Pixar loves to hide Easter eggs in their films, little references to movies and characters from the animation studio’s past and future. Last year we put together a compilation of WALL-E easter eggs, so I thought we’d do the same thing for Pixar’s new film Up. If you haven’t seen the film, be warned that this article references scenes from the film which may be considered spoilers.
John Ratzenberger has made an appearance in every since Pixar movie to date. He’s considered the animation studio’s good luck charm. He appeared as Hamm in Toy Story and Toy Story 2, PT Flea in A Bug’s Life, the Abominable Snowman in Monsters, Inc, the Moonfish school in Finding Nemo, the Underminer in The Incredibles, Mack in Cars, Mustafa in Ratatouille, and John the human in Wall-E.
In Up he voices the construction worker from the first act of the film named Construction Foreman Tom.
A113: What started as an inside joke of CalArts alumni (a reference to the classroom number that was used by Animation students, including John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Brad Bird, Pete Docter) has been present in not only every Pixar film, but Disney movies, Iron Giant, The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad, Powerpuffgirls and Tinytoon Adventures.
A-113 is featured on the court room door in Up.
Carl’s court summons features the number 94070, which is the zip code for San Carlos, CA, a city in Northern California not far from Pixar. Bradford “Brad” Lewis who produced Pixar’s Ratatouille and is directing Cars 2, was a former mayor of the city.
/Film reader ealexenriquez says the pills on Carl’s table come from LUXO Drugs or LUXO Pharmacy, a reference to the famous Pixar short film Luxo, Jr. I have not been able to verify this claim.
Carl is watching television before Russell shows up to ruin his peace and quiet. What is he watching in the clip below.
A famous Shop@home segment made famous by the internet because of the host’s spectacular fail. Watch the full clip below. You’ll hear the part from the Up scene about 20 seconds in.
If you look really hard at some of the construction equipment on the construction site surrounding Carl’s house, you might notice the Buy N Large logo, the fictional corporation from WALL-E. Also, the numbers on one of the machines reads L-R 1572, which is Up art director Lou Romano‘s birthday (April 15, 1972).
Carl wears a cap from a Grape Sode bottle. The same brand of soda was featured in Toy Story during the Buzz Lightyear commercial.
The Pizza Planet Truck has appeared in almost every Pixar film so far. Disney has actually put real Pizza Planet restaurants at Walt Disney World’s Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland Paris.
In Up, it appears twice. Once when Carl’s house is first lifed into the air (photo above) and another time at the Ice Cream parking lot at the end of the movie. The first appearance is actually a different type of Pizza Planet car, not the usual truck featured in the other Pixar films.
They often like to include characters from their upcoming films in the backgrounds of the frame. For example, Boo’s fish toy in Monsters Inc ended up being the title character of Finding Nemo. A kid in the doctor’s office in Finding Nemo was reading a comic book of The Incredibles. WALL-E appeared in 2D on the Ratatouille DVD short film Your Friend the Rat. And Up‘s Dug the dog appeared in silhouette in Brad Bird’s Ratatouille chasing Remy through the walls of a building.
A new character from Toy Story 3 is hidden in one of the scenes of Up.
The cute little pink teddy bear underneath the bed of sequence where Carl’s house floats by a child’s bedroom window. Up producer Jonas Rivera confirmed recently that “under her bed is one of the new stars of ‘Toy Story 3’.” RUMOR has it that the bear’s name is Lotso and that he will be one of the antagonists in Toy Story 3. If this is true, chances are he’ll be one of the toys at the day care center where Woody, Buzz and crew are relocated. No word on the character’s name just yet, or which actor or animator will be providing the bear’s voice.
In that short four second scene alone, there are a bevy of Pixar Easter eggs.
Some people believe that the flowers on the young girl’s wall is a call back to the flowers on Boo’s door from Monsters, Inc, a film also directed by Up filmmaker Pete Docter. The yellow ball on the floor is the most obvious, hailing from Pixar’s 1986 short film Luxo, Jr, which is where the hopping lamp in the animation studio’s logo also comes from.
