If you're a serious Pixar fan, then you probably enjoy hunting for classic Pixar easter eggs. From the Pizza Planet truck to the Luxo Ball, there are always little hidden nods to the history and future of Pixar in every feature film the company produces, but Toy Story 4 is going to put them all to shame, as the movie may very well have more easter eggs hidden inside it than it is possible to count.
Last month i had a chance to visit Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, California. While there i had a chance to take a pretty deep dive into the production of Toy Story 4 including the new locations the story will visit. One of those locations, as viewed in the trailer, is an antiques mall where Woody sees that Bo Peep has ended up, and where we meet the film's villain, the doll Gabby Gabby.
I spoke with Pixar Sets Supervisor Thomas Jordan and Sets Technical Director Rosie Cole about the work they did creating the mall, and they reveled how much work they did creating all the references. According to Jordan...
In the antique mall in particular there's so many objects that are just beyond the view of the characters and there's lots of fun things, especially easter eggs and homages to other Pixar films and jokes that you would get if you watched all of our movies.
The antiques mall is just full of objects. It's packed to the ceiling with stuff. However, it's not just any stuff. As the animation team responsible for creating the environment revealed, a lot of the objects that have placed around the characters are actually easter eggs referencing all sorts of other Pixar films.
Among the easter eggs to look out for in the Toy Story 4 antique store:
Elastigirl's Elasticycle from Incredibles 2 can be seen as a toy
A scream canister from Monsters Inc is partially visible
A pinball machine that uses the Maori statues from the aquarium from Finding Nemo
A record of "Remember Me" from Coco playing on a gramophone
Not every easter egg in Toy Story 4 can be found in the antique store however. The other major location seen in the Toy Story 4 trailer is a carnival, and and Thomas Jordan let me know about one very fitting Pixar easter egg that will be visible there.
The balloon cart from Up, because Carl was a balloon salesman. His balloon cart, complete with the balloons are in the carnival.
Several Pixar easter eggs are seen in all, or nearly all, of the studio's films. The Luxo Ball, the yellow ball with the red star on it, that was screen in Pixar's first short Luxo Jr. Can be seen as a sticker on the toy rockers in the image above from the trailer. The Pizza Planet truck, which made its debut in the original Toy Story will appear in Toy Story 4 as well, though Thomas Jordan told me in won't appear in a way that viewers might expect.
The Pizza Planet truck is in the movie, but it’s seen in a very unusual way. I think the audience will see it, and I think they will be surprised.
Another Pixar tradition is placing an easter egg for Pixar's next film in the current one. That means that we'll see a reference to Pixar's Onward at some point. I asked for a hint as to where we'll be able to see it. The only thing I was told was where it won't be found.
We can tell you it is not in the antiques mall.
Of course, since very little of Onward has been shown to the public, there's a decent chance we won't even know what the easter egg was until after we see the movie in 2020.
I asked the team how many easter eggs that they'd created might not even be visible in Toy Story 4 because they'd been covered by other objects, potentially other easter eggs, and they admitted that might very well be the case. It seems that to see every reference that the new film has to offer, it will either require multiple viewings in the theater, or more likely, a frame by frame analysis once Toy Story 4 comes out on Blu-ray.
Toy Story 4 arrives in theaters June 21.