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The hidden gems in Brave, Up and other Disney-Pixar films

Fans of Disney-Pixar films delight in poring over every scene to dig up iconography from pictures in the Pixar family. In Brave, the studio’s most recent release, a glimpse of Sulley from Monsters Inc. is merely one example. Here’s our field guide to “hidden gems” found in the studio’s last five films.

Disney Pixar's Brave


  • The iconic Pizza Planet truck, first seen in 1995’s Toy Story, appears in the form of a figurine carved by the Witch.
  • The likeness of Sulley, the softhearted blue monster in Monsters, Inc., is carved into a piece of wood in the Witch’s home. (P.S. — Sulley will be back on the big screen in next year’s Monsters University… yay!)

Disney Pixar's Cars 2

Cars 2

  • Maybe one of the most fun elements to go back and watch for is the foreshadowing of upcoming characters. In Cars 2, characters from Brave can actually be spotted in car form in artwork at the London pub.
  • The Pizza Planet truck shows up both on the Tire Talk TV show and near the end of the film, when Mater flies on jet packs.
  • Luigi’s family members are modifications of a popular vintage Italian sports car, the Fiat 500. The car’s nickname, Topolino, is actually the Italian name for Mickey Mouse.
  • Another trademark gem, “A113” refers to a CalArts classroom frequented by Pixar employees while students. In this pic, it is the catalog number of the engine photograph.
  • When Mater and McQueen drive past the Drive-In, the “Incredimobiles” is playing — the cars version of the studio’s The Incredibles. A poster for The Incredibles also pops up when the cars are in Paris.

Disney Pixar's Toy Story 3

Toy Story 3

  • What do Lotso and his friends ride on during a flashback? You guessed it… the Pizza Planet truck! Plus, a Pizza Planet calendar can be found in Andy’s bedroom.
  • The license plate of Andy’s mom’s car is A113.
  • Karma catches up with Toy Story‘s pyromaniac brat, Sid Phillips — in Toy Story 3, he has a brief cameo as a miserly garbage man (donning his signature black and white skull t-shirt, no less)!
  • Emperor Zurg, Buzz Lightyear’s archenemy introduced in the first film, is among the toys donated to Sunnyside Daycare at the film’s close.

Disney Pixar's Up


  • The courtroom Carl waits to be called into bears the inscription A113.
  • A Luxo Jr. ball, made classic by the studio’s short film Luxo Jr., lies on the floor of a girl’s bedroom when Carl’s house goes flying by. Also in the girl’s bedroom is a stuffed Lotso bear, unveiled the following year as the fuzzy villain in Toy Story 3 .
  • The tree under which Carl and Ellie enjoy a picnic should look vaguely familiar… it is the same tree from A Bug’s Life!
  • In the first Toy Story, a grape soda pin is shown during a Buzz Lightyear commercial. Fast forward to this film, and Carl wears the exact same grape soda pin.

Disney Pixar's Wall-E


  • In her search, EVE rummages through the infamous Pizza Planet truck. The robots also refer to “pizza plants,” a joking nod to the Toy Story icon.
  • Can you imagine what code is associated with AUTO’s secret directive? If you ventured A113, your powers of observation are pretty sharp.
  • Wall-E uses the Pixar lamp from Luxo Jr. to fashion EVE’s arm in his EVE sculpture.
  • Many items in the junkyard pay homage to other films from Disney-Pixar: A Leak Less bottle, a brand sponsored by a character in Cars; Skinner’s scooter from Ratatouille; a Mike Wazowski antenna ball, in tribute to Monsters, Inc.; and a Rex toy as well as a Hamm piggy bank from Toy Story.
  • When Wall-E is playing paddleball, the shape of Mickey Mouse is discernible in the background.

Monsters University hidden gems

Monsters University

  • The School of Scaring classroom number is A113, which refers to the former classroom of John Lasseter, Brad Bird, Pete Docter and Andrew Stanton at CalArts. A113 makes an appearance in every Pixar feature film.
  • The Pizza Planet truck is in the driveway of the JOX fraternity house when Mike is riding Archie the Scare Pig down Greek Row. The Pizza Planet truck first made an appearance in Toy Story and has made a cameo in nearly every Pixar feature film.
  • The Pixar Luxo ball is in graffiti on the wall behind Claire Wheeler and Brock Pearson during their introduction to the Scare Games’ first challenge. Pixar Animation Studio’s groundbreaking short film Luxo Jr. was the first computer-animated short film released by Pixar during its first year as a studio in 1986.



  • Elsa’s coronation featured a who’s who of guests from far-away lands — and movies. Most notably, Tangled’s Eugene Fitzherbert aka Flynn Rider and Rapunzel made an appearance.
  • Anna’s sweet tooth knows no bounds. Some of her favorite treats are from the land of Sugar Rush, which is from Wreck-It Ralph.
  • Artist Lisa Keene’s painting — completed during the development phase of Tangled – is re-enacted during Anna’s signature song, “For the First Time in Forever,” when she leaps into the air and mimics the painting’s pose.
  • You can’t have anything Disney, without Mickey Mouse. The studio staple makes a cameo as a plush sitting on one of the lower shelves in Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post and Sauna.

Now watch Disney-Pixar’s video about it:

Have you spotted any secrets? Feel free to share them via comment!

Images: Disney-Pixar

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