As I'm sure lots of you already know, there's a long-standing, faintly adorable tradition in the entertainment biz of animators hiding small easter eggs in their feature flicks for audiences to find.
Pixar's easter eggs are a fan favorite because they use the same references for every single film of theirs so they're a little easier to spot.
The lovely folks at Pixartimes.com have gone to the trouble of compiling a preliminary list of easter eggs in Monsters University - however, I should warn you now that two of the eggs appear towards the end of the film and so are pretty spoiler-tastic. Also, it's lots of fun to find them yourselves, so by all means bookmark this page and come back to it after watching the film to check if you spotted them all.
Let's break this down!
As the well-informed Pixar Times journo has pointed out, it's 'become a tradition for Pixar to hide a reference to CalArts classroom A113, which many now famous figures in the animation industry attended, including Pixar's own John Lasseter and Brad Bird.' You can see this number in Monsters University on the door of the class Sully goes to in the beginning of the film.
Pizza Planet Truck
This appeared several times in Toy Story and can be seen in Monsters University, here - we see it when Mike and Sulley chase Archie the Scare Pig, which cheeky Sully has thieved from their rival college, Fear Tech. The truck can be seen parked outside the Jaws Theta Chi house in this snap.
Luxo Jr's ball
The studio's second short, Luxo Jr. showed a lamp hopping across the screen and playing with a yellow ball with a red star on it. The ball can be seen rolling through scenes in other Pixar films and appears in Monsters University in the form of some graffiti on the wall behind Claire Wheeler and Brock Pearson during their intro to the Scare Games' first challenge.
Cheers thespian Ratzenberger has voiced a character in all of Pixar's feature films and the studio considers him their good luck charm and casts him in all their films, with at least a small role. In Monsters, Inc. he played the Abominable Snowman, while in Monsters University he appears as a mail room employee in the factory at the very end of the film.
Makes sense, right? You've got to reference the original film. pixartimes highlights two big examples of this - Mike's childhood plush which Boo essentially takes ownership of in Monsters Inc. gets a cameo in the prequel, and we see it several times in Mike's room.
Secondly, remember the scene in Monsters, Inc. where Randall Boggs says to Mike and Sulley 'Shh. Do you hear that? It's the winds of change."? Well, go back and watch it if not! In the snap above you can see a poster of a tree's leaves being blown away above Boggs' bed with the caption 'Winds of Change. Shh. Do you hear them?'
The Good Dinosaur
As you all probably know, Pixar also likes to mischievously plug their upcoming films by little hints and references. In Monsters University, there are some dinosaur toys on the bedroom floor during the last event of the Scare Games, one of which looks like the dinosaur in the concept art for The Good Dinosaur.
Notice any easter eggs not listed above? Let us know in the comments.