Do all Disney characters exist in the same universe?

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Photo: Creative Commons

Toy Story is one of Disney’s most successful franchises, and hides Easter Eggs throughout their films.

It is undeniable that The Walt Disney Company is one of the most successful mass media companies to ever exist. Disney has nine destinations for vacations, more than 7,000 television episodes and more than 500 films available to watch on Disney+, including their separate universes in Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars. They have become notorious for their use of elements throughout the parks and films that are seemingly “hidden in plain sight.” Avid fans of Disney movies have dug deep into certain films and have discovered many commonalities between recurring characters, items, and places that raise eyebrows, and make the viewer question if these characters all exist in the same universe.

Commonalities throughout films are often referred to as “Easter Eggs” or “Hidden Mickeys” by Disney fanatics. Most of the evidence of this phenomenon is hidden primarily throughout Pixar movies, although Disney chimes in on occasion. As with any conspiracy, there are ideas that are a stretch, although considering that this is completely visual, there is no debunking necessary due to the obvious display.

Posted by Disney’s own Facebook page, they confirmed to the public that these so called “coincidences” were completely intentional. They did this through promotional videos. According to an NBC News report, “the videos connect ‘A Bug’s Life’ to ‘Toy Story’ to ‘Monsters, Inc.’ to ‘Finding Nemo’ to ‘The Incredibles’ to ‘Cars’ to ‘Wall-E’ to ‘Ratatouille,’ all the way up to some of the most recent features, ‘Inside Out’ and ‘Finding Dory.’”

To calculate the start of the Pixar world, viewers must begin with “A Bug’s Life”, where a Pizza Planet truck is displayed in the trailer for the movie. Pizza Planet is Andy’s favorite restaurant in “Toy Story.” “Toy Story” then goes on to make a cameo in “Monsters, Inc.”, where in Boo’s bedroom a toy Woody is on the floor, as well as a Nemo toy, that ties into “Finding Nemo.” Additionally in the waiting room of the dentist’s office in “Finding Nemo”, a patient is reading a comic book about none other than Mr. Incredible. Disney continues to do this with newer movies such as “Moana,” where they give direct hints to “The Little Mermaid” and “Frozen” through artwork in the start of the movie, where Ariel’s sidekick Scuttle is on a painting on the wall; in supplies in the storage of Moana’s boat, you can see carrots, and sticks that directly resemble Olaf’s nose and arms in “Frozen.”

Many viewers question the idea of why Disney-Pixar goes out of their way to unify these movies, when they could all be separate entities.

“Disney hides Easter Eggs throughout their movies to engage Disney fans, like myself,” said Junior Lauren Hoffman, a lover of all things Disney. “It makes Disney feel more magical when you think about the existence of all your favorite characters living and crossing paths in the same universe.”

Devoted fans have discovered another commonality that intrigued many viewers. This reoccurrence is the letters and numbers A113. Time after time, this group of numbers presents itself in Pixar movies, whether in a license plate, an address, or on a television screen. The start of this idea began on Reddit, when a user posted their theory on why A113 continues to show up in nearly all of its movies.

“A113 refers to a classroom number at the California Institute of Arts,” according to the user, whose screen name was TheGhostWhoHatesSpills. “It was the classroom for first year graphic design and character animation, where many of the animators at Pixar and Disney, and several other studios, discovered and mastered their craft. The use of A113 in their films is a friendly nod to one another that they once shared a classroom without which they would never be doing what they’re doing now.”

Disney-Pixar has remained at the top of its game for as long as it has by keeping their viewers engaged. The introduction of these crossovers and hidden codes is direct proof of that. Although the Easter Eggs may just be a marketing strategy, it does not take away from the childlike feeling of knowing that all of the most famous characters throughout Disney-Pixar are co-existing within the same world.