The Lion King Easter Egg You Might Have Missed In Hercules

Call me the Cinematic Peter Cottontail, because I love me a good movie Easter egg hunt, and no one does it quite like the house of mouse. Disney and Pixar are notorious for hiding references to their movies in new releases, with varying degrees of difficulty. But if the fact that it was newsworthy that Gen Z had no idea that Catherine O'Hara of "Schitt's Creek" is also the mom in "Home Alone" and caused her name to trend on Twitter for two days straight has taught me anything, it's that even Easter eggs some of us find obvious are still mind-blowing to plenty of other people. One of my all-time favorites occurs in my favorite animated Disney film, 1997's "Hercules."

In case you haven't seen it (which, what are you doing with your life and how can I help you make better decisions?), "Hercules" is a very, very loose interpretation of the Greek mythology story. In Disney's tale, Hercules (Tate Donovan), the son of Zeus (Rip Torn), is snatched as a baby by Hades (James Woods) and forced to live among the mortals, unaware that he's the son of a god. Now a teenager, Hercules needs to prove himself worthy of god-status on Earth, or remain a human and live out a mortal life. With training from the god-trainer satyr Philoctetes (Danny DeVito), Hercules must learn how to defeat the evil creatures plugging the area, and stop the Titans unleashed on Earth at the hands of Hades.

Let's Go On An Easter Egg Hunt!

Y'all, "Hercules" is FILLED with Easter eggs. Hercules is featured on "Air Herc" shoes that the henchman character Pain wears in a scene). Pain and his pal Panic disguise themselves as trapped children and call out for someone to dial "IX-I-I," which is "911" in Roman numerals. The Muses sing as bust heads like the singing busts in The Haunted Mansion Disney ride. Hercules' training montage with Phil imitates scenes from the training montage of "The Karate Kid." He puts his hand print in concrete addressed "To Sid" in reference to Sid Grauman (the founder of Hollywood's famous TCL Chinese Theater). Hercules cracks his head on the Mast of the Argo in reference to "Jason and the Argonauts." Hades screams "Halftime!" during Hercules' battle with the Hydra, which is also the exact midpoint of the film. And directors Ron Clements and John Musker even snuck in their likenesses as the construction workers who were knocked over by pre-training Hercules carrying a wheelbarrow. 

But one of the most obvious Easter eggs is also the first one I ever noticed, when my little 7-year-old self screamed in the movie theater, "HERCULES IS WEARING SCAR!"

RIP Scar, You Evil Beast

During the scene when Hercules is posing to be painted on a vase, he is seen wearing the skin of a lion. After expressing some frustration to Phil, he removes the skin and throws it on the ground, giving a perfect look at the lion that is unmistakably Scar from "The Lion King." The villainous lion who killed Mufasa and ruled the Pride Lands with terror and cruelty was mauled to death by hyenas at the end of the film, and apparently his corpse was reused as an ethically sourced fur for Hercules. Personally, I'm all about Scar's petty ass being turned into frivolous fashion, but as an adult, I am now horrified by the implication.

No, I don't care Scar's dead body is being worn like a scary hooded Snuggie. I am morally haunted at the knowledge that more than likely, he was found by Grecian emperors invading the Pride Lands in Africa, because how the hell else did the body of an African lion end up in Greece? Anyway, sorry to bring this cute Easter egg to your doorstep only to immediately smash it and rub it into your welcome mat with the reality of colonial invasion, but it needed to be said.