Most of us have seen Disney classics like The Lion King, Beauty And The Beast, and The Little Mermaid more times in our lives than we could count. With many of those movies we grew up with, they’d then return to screens as a Christmas special, or we’d put them on for our own kids in a bid to share that sweet sense of nostalgia. We turned into adults, but our love for Disney stayed.
So, for Disney aficionados like us, we have a special treat. Get your popcorn ready, ‘cause thanks to the wonderful corner of Reddit r/MovieDetails, we have a precious collection of hidden gems and tiny details spotted in Disney movies.
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Let’s give a big round of applause for the Redditors gifted with an exceptionally sharp eye for details that were able to fish out all the interesting things we don’t really notice. Have something that’s not on this list? Share the little details you’ve spotted in the comment section below, so we can all have the pleasure of turning into Disney-fueled detectives.
In Moana, a villager foreshadows the chicken’s unsuccessful attempt to consume Maui.
Image credits: missjardinera
In Disney’s Mulan (1998) – Mulan is told “A girl can bring her family great honor in one way…by striking a good match.” Both of Mulan’s victories over the Huns involved lighting explosives.
Image credits: Thrillegitimate
Previously, Bored Panda spoke to Redditor Niiue, one of the moderators of the wonderful Movie Details community, about the hidden details in movies and whether directors place them in the hope that the audience will find them.
“Most details are definitely there for the audience to find, but I think a lot of it also just comes down to creative people wanting to have fun with their projects. Speaking from experience here (though I work on video games, not movies), it really is a lot of fun to add little Easter eggs and whatnot just for the hell of it,” Niiue said.
In Disney’s ‘Aladdin’, the Genie sings “Well, Ali Baba had them forty thieves, Scheherazade had a thousand tales.” Scheherazade actually had One thousand and one Arabian tales, but one of them was the tale of Aladdin.
Image credits: Djammer
In Aladdin, Genie wears a Hawaiian shirt and Goofy hat near the end of the film as a tribute to Robin Willams’ outfit in the 1989 short “Back To Neverland” that was filmed for Disney’s MGM Studios.
Image credits: 1upgamer
We were also interested to know which production houses and directors are most adept at hiding Easter eggs in their movies. According to the moderator, some production houses and directors are more into hiding Easter eggs in their movies than others. “Besides the obvious choices like Pixar, I think Edgar Wright is another example of someone great at hiding details in his movies,” Niiue said and continued the list: “Shaun of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim, and Hot Fuzz are the first ones that come to mind in this regard. You’ll find that his movies tend to get featured on this subreddit a lot, which I think reflects his skill as a director.”
Disney’s “Lilo & Stitch” (2002) used watercolor backgrounds, exclusively. The studio had some financial failures and was doing ambitious things elsewhere, so they left the filmmakers to their own devices, off at the Florida studio. The only other watercolor films are Dumbo and Snow White.
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Image credits: 1ightsaber
Whenever Maui changes into an animal on Moana, the hook shows up somewhere on his body.
Image credits: zub74
In Aladdin, the Genie writes Aladdin’s order from right to left, which is how Arabic would be actually written.
Image credits: vcorgi
The moderator of the Movie Details subreddit also shared their personal favorite hidden movie details. “Personally, I liked the way Scott Pilgrim had a recurring number motif tied to the Evil Exes. In the scenes before each fight, there are numerous references to the corresponding Evil Ex; for instance, right before the fight with Lucas Lee, the main characters pass by two crossing signs with an X design, a reference to Lucas being the second Evil Ex.”
“These kinds of references even continue after the Evil Ex in question is introduced, such as Lucas Lee saying (twice) that it will take ‘two minutes to kick [Scott’s] ass’ and later fighting Scott accompanied by his stunt doubles.”
Chicha from The Emperor’s New Groove (2000) is the first pregnant female character to appear in a Disney animated feature film, according to the DVD commentary. She’s also one of the first mother characters in a Disney film not to be killed off or villainized.
Image credits: _Raines_
At the end of “Frozen”, Disney included a statement about Kristoff’s belief that all men eat their own boogers.
Image credits: pogbahimovic
In The Lion King, the lions retract/extend their claws as needed (even in subtle moments) … but Scar’s claws are always out.
Image credits: djublonskopf
Created in 2017, the Movie Details community is relatively new, but it has a whopping 2.3 million members who could easily call themselves detectives of cinematography. From Easter eggs to incredible hints, tiny details, and scenes, they fish everything out and bring it into plain sight. Often, their findings change and add depth to the perspective of the whole film.
In Disney’s Tangled, after Mother Gothel says “I love you most” to Rapunzel instead of kissing her forehead Mother Gothel kisses Rapunzel’s hair, which is her source of youth.
