The following contains minor spoilers for Pixar's newest film Onward.
With every new Pixar movie release, there are a few things you can pretty much always count on. We know we'll get Incredibly beautiful animation, an emotional story that will tug at your heartstrings, and lots of easter eggs. There are usually a lot of fun references found in Pixar films, but there are a handful that you can count on finding in pretty much every Pixar movie. The first of two Pixar films set to hit in 2020 certainly did not disappoint.
Onward, being a fantasy story, has a lot of fantasy genre references in it, enough to fill its own list to be sure. But if you're a Pixar fan, you'll be looking for a particular type of easter egg. I'm not going to pretend I saw all of them, there's at least one I know I missed, but here are a few of the fun Pixar easter eggs you can spot in Onward.
If Pixar movies were The Lord of the Rings, then A113 is the one easter egg to rule them all. Not limited to Pixar movies, A113 is a reference that has shown up in a host of films, mostly, but not exclusively, animated movies. It's a reference to a classroom at CalArts, the school that many an animator has attended prior to starting their career in the industry. A113 is a classroom that many, especially those that helped create Pixar's early movies, all went through at one time or another.
Previously, A113 was on a theater marque in Incredibles 2 and on an office door in Cars 3, but in Onward, the easter egg will be a bit different, as it won't be seen at all. Instead, listen to the police officer characters when they get on the radio, and you'll hear one of them report "a 113 in progress."
In the original Toy Story, Woody and Buzz find themselves stuck on a Pizza Planet delivery truck, and ever since then, the truck has found itself in basically every Pixar movie since. It's been an actual character in the Cars movies, and it was made of wood in Brave, but somehow the animators have found a way to keep it in the movie, and they do the same in Onward.
Simply enough, since Onward is fairly modern movie all things considered, getting the Pizza Planet truck into Onward was easy, cars and trucks are normal things here, and so that's what happens. When you see Barley and Ian paying their toll at the "troll bridge" (seriously they shove like four gags into one moment here) look off to one side and you'll see the Pizza Planet truck. Except, it isn't actually the Pizza Planet truck, as the company is actually called Pizza Realm in the world of this movie.
The Luxo Ball is another classic Pixar easter egg that dates back to the earliest days of Pixar and Luxo Jr. the studio's first short film. That short had two elements a lamp and a ball, the lamp has remained part of the Pixar logo ever since, and the ball finds its way into every film.
To see the memorable Luxo ball, you'll want to keep your eyes open when you're in the Manticore's Tavern. The start of Ian and Barley's epic quest begins in what is essentially a medieval TGIFridays and among the decorations are lots of banners and shields hanging on the walls. On one of the shields you'll see the familiar Luxo Ball star.
Sometimes, John Ratzenberger counts as an easter egg, and sometimes not. His voice has been part of every Pixar film to date, though sometimes, like in the Toy Story and Cars franchises, he plays significant characters rather than bit parts. In Onward however, his appearance is a bit hard to spot, as it's over fairly quickly.
There's a fountain that is part of a construction site that is referenced early in Onward and then shows up again near the end. Listen to the voice of one of the construction workers and you'll recognize the voice of Hamm and Mack, John Ratezenberger.
Inside Out's Tripledent Gum
In addition to those traditional elements of Pixar movies, we do see a few other Pixar references made throughout Onward. At one point the characters have to stop at a convenience store, and they end up running afoul of some angry pixies. The pixies are making a mess of the place themselves, but are them grabbing some snacks as well, including a familiar brand of gum.
You might remember Tripledent gum as the brand of gum with the incredible ear worm of a theme song that shows up in Inside Out. The gum brand has also shown up in other Pixar films including Cars and Pixar's previous film Toy Story 4.
Considering that the other Pixar movie to heavily feature magic is Brave, you might expect some references to the film in Onward, and certainly we get that. A brief look at a map in the film includes a location, not part of the actual movie, called the Brave Wilderness, which may or may not be meant to specifically reference Brave, but something else in the movie certainly is.
In Ian's bedroom we see a calendar, that at first just appears to include a serine image of a field as its main image. However, closer examination of the image reveals that the field we see in the picture is the same place here Merida encounters the Will-O-The-Wisps.
There was at least one easter egg that I didn't notice on my first viewing of Onward. Every Pixar movie includes a reference to the studio's upcoming project, which in this case is the already soon to be released Soul. It's possible the easter egg in Onward won't actually become apparent until we see the movie, but if you caught the reference, let us know where to find it in the comments below.