Inside Out is the latest film from Pixar Animation Studios. In case I haven't mentioned it enough times, I am an enormous Pixar fanboy. I've seen all of their feature films multiple times (even Cars 2) and almost all of their short films, the only exceptions being a few Cars Toons and a Ratatouille related short. Inside Out is currently my favourite film of 2015 and you can check out my review here. It's the Pixar film I've been waiting to see ever since I walked out of Toy Story 3. I love it so so so much and have even seen it 5 times, making it the first film I've ever seen more than three times in cinemas. It's a masterpiece and has instantly rocketed up into my top 25 films of all time. Cinema doesn't get much better than this.
Like all Pixar films before it, Inside Out is packed with Easter Eggs, some more subtle than others. After 5 viewings I feel safe to say that I've found more than a few of them. While I'd love to say that I've nearly found every Easter Egg in this movie, I know that simply isn't true. It's just not. Pixar put an uncountable amount of Easter Eggs in their films. Because of this, there's a theory out there on the internet called the Pixar Theory, and it can be perfectly summarised here. Maybe it's Pixar having fun (that's the likely outcome) or perhaps it's true. I like to think it is.
While The Good Dinosaur is more than likely going to completely ruin the Pixar Theory, for now it exists, and I'm here to talk about how the Studios' latest film fits into it, as well as letting you all in on a few other secrets as well. Before I begin, I must warn you that this article is going to be SPOILER HEAVY. If you haven't seen the film then I really recommend that you do. Somebody has described it to me as life changing and I think I'm going to have to agree. Pixar have truly returned to form, so let's see just how this film fits into the whole scheme of things.
Let's begin with the Luxo Ball, which got its name from the short film Luxo Jr. The ball appears in most Pixar movies and yes, it does indeed make an appearance in Inside Out. During the scene in which Riley is running through her house as a small child, keep an eye out for the ball hiding in the corner of the room, along with several other small, green toys that could possibly be the toy soldiers from Toy Story, although I'm yet to confirm that. The shot moves very very fast, but once you see it, there's no unseeing it.
Also around this time we get to see Riley jumping on the couches, pretending the floor is lava. There's a high angle shot of the living room that lasts for a few seconds and it's in this shot that we get to see a pile of magazines on Riley's table. And just who's on the cover of one of these magazines? Why, it's only Colette from Ratatouille, sporting her famous chef outfit and hat. It's a hard one to find, but it makes Inside Out officially canon in the Pixar Theory. It officially exists in the same universe as Ratatouille, which exists in the same universe as Up, which exists in the same universe as.... okay, I think you get it.
At the end of the film, Riley's islands of personality return with a few new additions and upgrades. One of these is an expanded version of family island. On that island? Why, it's only the famous van and pizza planet truck previously seen in Monsters Inc and A Bugs Life. It's the pair's third appearance in Pixar films, confirming links between the three movies. Did Pixar finally confirm who owns that van? I, uh, guess so, although at the same time I don't as there's no explanation as to why a Pizza Planet truck is there. But anyway, the film's director, Pete Doctor, has confirmed three appearances of the truck. I'm yet to spot the other two, but I'm on the look out. Looks like I have to see the film a sixth time.
Also near the end of the film is the famous A113, which has appeared in nearly all Pixar and Disney movies, and even appeared in an episode of The Simpsons. For those not aware, A113 is the room many of the animators were trained in, and it's often thrown into films as a gag. It took me until my fourth viewing to find it, but A113 is spray painted onto a wall behind Riley when she's running away. I guess the reason it took me so long to find such an obvious Easter Egg is because at that point in the story I always get so overly invested in what's going on. However, that's not at all a bad thing. I just love this movie so much.
Pixar are always throwing in hints at upcoming films, and in Inside Out there's three noticeable ones. Two of these are for The Good Dinosaur, which hits Australian cinemas December 26th. During the scene where Bing Bong shows Joy and Sadness the house of cards, a pile of board games can be seen in the background. One board game is titled "Find Me" and has a picture of a clownfish and another is titled "Dinosaur World." Earlier on in the movie we also see a scene in which Riley and her family stop to take a photo in front of.... yep, you guessed it: dinosaurs. Not just any dinosaurs, but dinosaurs from Pixar's upcoming film. Genius.
Two other notable references to other Pixar films can also be found during Inside Out's hour and a half runtime. On Riley's first day of school, one of the cool kids is wearing a very similar shirt to the one Sid wears during Toy Story 1 and 3. In fact, it's almost exactly the same, except, y'know, a female version of the shirt. Knowing Pixar, this is definitely not a coincidence. One of Pixar's short films, For The Birds, gets a reference in this film as well. During the opening credits, as Riley and her family drive through the country, a group of small, chubby birds can be seen sitting on a power line. Those unfamiliar with Pixar's brilliant short film, and one of the first I ever saw, will struggle to notice. The rest of us, however, will get a good laugh out of it.
These last few Easter Eggs are merely fun gags, although all of them are a delight and cannot go without mention. This first one wasn't something I noticed myself, but was instead one I got told about. If you've ever been to Disney Land then I'm sure you've heard of the Haunted Mansion. It's one of the park's most famous rides. During Riley's nightmare early on in the film, the theme song from this ride is played in the background. Also, at dream productions later on in the film, there's a few hilarious posters to be found. One of these is a parody of the film 'Vertigo' titled "I'm Falling Into A Very Dark Pit." Just a parody or perhaps foreshadowing for what's to come?
And finally, these final two Easter Eggs are simply plays on words. Well, sort of. When Riley is talking to her friend over a non-Skype version of Skype, one of her contacts is named DocPete, which is undoubtably a reference to the film's director, Pete Doctor. The other one comes and goes every so often, and that's a poster in a shop window that says 'Sure Locks For Homes,' an obvious play on the name Sherlock Holmes. It's the fun things like this that makes me appreciate and love Pixar even more.
So there you have it. These are just the Easter Eggs I, myself have noticed. I'm sure there's plenty I'll notice as I continuously rewatch this film over the next few years, as I'm sure I'll do just that. Not only have I noticed more things on repeat viewings, but I've also gotten new things out of it as well. It speaks to me differently upon each viewing, and it may just be one of Pixar's deepest movies to date. There's a lot going on to digest after one viewing, and for the record, my favourite emotion changes every viewing. That doesn't mean my favourite character wasn't once Bing Bong though. Bing Bong is my everything.