping up online with screen caps of the truck’s cameo and it really isn’t an easy find:
As Easter Eggs go, we have to hand it to Pixar – they know how to keep their fan base engaged. In general, Easter Eggs are always fun to find and share with friends. They not only allow directors, writers, and production staff to have a little fun with infusing some of their own favorite pop culture references, but they also add an extra level of engagement for dedicated viewers. Film Easter Eggs can even spark really cool fan theories like Jon Negroni’s “Pixar Theory” found here.
People of all ages can search for and share their finds, even viewers who aren’t totally invested. That’s why we love Easter Eggs so much. Let’s just hope that Easter Eggs continue to be a staple in modern film, and that Pixar never stops including the Pizza Planet truck.
What are your favorite Pixar Easter Eggs? What are some other cool Easter Eggs not mentioned in the article? Tell us in the comments section below!