The wonderful people at Walt Disney Animation Studios love their easter eggs, and so do the fans. Us Again, the latest short which is the first released by the studio in five years, is no exception when it comes to these hidden surprises and you’ll want to rewatch it to find them all. The film’s director has shared some of the easter eggs and other hidden treasures we can look for.
Us Again is only six minutes in length, but those six minutes pack multiple punches, and not a second is wasted. It’s simply magic how much is communicated in this film without a single word. I recently attended a press conference in support of the film where director Zach Parrish shared the following special details that fans will love:
There's a lot hidden in this thing. There's a lot in Art and Dot's apartment that was really specific. A lot of the set dressing is really specific to Japanese culture, to African-American culture. We also hid a lot of easter eggs from other films in there. They're dancing in front of the theater, and we actually have Fantasia 2000’s Rhapsody in Blue short playing on the screen. The pier is called Paradise Pier from Disneyland. The fountain is, I believe, from Wreck-It Ralph. The cars, they're from other films. We named the stores after the crew members. There's a million details in the making of this thing. The people put a ton of love into it. Lots of hidden Mickeys on the cars and the backgrounds. There's a lot of love from the crew. A ton of work, but a lot of love from the crew that's just kind of sprinkled through.
Time to go easter egg hunting! This is a great opportunity for some friendly competition to see who out of your friends and family can find the most hidden Mickeys. And everything that was just mentioned is not all! Zach Parrish also said the following, and completely sold me on re-watching (as if I needed another reason):
I hope that the first time through, you actually miss that end shot. And that upon re-watching, you get it a little bit more, it hits you a little bit harder, the hidden young couple in the puddle at the end.
Disney never fails to blow my mind with the details. Ending with the young souls of the old couple reflecting in a puddle from the rain? Genius. I had a million questions for producer Brad Simonsen when we sat down for an interview with CinemaBlend focused around how the team comes up with these easter eggs and finds homes for them in each film. Here’s what he shared:
It's different on every project, right? So on the features, you have a little bit more resource to actually build the world because Disney Animation really prides itself on being authentic and doing our research and making worlds that are believable and that you want to actually step into. As an audience member, like with Big Hero 6, I wanted to climb on Baymax's back and fly through the city. But on shorts, you don't, you have a little teeny team and you have to figure out how to get the biggest bang for the work that you're putting in. So at the onset of this movie, we said to our team, anything we've ever used in any other movie is fair game. And we have a library of things that they can go look for, and then we change it just enough to make it fit into our world. So that's a design, you have your design language of this world. And if we can take a piece from one of our other movies and then just tweak the design language and it fits, that's what we want, because then we get more stuff.
I am forever in awe of this entire process. Part of what’s so beautiful about film is being able to experience something new with every viewing. This insider knowledge kind of makes me want to go back and rewatch every Disney movie ever. Would you care to join me in that effort?
Now streaming on Disney+, you can watch Us Again over and over to your heart’s content. Check out our ranking of every Walt Disney Animation Studios feature and see how it stacks up against your own.