Look Closer: Clever Details And Allusions Found In Disney Movies

By Iulia P

Everything that Disney does comes out as a real masterpiece. The theme parks, masterpieces! The clothes and toys that they sell, masterpieces. The movies, well, there is no other movie company that does it as well as Disney. The cartoons that Disney has made are pieces of art. Don’t believe us? Watch Snow White (1938), The Princess and the Frog (2009), or Moana (2016). These movies are amazing not only because of their storylines but because of the hard work the team that made them put into creating each character, each place the story takes place, and – last but not least – the fine details that appear in all these movies that connect all the movies that Disney has ever made. Awesome, right? Here are some of the best details observed in Disney movies that you probably did not even notice.

Moana with a rocky pun

The movie Moana was released in 2016 and it was a real success among both kids and adults. Such a success that it made $645 million in Box Office. Also, the animated film is the first cartoon movie to represent the beautiful culture of the South Pacific Islands.

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Moana‘s cast has some pretty big names, one of them being Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. In the movie, Moana’s rooster is always trying to eat rocks. When it meets Maui (voiced by The Rock), Hei-Hei does not hesitate to chew on The Rock’s finger too. That’s a very clever pun, Disney!

The Little Mermaid with a famous trio

It is very interesting, yet intriguing, how the team behind these Disney masterpieces decides to add characters from other movies, or upcoming movies, to teach film. Seeing a cross-over like this makes you pay more attention when watching the next Disney release.

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In this scene above, from The Little Mermaid, if you look closer to the crowd there, you’ll see Goofy, Donald Duck, and Mickey Mouse. To that person who found this cameo that is shown in a fraction of a second, we aspire to have the same level of focus that you have!

Aladdin with a pinch of Sebastian

The Genie. If this Disney character is not the funniest then we sure don’t know what other character deserves the title. Very witty and sometimes with subtle humor, the Genie is the cherry on top, in character form, of this film.

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This little detail was more obvious than the other ones. In one of the scenes, Genie has his finger pinched by none other than, Sebastian, Ariel’s adventure partner. Sebastian’s cameo really made us smile from ear to ear. Oh, it’s the little things…

Toy Story about A Bug’s Life

Take a look at the picture of Mrs. Potato Head and the book that she is reading. If you look closer you will see that those familiar ants pictured in that book are the ants from another Pixar movie, A Bug’s Life.

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But guess what! It turns out that Pixar followed the example and started doing exactly what Disney did: adding cameos of characters from their other films. And all we can say is that… we love it and we are looking forward to many more!

Zootopia and it’s movies

The animated movie was released in 2016 and it’s needless to say that it managed to get us all, kids, teenagers, adults and grandparents obsessed with it. But what really made us love it, even more, was this little scene pictured below.

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They really transformed Disney cartoon movies into Zootopia universe movies starring animals. Tangled became Wrangled, Moana became Meowana and Frozen became Floatzen. The characters of each movie are as cool as the real ones too, as you can see. This is pretty creative!

A Goofy Movie with a mouse in the crowd

When you see Mickey Mouse, you probably think of Goofy. These two Disney characters go together as well as salt and pepper, mayo and ketchup, or soda and ice. You get the idea: they are inseparable and wherever one is, the other one is too.

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And A Goofy Movie makes no exception. Even if Goofy is the main character and the story revolves around him, you can spot Mickey in the movie too, being in the crowd cheering for his pal like the good friend that he is.

Mulan and the cast

Mulan is a pretty impactful movie and even if as kids we did not notice all the subtle details about the story, if you’d watch the movie as an adult, so from another perspective you’d notice that Mulan is more than just a kids animation.

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There are many details hidden in the movie and one of them is pictured above. As you can see, in the background there are some graves with engravings on their tomb. When translated, all those characters are in fact the names of the film’s creators. That’s a pretty cool way to make your mark.

Alice and Jose Carioca in Wonderland

Disney’s Alice in Wonderland was released in 1951 and as much as it was loved by kids, as controversial it was among parents. Nonetheless, it is indeed a vintage masterpiece that many of us grew up watching and being enchanted by.

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This relatively early Disney film also has a cameo. In the scene when Alice is taken to the court, one of the jurors present really gives you the impression that you’ve seen him somewhere before. It turns out that we did. The green parrot is Jose Carioca from the movie Saludos Amigos from 1942.

Lilo & Stich and a stitched Dumbo

The minute Lilo & Stich came on our screens for the first time in 2002, it is fair to say that all of us immediately fell in love with both the little alien, his cute human friend, and their awesome friendship and adventures.

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Here too we can spot one of the characters of Disney’s old movies. This time, it’s none other than Dumbo, the small elephant with huge ears. This time he sits quietly on a shelf in Lilo’s room, waiting patiently for her to play with him.

