03.10.2022

Someone at Pixar is hiding secret references to ‘The Shining’

When it comes to Pixar movies, what do you think of? Beautifully crafted stories? Heart wrenching drama? A Roller coaster of emotions? What about horror? You should, since one of Pixar’s most prolific directors is a Stephen King and Stanley Kubrick fan.

Lee Unkrich, the editor/director of Toy Story 1-3, Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo, Coco is a huge fan of the film The Shining and throughout the 22 years that Pixar’s been making incredible films, he’s been sneaking in some subtle (and not so subtle) references to the creepy Jack Nicholson film.

Take a look.

Toy Story 3 – Room 237

For reasons only understood to the director, this is the reference that is most prevalent. It’s the creepiest room in the hotel, with the undead Mrs. Massey. There’s at least 3 references in Toy Story 3: the garbage truck with the license plate RM237, the scene name Velocistar237 and the security camera labelled OVERLOOK R237.That’s not subtle.

Toy Story – The Overlook Hotel’s Carpet

In the original Toy Story, when Woody goes to rescue Buzz from Sid, the neighbours have a distinctive carpet running through their house.In truth, I’d kill for this carpet in my house. It’s so iconic.

Finding Nemo – Here’s Johnny!

Probably the most obvious homage to the Kubrick film is this one, when Bruce the Shark echoes Jack Nicholson with this line, and breaks down a door. Just like Jack, he loses his mind and forgets that his fishy-companions are friends, and not food.

Toy Story 3 – Mr. Tony

If you recall Danny’s imaginary friend in The Shining, his name was Tony. In the Pixar film, when the toys are at the Sunnyside Daycare, there encounter the janitor; named Mr. Tony.That’s no accident.

Toy Story 3 – The Microphone

Remember that creepy-ass monkey watching the surveillance cameras at the Daycare? On the left side of his desk in that scene is a microphone similar to the one that Wendy uses to communicate with the authorities.

Yeah, this creepy monkey. He’s also got a Kleenex box on the other side of his desk with the Overlook Hotel carpet pattern.

Finding Nemo Toy Story 3 – The “Kalinga” Technique

For both these films, Unkrich asked the composers to utilize the “Kalinga” technique at certain moments of the film, to unsettle the audience. This method, named after a traditional method of tattooing, was used in The Shining. This is when the violin players tap their bows against the strings, rather than strumming. It’s more of a plucking sound, and when it’s done collectively with all the violins, it’s a crazy, unsettling, and unnerving sound.

Coco – Jack Torrance’s Axe

Early on in the film, there’s a scene where Dante the dog wakes up from a nap. In the background is an axe. If you look closely enough, you’ll see it’s modelled after Jack’s axe in the movie.Also, beside it, is a Red Drum. Get it? REDRUM? REDRUM!

Coco – The Grady Twins

As Miguel runs through Frida Kahlo’s underworld art studio, he passes a painting of two girls in light blue dresses. These are a ‘day of the dead’ inspired version of the twins from The Shining.

Toy Story – Apollo 11

This one isn’t so much of an easter egg, as it is an influence on the first film. According to Unkrich, Buzz was named after Buzz Aldrin, the second man to set foot on the moon. So that’s pretty interesting.What’s even more fascinating, is that there’s an entire conspiracy theory surrounding The Shining as being an apology for Kubrick’s involvement in faking the moon landing.

You can find all kinds of supposed ‘evidence’ in the film and online, but sufficed to say, it’s never been proven. But it’s a nice nod.
I’ll never watch these the same way again!Via CinemaBlend, Ranker Mental Floss

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