Pixar is famous for sneaking little inside jokes and references into their movies. You probably already know about A113—if not, we'll get to that in a minute. But the famous room number is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all of the "nudge-nudge-wink-wink"ing the animators do. Here are a handful to look for when you find yourself watching Toy Story for the seventeenth time, or when you're trying to distract yourself from sobbing through the beginning of Up.
The Luxo Ball
The Luxo Ball has a long history with Pixar, appearing in its first-ever short, Luxo, Jr.—you know, the one with the playful desk lamp. The short changed the face of the industry, showing hand animators that computers were assets to the industry instead of the end of it. Along with the lamp, the Luxo Ball has become an icon for Pixar, which is why they like to squeeze it in whenever they can. In addition to the shots above, here are a few places you can find the little guy.
1. When Buzz Lightyear “proves” that he can fly in the first Toy Story, the Luxo Ball is the toy he bounces from.
Photo courtesy of JimHillMedia.com
2. It’s also in a toy basket at Sunnyside Daycare in Toy Story 3.
Image courtesy of Pixar.Wikia.com
3. If you really squint at Russell’s merit badges in Up, you’ll spot a familiar shape in there. Hint: Check the middle row on the lower left.
Image courtesy of Amptoons
4. The Luxo Ball's cameos aren't limited to feature-length films. It can also be found in Pixar shorts, such as Presto, which originally ran before WALL-E. In this case, it appears as one of many items that fall out of the magician's sleeve.
5. And there's Jack-Jack Attack, the 2005 short based on The Incredibles. Jack-Jack's babysitter thrusts a bunch of toys at the little superhero in an attempt to keep him entertained. One of them is no ordinary bouncing ball!
I Spy the Pizza Planet Truck
The pizza delivery truck that played a central role in the first Toy Story movie has turned up in every Pixar movie since, except for The Incredibles. Keep your eyes peeled the next time you’re watching these movies.
6. In A Bug’s Life, the To“YO”ta can be found parked next to the trailer with the deadly bug zapper.
7. In Monsters, Inc., the Pizza Planet delivery truck can again be found parked next to the trailer with the bug zapper from A Bug’s Life, because that’s where Randall the monster is banished when he’s kicked out of Monstropolis.
8. In Finding Nemo, you can catch a blurry glimpse of the truck through the thick aquarium glass as Gill the fish plots the escape from the tank.
9. It makes perfect sense that the pizza delivery truck can be found watching the Piston Cup race in Cars, doesn’t it?
10. It’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo, but the Toyota can be found taking in the Paris sights in the background of Ratatouille as Skinner is chasing Remy near the Seine.
Image courtesy of eeggs.com
11. The Pizza Planet truck fared about as well as the rest of humanity in WALL-E. EVE finds the truck and scans it, then shuts the hood and moves on.
12. As Carl’s house sails into the air in Up, we get a bird’s eye view of the streets below. The truck is down there, faithfully delivering pies as always.
Image courtesy of PixarWikia.com
13. “Yo” is definitely a racing fan, because in addition to the Piston Cup in the first Cars, he’s also in attendance at the Radiator Springs Grand Prix in Cars 2.
14. By the time Brave came out in 2012, fans were on to the whole Pizza Planet truck inside joke—and they wondered how in the world animators were going to work a modern-day vehicle into a film set in ancient Scotland without totally disrupting the continuity of the storyline. Here’s how:
15. All college students—even those of the monster variety in Monsters University—love pizza. Proof:
Image courtesy of pixartimes.com
Animators love to sneak in references to other Pixar movies, sometimes even including films that haven’t been released yet. For example...
16. The poster of Finn McMissle from Cars 2 (2011) that showed up in Andy’s bedroom in Toy Story 3 (2010).
Image courtesy of ComingSoon.net
17. Lotso, the bad guy from Toy Story 3, can be found in a little girl’s bedroom in Up (2009) as Mr. Frederickson’s house flies past her window. Also spotted: the Luxo Ball.
Image courtesy of eeggs.com
18. In Monsters, Inc. (2001), Boo hands Sulley a stuffed clownfish, which is really a sneak preview at the lead character in 2003’s Finding Nemo. And check out what else he's holding in his paws.
Image courtesy of Pixartalk.com
19. The dentist in Finding Nemo has pretty good waiting room material—a little boy waiting for his appointment can be seen reading a comic book that stars none other than The Incredibles (2004).
Image courtesy of Loffee
20. Actually, that’s not all that’s in his waiting room. He also has a treasure chest of toys, including everyone's favorite space ranger.
Image courtesy of Finding Mickey
21. When the newly-announced Cars 3 eventually comes out, keep your eyes peeled for the Radiator Springs Drive-In. In Cars, it’s showing Toy Car Story. In Cars 2, Mater and Lightning McQueen drive past the sign that states it's showing The Incredimobiles.
22. When the Toy Story gang is cruising through the aisles of Al's Toy Barn, Barbie isn't the only toy they happen across. Eagle-eyed viewers will be able to spot A Bug's Life toys on the shelves.
Image courtesy of Pixartalk.com
Now, let's get to those A113 references. A113 is the number of the classroom where many California Institute of the Arts graphic design students studied, including Pixar heavies John Lasseter and Brad Bird. Hiding references to it has become a nod that animators like to hide within their work—and not just Pixar films. "A113" has appeared in episodes of The Simpsons, American Dad!, South Park, Tiny Toon Adventures, Rugrats, and more. But that's another post—today we'll just stick to a few of the Pixar references.
23. Here it is on the scuba diver's camera in Finding Nemo:
Photo courtesy of PixarPost
24. In Roman numeral format above a doorway in Brave.
Image courtesy of PixarTimes
25. Andy's mom has a familiar license plate in the Toy Story movies.
Image courtesy of PixarTalk
26. When Mr. Frederickson has to appear in court for his little assault charge in Up, the court's room number happens to be A113. And here's an extra little tidbit: The summons number is 94070, the ZIP Code for San Carlos, CA, where a Pixar producer was once mayor.
Image courtesy of Slashfilm
27. In WALL-E, A113 is the directive given that means humans can never go home.
28. When Mr. Incredible is being held captive by Syndrome, he's being held in Level A1, Cell 13.
Image courtesy of Pixar Place
29. Mater's license plate in Cars 2? A113, of course.
Image courtesy of FindingMickey
30. Finally, this one is the most fitting of all of the A113 appearances yet. In Monsters University, as Sulley is entering his first class at college, the plate on the door pays homage to one of the first classes his animators took. That one, in my opinion, is going to be pretty hard to top.
Image courtesy ofPixarTalk
Have a favorite Pixar reference that wasn't featured here? Share in the comments!