Despite the fact that Disney is well-known for their clever planting of Easter Eggs in their many movies and many of them have been spotted, I can't help but react like Ariel when the topic comes up.
Luckily, some of these secrets, Easter eggs, and bits of trivia are so well-hidden, we need Milo Thatch and his expedition buddies in order to find them all. And, yes, that's an Atlantis: The Lost Empire reference because that movie is criminally underrated.
After sorting through Ariel's grotto and digging up the gardens of Wonderland, I've unearthed these 14 Disney secrets that have been staring us right in the face all along.
1. Wall-E is named after an early ancestor
The adorable little robot gets his namesake from none other than Walter Elias Disney himself.
As the gorillas hassle Jane's father Professor Porter, they shake a bunch of items out of his pockets. One of the falling tchotchkes is a plush doll of Little Brother from Mulan.
3. Remember this wizard from Fantasia?
His name is actually Yen Sid, which is Disney spelled backwards.
4. Those aren't the sounds of lions you're hearing on Pride Rock
During production of The Lion King, filmmakers had to use tigers' roars instead because lions weren't loud enough to give that same intimidating effect.
5. Strange prescience in Alice in Wonderland
In the long sequence with the Walrus and the Carpenter, there is a calendar with the month of March behind one of the clams. The dates line up perfectly with March of 2010, the month and year that Disney released the live-action adaptation of Alice in Wonderland.
6. The vultures in “The Jungle Book” are based on The Beatles
That might explain their shaggy appearance. John, Paul, George, and Ringo were also meant to voice the characters, but schedule conflicts got in the way.
7. The Muses from Hercules have a head for coded Disney references
In the best scene from the entire movie, when Meg sings "I Won't Say I'm in Love," the Muses appear in the garden in the exact same orientation as the ghostly singing heads from The Haunted Mansion ride.
And, because that song is such a bop, here's the entire thing for old times' sake. How can you visit the draw of five sassy statues?
8. The same actress was able to voice the Evil Queen and the Witch by making one simple change
Animators were initially worried that Lucille La Verne, who provided the voice for the Evil Queen, wouldn't sound old or raspy enough to play the Old Witch. They changed their plans to hire another voice actress when La Verne did a perfect take as the sinister hag. Her secret? She took out her dentures.
9. Gaston sees death
Right before Gaston endures the typical Disney death (dramatically falling from a great height), you can see a pair of skulls flash in his pupils. This was meant to be a clear indication that the fall kills Gaston since his fate would be left ambiguous otherwise.
10. Mike Wazowski was also looking for Nemo
The myopic monster can be seen snorkeling by the credits toward the very end of Finding Nemo. I bet he and Dory get along swimmingly.
11. Prince Naveen's fate is sealed
Doctor Facilier presents Prince Naveen with a tarot card meant to reveal his future. On it, a stately prince floats atop a lily pad made of money, a strong harbinger of what's in store for him.
12. Buzz encounters a toolbox that he used for years
The toolbox was the same one used in the show Home Improvement, which starred Tim Allen (voice of Buzz Lightyear).
13. The Bear in The Fox and the Hound has a familiar snarl
That terrifying and threatening sound was the same one used for Shere Khan (the tiger) in The Jungle Book and Brutus and Nero (the crocodiles) from The Rescuers.
14. Tom Cruise was the model for Aladdin
It's pretty clear once you see it! The appearance of Aladdin was based on Tom Cruise.