Brother Bear finds Nemo

This Disney movie is probably the one that has one of the saddest stories. But, as with all Disney movies, it has a happy ending. Brother Bear was released in 2003 and it developed a swift and strong cult following.

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This film makes no exception and in one of the scenes, you can spot a character from a different (Pixar) movie. When the bears try to catch fish, you can see that one of them is none other than Nemo.

Chicken Little

The awesome animation appeared first on the big screens in 2005 and many noticed something quite cool about it. Besides the nice storyline and the animation itself, there are a few details that might have gotten away for most of the viewers.

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One of these is the scene at the beginning which may confuse a lot of people. And this is because it’s the same exact scene at the opening of The Lion King. No matter which movie follows this image, this is a good sign that the movie will be lit.

Meet the Robinsons… and also Baloo and Mowgli

As cool as this Disney movie is, somehow a lot of people do not know about it. It was released in 2007 and it has an awesome storyline. Time machines, adoptive families, and a lot of adventures. It’s worth watching, believe us!

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And on top of this, in one of the scenes, you can spot one of your (and ours too) all-time favorites: Mowgli and Baloo doing what they do best: playing. The characters appear in a flash, in the background on a fence.

Pinocchio looks a bit Tangled

As Disney and Pixar have already done many times, they hid a character from an older movie in plain sight. The character that made an appearance is no other than Pinocchio who is hanging inside an inn in the brilliant Tangled.

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For this one little detail, we will have to give thanks to the person who spotted Pinocchio and shared the little secret with the world. In all that crowd of characters, we would probably have never spotted him up there.

Big Hero 6 with a touch of Stich

This is another movie that many did not get to watch or maybe never heard of. What a shame! This Pixar creation not only has an awesome story, interesting characters, and cool visuals but it’s packed with small yet significant details.

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Take a look at this screenshot above, taken from Big Hero 6, in which Hiro, the main character, stands in front of a wall. If you look closely at that wall you will notice our all-time favorite alien creature, Stich.

Moana and Olaf

Now, it’s clear that Moana is packed with fine details that will make one really nostalgic and excited at the same time. Below, there is one of the many cameos other Disney characters made in this animated movie we all love.

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Look closer! What do you see? There is a carrot and right next to it, a branch. It may not be much snow around but we are more than sure that you’re thinking what we’re thinking too: why is Olaf in Moana’s canoe?

Wreck-it Ralph and Aunt Cass

The 52nd animated movie by Disney, Wreck-It Ralph has surely managed to gather a lot of fans since 2012 when it was released. The storyline follows the life of the game characters that come to life once the games finish.

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This movie too is packed with a lot of subtle details. One of them is definitely the one in the picture above. When Wreck-It Ralph is shown an ad on a table, the person pictured in that ad is the beloved character of Aunt Cass from Big Hero 6.


The movie Tangled follows the (slightly altered) story of Rapunzel, a character from the story written by brothers Wilhem Carl and Jacob Grimm. Although the story has a happy ending there are some details about it that are pretty sad.

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One of them is when Rapunzel’s mother, Gothel, tells her she loves her. She always touches her hair when she says it. The thing that makes it obvious to those who watch the movie is that she does not love Rapunzel but her golden hair who brings Gothel her youth. That’s so sad.

Inside Out

Oh, you will like this one! Below you can see the same scene of the same movie but with a little twist, adapted to two particular groups. Better said two particular cultures: The USA and Japan and their love for broccoli and bell peppers.

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It turns out that the topping on the pizza in the first picture was broccoli in order to make the pizza look disgusting because kids in the US hate this vegetable. In the second picture, taken from the Japanese release, you can see the bell pepper on the pizza because it turns out that bell pepper has the same effect on the Japanese kiddos that broccoli has on American kids.

Lilo & Stich and a Mulan obsession

Everybody loves Lilo, the brave little Hawaiian girl. We can say the same thing about Mulan, the female Chinese warrior who teaches girls that they can be whatever they want to be regardless of what society wants them to be.

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But what if we tell you that you can find a connection between the two Disney characters? If you watch it closely, you will see that Lilo is obsessed with Mulan (the Mulan restaurant, the Mulan posters in her room), but seriously now who isn’t?

The Lion King

One thing is for sure. If you watch a movie in your adulthood that you once saw when you were a kid, you will understand it and perceive it in a whole new manner than you did back then. Experience matters.

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Here is a scene that most of us, as kids, might have ignored. When Scar delivers his speech to the hyenas you can find similarities between the evil character and the tyrant who started the second World War. And the shadow behind Scar looks like a demon.

Toy Story with a touch of Coco and Up!

So now it’s clear to us that the four Toy Story movies are full of little surprises and cameos. Two very subtle yet significant ones for those addicted to Pixar animations appear in the picture below. They happen quickly but if you know, you know.

