When it comes to sneaking easter eggs and witty references into their films, the evil geniuses at Pixar cannot be stopped. Anyone who’s seen Toy Story of TERROR! already knows that it’s the perfect fusion of lovable characters and smart storytelling we’ve come to love and expect from the Toy Story universe. After your mind is blown by just how many inside jokes fit into twenty-one minutes, you’ll appreciate this short even more. We promise. Prepare for the good times with these funnest of facts! (Warning: spoilers below.)
In the opening horror movie sequence, Betsy runs into a tombstone marked “Simon J. Paladino,” which happens to be the civilian name of Gazerbeam, a superhero from The Incredibles. Check him out sitting next to Edna Mode, below, and appearing in the newspaper as his alter ego:
The epitaph on his tombstone in Toy Story of TERROR! reads “A public servant with a unique vision.”
Combat Carl is voiced by actor Carl Weathers, who played a soldier who loses his arm in a previous movie. He’s missing the same hand in this short.
Combat Carl also happens to be the name of another action figure that Sid blew up in the original Toy Story.
True to Pixar form, the Pizza Planet truck appears twice. First is Bonnie’s mom’s license plate holder:
Second is on the wall next to the calendar in the office of Ron, the motel manager.
The Sleep-Well Motel where Bonnie and her mom stop for the night accepts Buy’n’Large credit cards.
The art on the wall in Bonnie’s motel room references The Good Dinosaur.
Bonnie is wearing a DJ Blue Jay shirt. Remember him from Toy Story Toons: Small Fry?
The famous Luxo ball appears, just for a second, as a scribble underneath the sink while Jessie’s hiding.
Ron might get higher bids on his stolen toys if he actually knew what he was selling. His bulletin board lists Mr. Pricklepants, a hedgehog, as a “German beaver,” and Trixie, a triceratops, as a “stegosaurus.”
Al from Toy Story 2 originally appeared in the story, but his part was cut for time. The idea was that Ron would wonder out loud who would pay $2,000 for Woody, and then the camera would cut to Al, wearing his chicken suit and gleefully cheering at his computer while his mother yelled at him off-camera. (We have a perfect visual of this and hope you do as well.)
Even though Al himself doesn’t appear, he still gets a little nod. When Ron packages Woody to mail him to the highest bidder, the address on his shipping label is for Al’s Toy Barn.
Puns abound in the short film’s soundtrack by Michael Giacchino. Seriously, “Motel Me a Scary Story,” “Nobody Puts Jessie in a Box,” and “Why’d It Have to be Crawl Spaces”? This stuff is golden.
What was your favorite Toy Story of TERROR! fact? Tell us in the comments!