The drawing on the wall shows Dug the dog and Kevin the Bird, creature’s Carl meets later in his adventure. This is kinda funny because technically Dug and Kevin even had a presence in the film’s teaser trailer, even if you weren’t aware of it.
I’m curious about the dog painting on the wall. /Film commenter Vanessa thinks the bulldog it’s one of Dug’s “doggie friends” — Gamma, seen below. But most people point out that the facial coloring is different. The painting on the wall of a Boston Terrier is possibly one of Munitz’s other dogs. There is also a very good chance that this character is in a future Pixar movie.
Russell has a badge for 2D animation and one featuring the ball from Luxo. Another one of the badges shows a burger with a candle in it, which is a tribute to Merritt Bakery, an old school bakery and restaurant on the south end of Lake Merritt in Oakland. Producer Jonas Rivera explains: “Pete and I, when we work on a film, we go almost every week at night (to Merritt Bakery) to sit at the counter and eat cake and talk about the movie. One of the things we saw over there was the burger cake — it’s shaped like a hamburger. We thought ‘That is so ridiculous,’ so we made it a trend to buy that for our crew meetings. And one of Russell’s badges is a burger cake. There’s some Oakland love in the movie.”
Carl’s house was partly inspired by a Victorian house near Sixth Street in Berkeley, CA.
Update: The house pictured above was my best guess after virtually driving around Sixth Street on Google Maps for a half hour. But my best guess was wrong. SFGate has discovered a house which is most likely the real house which inspired Carl’s house in the movie. The house they discovered not only has a lot of architectural similarities, but is also jacked up about ten feet off the ground, and it appears to be in this condition for quite some time.
Carl and Russell eat Ice Cream at Fentons Creamery, a famous 114-year-old ice cream parlor and restaurant in Oakland.
Other Bay area references include:
- The movie theater in the credit sequence displaying a “star wars” marque is the Grand Lake Theater, an Oakland theater on Grand Avenue by Lake Merritt. (thanks to /Film reader Seth S)
- When Carl’s house first lifts off, a street sign indicates he’s going down San Pablo Ave., the main thoroughfare in Emeryville, where Pixar is located. (thanks to /Film reader Seth S)
The Mermaid girl from the short film Knick Knack appears on a brochure at the bottom right hand corner of the screen when Carl buys plane tickets. I don’t have a screen capture of this scene, and the art shown above doesn’t feature the character, but you get the idea.
Pete Docter’s real life daughter Elie (concept art left) is the voice of young Ellie in UP. She also drew some of the pictures in Ellie’s adventure book. The pencil and crayon drawing of Carl’s house ofn the right was done by Ellie Docter.
Pixar has a history of Apple/Mac references. Steve Jobs, who co-founded Apple with Steve Wozniak, bought The Graphics Group (later renamed Pixar) from Lucasfilm’s computer graphics division in 1986, and served as CEO until Pixar was acquired by Disney in 2006. Apple has been featured in previous Pixar productions like on the hood of one of the race cars in Cars. There are several references to Apple in WALL-E, the most obvious is when WALL-E watches Hello Dolly on an older video iPod, WALL-E making the Mac startup chime and Eve was even designed by Apple’s behind-the-scenes design guru Johnny Ive
The only two Mac references we could find in Up take place during the credits.
- A merit badge next to the Pixar Senior Staff credit seems to be a reference to the spinning beach ball icon on Mac operating systems. Thanks to Matt T for the photo.
- During another credit sequence photo, Carl is seen investigating a Mac mouse in the end credits. (thanks to /Film reader Meh)
Other Up Trivia/Easter Eggs:
- Carl Fredricksen’s last name came from relatives of director Pete Docter.
- Pete Docter voices some of Kevin’s bird noises.
- Docter also voiced the ‘troop leader’ who was awarding the badges at the end of the movie, credited as “Campmaster Strauch”. (Xeno)
If you noticed any other inside references in Pixar’s Up, leave them in the comments below!