Pixar movies are always full of easter eggs, but one of the more obscure items dropped into Cars 3 was an image of Cinderella's carriage. Cars 3's director explains how the classic Disney image ended up in the movie. While one might think that the decision of what ends up on the screen is all decided by the director, Cars 3's Brian Fee told our own Sean O'Connell that the addition of Cinderella's carriage was done entirely by the set department, though he approved it, because after all, it does meet the basic specifications of the Cars universe. According to Fee...
One of my favorites -- and I didn't even know about this one until... I don't know about all of the easter eggs while we are making the film. Sometimes the set department just puts them in. I'll be sitting in the editorial department and watching some recent animation and a scene will update, and some of the props will start showing up that the props folks are building. There's a scene where McQueen is in Mr. Sterling's office. He's got some shelves behind his desk with some of his memorabilia, his trophies and his keepsakes. There's Cinderella's pumpkin chariot, it's one of the things on the shelf. Just a little bronze statue. I didn't come up with that idea! The set department did. But it's so clever because, technically, it has four wheels! It's an automobile-ish thing. So I just thought that was just a wonderful, fun little joke in there. That's my favorite.
While I noticed Cinderella's carriage when I first saw Cars 3, (you can see it in the upper right corner of the image above) I really didn't think much of it at the time. It was one easter egg among several, it stood out as being a Disney, rather than a Pixar, reference, but that was about it. However, as Brian Fee points out, you can't just throw any old reference into a Cars movie. Everything in the world is automobile based. which means that if you wanted to add anything else from Disney in the background, you'd have to do it in a way that transforms the thing into a car, which might make the reference too difficult to actually recognize, but Cinderella's pumpkin is already car-ish enough to work without making any modifications.
Cinderella's carriage may qualify as the first major four-wheeled creation in all of Disney. While Cinderella was Disney 14th animated feature film, there weren't a lot of important vehicles in any of the previous movies. If there's a theatrical lineage of Disney vehicles that ends with Cars, it probably starts with Cinderella.
Cars 3 is out on digital on Oct. 24, and on Blu-ray on Nov. 7.