Everybody who’s seen a Pixar film knows the animation powerhouse is a fan of putting in little references to classic cinema. The men and women who work on these movies are all huge cinephiles and what self-respecting movie geek would refrain from putting in little nods to their favorite and most influential films? What we may not have been aware of, at least not consciously, is the sheer number of ’em, and the continual references to certain movies in particular. Luckily, editor and connection-finder extraordinaire Jorge Luengo Ruiz has put the movies side by side to illustrate how nerdy these movies really are.
Some of the references are pretty obvious—like Zurg telling Buzz Lightyear he’s his father (and the ensuing “NOOOOOOO!”) from Toy Story 2, or AUTO from Wall-E looking suspiciously like another red-LED-sporting super computer from the future/past. But there are also tons of other weird references I never even picked up on. For instance, did you know there were so many Vertigo references in Toy Story 2, or how many Raiders of the Lost Ark, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Star Wars nods there were throughout all the films? Me neither!
There’s even weird references to things like Die Hard with a Vengeance in The Incredibles when in both films Samuel L. Jackson‘s character is reaching for something (a ringing phone and a cup of water, respectively) while a nervous police officer holds a gun on him. That’s a very specific movie to pay homage to in a kid’s movie, but that’s the kind of kick these Pixar people are on!
Ruiz makes a point that he excluded A Bug’s Life because the entire plot is that of Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai and John Sturges’ The Magnificent Seven. Pixar never went THAT far again, but they do go much farther than you’d think.
What are some of your favorite references to old movies in Pixar’s work? Did the video leave out any major ones? Let us know in the comments below!
Kyle Anderson is the Weekend Editor and a film and TV critic for Nerdist.com. Follow him on Twitter!