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On the left, you can clearly see the guitars from one of our very favorite Pixar films, Coco. On the right, we can all recognize the soda top from Up! Sometimes, these hidden references are so clever, we never would have noticed on our own.

Wreck-It Ralph and Paperman

As we have already told you, this movie too has some cool little details that are hard to spot but once you do, it gives you pure satisfaction and joy. This time, the surprise is so hidden most of us missed it.

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Behind the main character, on a board, you can see a letter with some red lips on it. This is a reference to the short film Paperman, released in 2012, which tells the story of George and Meg and their love story.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Pumba

The Hunchback of Notre Dame might be one of the best out of all the movies which appeared during Dinsey’s Renaissance period in the late 80s and early 90s. The movie was inspired by Victor Hugo’s novel and it appeared in 1996.

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But you would not believe which character made an appearance in this awesome movie. In one of the scenes, in which Quasimodo climbs on the church, you can spot none other than our favorite wild boar, Pumba. This was slick, Disney!

Beauty and the Beast: the shade

There is no other way better to take a jab than in a movie. We were today’s years old when we learned that Disney is not only the master of animated movies but they are a master of pettiness too. Oh well, a very polite/cute one.

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We all know that Disneyland and the theme park Six Flags have been in a sort of competition. Disney did not hold back from showing this in Beauty and the Beast. The arrows above show that the lighted path goes to the Disney location, while the dark, scary path goes to Six Flags.

The Emperor’s New Groove with a Mickey Mouse touch

The animated movie, an awesome representation of South Americas’ indigenous people, was released in 2000 and it is safe to say that it broke records. The movie got more than $169 million at the box office. Now that’s something to brag about!

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But as you may already suspect, this movie too has some hidden surprises. For example in the picture above you can spot a really famous character of Disney, if you look closely at the plates carried by the characters dressed in white. It’s Mickey Mouse!

Beauty and the Beast – Gaston and his gun

This one will blow your mind. Who would have thought that the Disney creators would pay this amount of attention to details in a movie for kids who are not necessarily watching it in order to observe them? It must bring them a lot of satisfaction.

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Take for example this scene from Beauty and the Beast. Gaston is known to be the best gunman, yet he chooses to use his bow instead. It turns out that he could not use his gun because gun powder and water (rain) don’t go well together.

Moana and the marshmellow mat

Do you remember the scene, from the movie Moana, in which Moana and the other kids were in a hut, listening to Grandma Tala’s stories? The Polynesian traditional mats that were hanging around that hut were pretty graphic and interesting.

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But there is one in particular that drew our attention: the mat which portrayed Marshmallow. The snow monster is a character from another Disney movie, the movie that had all these little girls singing, “Let it go, Let it gooooooo.”


Cinderella is the 12th animated movie produced by Disney and it was seen by the public for the first time in 1950. Although the beginning of the story is a pretty sad one, the end of it gives us all a huge relief.

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In order to show how sad Cinderella’s story was and how trapped she was in her own home, at one point you can see the character staying in front of the window which appears to be like a jail. Speaking through symbols – we like that!

Moana and Flounder

By now you must be aware that the movie Moana carries quite a few surprises and details that are so subtle, most of us have most likely not seen while watching the animation. Another one of these is the drawing pictured below.

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In the scene of Maui (and Maui’s tattoo) singing, you can see a bank of fish swimming by. Well, if you look closer you would most likely be able to spot Flounder, Little Mermaid’s partner in crime. We did expect to find some elements that would reference The Little Mermaid movie.

Toy Story 2

Pixar made sure to take notes when they had their inclusion class because what they are doing is pretty dang amazing. Being inclusive is everything when you are creating animation for kids that will be able to identify with your creation.

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One of the many proofs of this is the picture above. The two are both from the same movie and from the same scene. The only thing that differs is the background, which for the movie that was played in countries other than the US is a picture of our earth.

Zootopia and the sisters

Zootopia is hands down one of the best animated movies that came out in the 20-teens. The storyline is packed with a lot of adventures, a lot of funny moments and as you may have guessed, a lot of subtle details.

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One of the many details from the movie is shown in the picture above. You may not see characters from other Disney movies in this scene but there is a reference. The two little elephant girls are wearing Elsa and Ana costumes.

The Princess and the Frog and the carpet

This one right here is a real gem. This particular scene was shown for such a short amount of time that if you blinked you probably missed it. It’s the carpet! It looks very familiar, right? And this because someone was flying on it in another movie.

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You guessed it right! It’s Aladdin’s magic carpet and his adventure partner. Well, this time is not really as full of life as it was in Aladdin but still a pretty cool cameo to spot. Next time you’ll see it, if you don’t blink.

Aladdin and the Beast

Aladdin has a list of some really interesting characters. Some of them are brave, some of them are malicious and some of them are childish. Yes, we are talking about the Sultan who is a grown man yet likes playing with his toys.

