There are many, many reasons to love Pixar. First and foremost is that they’ve made nine consecutive instant classic films – a streak that will go to ten when the amazing “Up” opens later this month. But another is that they know what geeks want, and often insert Easter eggs and in-jokes for us fans.
Now, we’ve got the scoop on a top-secret “Up” bonus for eagle-eyed viewers: Pixar’s first peek at a never-before-seen character from 2010’s “Toy Story 3.”
“On ‘Monsters [Inc.]’, when Sulley is putting Boo back in her room, and he’s going to say goodbye to her, she hands him all these toys,” saidd Pete Docter, a director on “Up” and “Monsters,” and a writer on the “Toy Story” films. “One of them was this fish – which was Nemo – but nobody knew it at the time, because ‘[Finding] Nemo’ hadn’t come out yet. We have a similar thing [in ‘Up’].”
And the toy glimpsed isn’t Woody, Buzz or even Barbie’s boyfriend Ken, but a whole new “Toy Story” character. “We’re showing a character from ‘Toy Story 3’ that nobody knows about,” Docter said. “That’s somewhere in there.”
For more information, I went to Jonas Rivera, a producer on the heartwarming film about an old man named Carl who uses helium balloons to fly his house to South America.
“Well, if you look very closely [you’ll see it],” Rivera said. “I won’t tell you who it is, but I’ll tell you where it is.”
“There’s a shot where a little girl is in her room and the house goes by,” the producer said of a seemingly simple reaction scene near the beginning of the film, in which a young girl is surprised by the flying house soaring past her bedroom. “She’s playing with her toys. She’s playing with her little plane. She gets up, and she looks [out the window] – under her bed is one of the new stars of ‘Toy Story 3’.”
“You have to look close,” he said. “It’s not [Ken], it’s someone new.’
Now, here’s where things get really interesting: If you watch the film’s teaser trailer closely, you get a brief peek at 1:04 of the shot they’re referring to. While Carl’s house zooms by in the background, a young girl can be seen playing with her ball and toy airplane – also note, a brightly-colored teddy bear is sitting in the corner, in front of the child’s bed.
I have now watched this shot 25 times, as well as a few dozen more viewings for a featurette on Disney’s site that also has the scene. All I can make out is some sort of shadow under the little girl’s bed that looks like bedroom slippers, and I think maybe a Cheeto. Can you see anything else under there? Could the new character be...the slippers?
Stay tuned, as we’ll be sure to update this item as soon as we can. And if one of you loyal readers sees “Up” before everyone else and can spot the mystery “Toy Story 3” character, be sure to post it below!
Take a look at the trailer – are your eyes better than mine? Can you tell what’s under that little girl’s bed?