So, it’s Easter Sunday and no doubt everyone will be chowing down on some frightfully delicious chocolate eggs over the course of the next few weeks. Cadbury, Nestle, Mars; all the big names in chocolate must make an absolute killing in the run-up to Easter, especially in the UK: people go mad for it as soon as Christmas is over.
Of course, the movie industry is full of Easter eggs too. Not in the literal sense of course, that would be just ridiculous. No, I’m talking in the figurative sense. After all, an Easter egg in a movie, TV show or game isn’t about munching on chocolate, it’s about finding something hidden by the producers, the developers or the directors that only the very hardened fans notice.
With that in mind, I’ve trawled through the archives to find five movie Easter eggs that are simply scrumptious. I could’ve gone for “eggcellent” there but I thought that would be one Easter pun too many. From Toy Story to Harry Potter and to Star Wars, read on for a voyage of discovery (in no particular order).
C3PO & R2-D2 in Indiana Jones
It’s well known in the film industry that Steven Spielberg and George Lucas are colleagues and good friends. And why not? They’ve both created some of the biggest franchises ever brought to film. Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park; the list makes for impressive reading.
They’ve also collaborated on a number of films. Naturally, this means that every now and then, they should their appreciation of each other with a tiny little reference. In this case, during a scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark, Spielberg adds a small, but noticeable hieroglyphic of the droid pair on a pillar next to Harrison Ford. Cute.
E.T. in Star Wars: Episode I
Another Star Wars Easter egg for you. Let’s ignore the fact that the Star Wars prequel trilogy is pretty darn terrible and focus on the reciprocation of Steven Spielberg’s earlier generosity. During a council meeting in The Phantom Menace, it’s clear to see E.T. and a few more of his race becoming rather enraged by the council’s way of thinking.
It only took 19 years for George Lucas to repay the favour to Spielberg, but it’s there. If it weren’t for the shoddy CGI, then this fun Easter egg would be much more fun. As it stands, it’s a nice throwback to 1982’s E.T., regarded by some as Steven’s best work. (Not me though, we all know which movie I think is best).
Sex scene in Harry Potter
J.K. Rowling’s novels are full of smut – that was a joke of course. Nevertheless, when Alfonso Cuaron took over directorial duties from Chris Columbus with the third instalment of the Harry Potter series, it came with it a much darker, adult tone. Of course, none of us knew just how adult the tone had become!
During the end credits sequence of Prison of Azkaban, cleverly styled like the Marauder’s map, you can clearly see two people having rather too much of a good time in a quiet corner of Hogwarts. Whether or not the pair were simply helping to polish a wand is by-the-by, but it’s pure Easter egg magic in the very best way.
Toy Story & The Shining
Not a pair you’d think of putting together really is it? But trust me, Pixar’s Toy Story movies absolutely love the 1980 classic horror film. Of course, they’re not the only films to reference this iconic movie, Ready Player One included a brilliant scene devoted to Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, but Toy Story is the most intriguing.
If you cast your minds back to the very first Toy Story movie from 1995, you’ll no doubt remember the villainous Sid. Believe it or not, the carpet in his house is the very same pattern to what you’d find in the sinister Overlook Hotel from The Shining. It’s a creepy reference made all the more fun by the fact that the two films couldn’t be any different if they tried. Pixar loves a good Easter egg, and for that I salute them, but this is their very best.
Ian Malcolm is in Jurassic World
Finally, we’ve got a Jurassic World Easter egg for you. Jurassic Park is my all-time favourite movie and while I absolutely adored Jurassic World the first time I watched it, it’s lustre has somewhat cracked over the three years since its release. Nevertheless, the one thing I cannot argue with is that Colin Trevorrow clearly went in to the project with a real care and love for the original.
This extends to the inclusion of Jeff Goldblum’s Dr. Ian Malcolm in a very small, but visible way. After things start to go south on Isla Nublar, we return to the control room where Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are watching things unfold. On the desk next to Jake Johnson’s plastic dinosaurs, we can see Ian Malcolm’s name emblazoned on the jacket of a book entitled ‘God Creates Dinosaurs’.
Xenomorphs in Predator 2 – During a scene in which Danny Glover stumbles upon the trophy room of the fearsome Predator, the skull of a Xenomorph from Alien can clearly be seen on the wall.
The Simpsons in Godzilla – No I’m not pulling your leg. During the taxi chase scene through New York, the taxi driver’s name can be seen on his ID card: Armin Tamzarian. That’s the real name of Principal Seymour Skinner in the now infamous Principal and the Pauper episode.
Dumbo in Lilo & Stitch – Dumbo is one of Disney’s most-loved characters and in Lilo & Stitch, a small doll of the shy elephant can be seen poking out of Lilo’s easel. Disney Easter eggs are rife in most of the studio’s films but this one is just too darn cute to ignore.