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In this scene pictured above, at a very quick close up you will spot one toy that looks very familiar. It’s big, it’s brown and hairy and it’s quite frightening. It’s the gentle giant from Beauty and The Beast movie!

Frozen and Rapunzel

Flynn, Rapunzel, and her parents too make an appearance in Frozen. And this is at the end of the movie in the scene where the gates of the Arrendelle open and guests come to assist the coronation of Princess Elsa.

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This scene sparked a conspiracy among Disney fans. It is said that Rapunzel, her parents, and her husband came to the coronation because Rapunzel is not a friend of Elsa and Ana, but family, more exactly a cousin. Now, we love these kinds of conspiracies.

Hercules and Scar

If you ever watched The Lion King then it’s impossible for you not to have fallen in love with the character of Zazu. The hornbill butler not only conquered our hearts with his devotion to his king but also with his witty lines.

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Our most favorite of all the lines that Zazu has in the 1994 Lion King movie is most definitely the one where he suggests that Scar would make a good rug. Well, it looks like that suggestion was taken into consideration in the movie Hercules.

Tarzan and the Tea pot

If you missed the other surprise cameos of Disney characters in other movies, then we are more than sure that you must have missed this one: the apparition of Mrs. Potts and her teacup children in the Disney classic, Tarzan.

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This time they don’t say a word. They just sit there quietly while they are observed by the animals of the jungle. Sure they sit quietly until Terk transforms them into drums, and then they come to life in a new way.

Aladdin and Mickey

Mickey makes an appearance too in Aladdin and if you don’t pay enough attention, you might miss it. Look below at the picture of the scene when Rajah is transformed back to her normal Tiger size. What do you see?

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A big Mickey Mouse head with tiger stripes. You’ve just got to love how Disney hides these little details in plain sight. If you are focused on other parts of the movie, you can go without observing them. Disney producers are real magicians.

Zootopia: the aplication form

You just have to love how realistic the cartoon are nowadays. If now you can see what is written on a sheet of paper that character is reading, back in the day this would not be possible. And this is because the producers would not find this detail really important.

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Nowadays is different, like this scene of Nick filling in his application form. At the bottom of it, there is something that tells a lot about this character. When asked if he was arrested before, he checked the “YES” box, and then changed his mind, decided to lie, and checked the “NO” box.

Moana and Maui’s hook

In the Polynesian culture, in all the stories about Maui you will hear about his hook too. The two are inseparable and matter of fact it’s the hook that gives Maui his demi-god powers. And Disney seems to know this.

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Looks like they did good research when they traveled around the South Pacific islands in order to gather information about the cultures of the islands. They portrayed really well the relation between Maui and the hook when they drew a hook on one of Maui’s wings.

Frozen: Olaf and his look-alike

We bet that you might have skipped this detail. At the end of the movie Frozen, when Olaf has his solo called “In the Summer” and sings about how he would go on an exotic holiday there is a little look-alike that appears in one scene.

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If you pay enough attention and if you don’t blink at all, you might see that inside Olaf’s cup there is another Olaf made out of ice cubes. We would give anything to be on a beach right now having a cold drink.

Lilo & Stich – a letter

When Lilo and her sister go down to the local animal shelter in order to adopt a dog for Lilo, there is one particular scene that all of us missed. Lucky for us, Disney’s producers shared the secret with the world.

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When they sign Stich’s adoption document, there is a close-up on the paper. The writing there might make you think that does not mean anything but in fact is a “Thank you” letter dedicated to everyone who worked on the movie.

Brave enough for a scratch

The Disney animation Brave was released in 2012 and it is fair to say that it was a real success and made more than $540 million in the box office. This was the first animated movie to portray Scottish culture.

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Our expectations were definitely exceeded. The brilliant writers and animators sure did not miss any detail and this picture above shows it. That little scratch left by the arrow – who would have even thought about it? These people are geniuses.

Toy Story: how to walk like a solider

This might not be a hidden detail but instead a very cool fact. The solider toys from the movie Toy Story… Have you ever noticed how they walk? Because we did not pay that much attention to this aspect, until learning this cool factoid!

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The Pixar crew is extremely dedicated. According to Pixar, there was a full debate on how the soldier’s characters should walk. They even stuck a pair of shoes on a wooden board just to see how they would walk in a situation like that.

Tangled with a bit of Sleeping Beauty and the Beast

Tangled is a princess movie, about lost royals, with royal dresses and crowns. But what is more royal and princess-ish than a room decorated with a dresser similar to the one Belle had in the movie Beauty and the Beast?

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Probably the same room decorated with Belle’s dresser and Aurora’s (Sleeping Beauty) spindle. No wonder Disney and Pixar fans call these hidden details Easter eggs. They sure give you the same awesome feeling when you manage to find them.