Image credits: TheCutestOfBeans
In Disney’s Hercules (1997) the Fates tell Hades “In 18 years precisely the planets will align ever so nicely”, but only show 6 planets. The Greeks were only aware of 5 planets (plus Earth) which they could see with the naked eye.
Image credits: beerbellybegone
In Disney’s Princess and The Frog (2009),Tiana’s dad received the DSC (Distinguished Service Cross)—the US Army’s second highest award for valor. During WWI African-American soldiers often did not receive America’s highest recognition for bravery—the Medal of Honor.
Image credits: Joe_Smith_Actionwear
In Disney’s CINDERELLA and ALICE IN WONDERLAND, the same actress played the Fairy Godmother and the Red Queen in both the original animation and the live-action remake: Verna Felton voiced both women in the originals (1950, 1951), while Helena B. Carter played both women in the remakes (2010, 2015).
Image credits: TheWonderObservatory
In Disney’s “The Lion King” The line “What do you want me to do? Dress in drag and do the hula?” was improvised by Timon’s voice actor Nathan Lane. The director liked the line so much, he decided to make a scene for it.
Image credits: karlamsloki
In Saving Mr Banks (2013), you can see the special Oscar that Walt Disney won for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Image credits: Tokyono
At the end of Disney/Pixar’s Ratatouille (2007) Anton Ego is a little bit fatter. This is especially poignant since he states, “I don’t like food, I love it… if I don’t love it I don’t swallow.”
Image credits: mandydchew
In Zootopia, Nick first answers “yes” when asked if he’s ever been arrested, and then crosses over it.
Image credits: spicy_memays
In Disney’s Princess and the frog, the wallpaper where Dr. Facilier’s shadow is, turned to cross bones.
Image credits: TheSpartanKing1
The Incredibles (2004) features a cameo by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, two legendary Disney animators who worked on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937).
Image credits: Tokyono
In Hercules (1997) when Hercules first walks into Phil’s cabin he hits his head on the mast of the Argo. In the original myth, Jason, the captain of the Argo, was killed when the mast hit his head.
Image credits: overhead_albatross
In Zootopia, Nick’s handkerchief was part of his Scout uniform from when he was a cub.
Image credits: WillNowHalt
The Jungle Book (1967) The Vultures were originally going to be voiced by The Beatles. The band manager met with Disney and they created the images but the idea was vetoed by John Lennon. Their look and Liverpool dialects stayed, but the song was switch to a barbershop quartet.
Image credits: bcdubbs382
In Disney’s Pinocchio (1940), Figaro has a little “sand box” next to his bed that is only visible in one shot.
Image credits: isestrex
Zootopia – a buck on a buck.
Image credits: ktr327
In Lilo & Stitch (2002) Lilo believes Pudge the fish controls the weather. Her parents were killed in a car accident caused by treacherous rain and she feeds him sandwiches to appease him, in hopes another accident will not happen like the one that took her parents.
Image credits: HellotoHorse
In Disney’s The Rescuers (1977), Orville the Albatross is seen using a runway and requires a running start before taking flight. This is because albatrosses in real life also require a running start due to their significant size and weight.
Image credits: The_Civil_Soldier
In ‘The Little Mermaid’, when Ariel rescues Eric from drowning and sings to him, she is backlit making her hair appear dark brown/black. It makes it even more conceivable that Eric believes the dark-haired human version Ursula was the one woman that rescued him.
Image credits: owlingthrough2
The blu-ray version of Disney’s Cinderella(1950) has been so scrubbed of grain that it removed some of the line work within some scenes.
Image credits: Jaxerfp
In Lilo & Stitch (2002) Stitch’s adoption paper Nani signs is actually a thank you letter from the directors and producer to the people who helped create the film.
Image credits: HellotoHorse
In The Lion King, (1994) Nala used her anti-pounce maneuver on Simba as a cub and a grown lioness. When he fights Scar at Pride Rock, Simba finally puts the maneuver to good use.
Image credits: reddit.com
In Tangled, the lantern that Rapunzel lofts back into the sky is the one lit by the queen and king (her true parents). It was the only one with the royal symbol of the sun on it.
Image credits: Dimwit0
In Pinocchio (1940) When Jiminy Cricket opens a book to tell the story of Pinocchio at the beginning of the film, two other books which Disney would later go on to animate are on the shelf. Alice in Wonderland (1951) and Peter Pan. (1953)
Image credits: ill_jill
In Mulan (1998), Mulan mentions ‘Punctual’ as one of the desirable qualities in a bride. This is a callback to Aladdin when the Genie accidentally tells him to say ‘Punctual’.
Image credits: Gunnrhildr
In The Princess and the Frog, when Tiana is going to her second job, the Magic Carpet from Aladin is the floor rug an old lady is shaking out.
Image credits: Scaulbylausis