Being 10 years older than my only sibling and having children for the past nine years means I’ve been watching family-friendly kid movies for decades. It doesn’t hurt that I actually really like said flicks, but sometimes, kid movie after kid movie numbs the adult brain.
So when I find my mind wandering, I scan what's going on in scenes beyond the main characters for so-called Easter eggs. Films heavy on GFI and animation are chock-full of hidden fun, like “Where’s Waldo?” for adults. Here are a couple we found. Did you?
Although the sisters spend much of the movie in a rather “chilly” relationship, Frozen’s animators seemed to have a warm sense of humor, placing hidden characters in now-classic film scenes.
When Anna (Kristen Bell) finally is no longer castle-bound on the day of Elsa’s (Idina Menzel) coronation, she rushes out of the castle’s gates. Look on the left side of the screen for Rapunzel and Flynn Rider. Rapunzel’s appearance is perhaps a “wink and a nudge” reference to Kristen Bell’s original audition for Tangled (which eventually went to Mandy Moore).
Gnomeo and Juliet (2011)
Shakespeare’s classic tale of star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, is retold for children by British garden gnomes in this charming tale, executive produced by pop legend Elton John. In fact, Elton appears twice in the film: once in sparkly gnome form while rocking a bejeweled suit and, second, as two twirly yard propellers at the beginning of “Crocodile Rock” (at 0:16 below).
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
Did you know that Comedy Central’s own Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report appears for a brief second in the latest Hobbit film installment? In fact, his two sons and his wife also got in on the fun, but super “Tolkien-geek” Colbert is the most visible of all. This is definitely a super-fast appearance, visibly only briefly in a scanning shot as a Lake Town spy.
The Nut Job (2014)
Take a self-serving squirrel named Surly (Will Arnett), throw him into a heist film that centers on getting an old nut shop’s cache of cashews, and add… Psy? Yes, from “Gangnam Style.” He appears suddenly, in CGI form, before and during the end credits of the otherwise K-pop star-free film. Who knew that Psy and park animals would do the horse-riding dance in such harmony?
This sneaky scene happens soon after Flynn and Rapunzel’s appearance at the Snuggly Duckling pub. During the song, “I’ve Got a Dream,” Flynn is hanging from a support column as pub thug Shorty (the elderly cupid) flies around the room suspended by a rope. Look immediately above Flynn’s column to see a famous little wooden boy. Pinocchio is only visible for a few beats, so you might want to pause the clip to see him at 1:30.
What are your favorite hidden scenes from Disney, Disney Pixar or other fun family films? Let us know in the comments below.