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Disney.com

11 Disney Character Cameos in Other Disney Movies

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Disney.com

Disney has been playing I Spy in their movies for decades. The next time you pop in one of these films, keep your eyes peeled for a few characters having out-of-movie experiences.

1. Frozen

Rapunzel and Flynn from Tangled showed up for Elsa’s coronation in Arendelle.

2. 101 Dalmatians

Eagle-eyed fans can spot some of their other favorite Disney canines During the Twilight Barking scene of 101 Dalmatians. Watch for characters from Lady and the Tramp, including Peg, Jock, and both title characters.

It's admittedly a pretty terrible video, so here's a still that captures the outlines of Lady and the Tramp:

DisneyWikia

3. Oliver & Company

You can spot more Disney dog cameos in Oliver & Company—Jock and Peg again (2:45), plus their pal Trusty, and Pongo from 101 Dalmatians. Also, did everyone know that Oliver is voiced by Joey Lawrence? I didn't. Mind blown.

4. The Great Mouse Detective

It’s one of the lesser-known Disney films, but if you’re of a certain age, you’re probably familiar with The Great Mouse Detective, featuring the incomparable Vincent Price as the villain Ratigan. If you haven’t seen the movie, you can still catch Ratigan if you squint really hard in Oliver & Company—he’s featured in a picture frame on a table during the song “Perfect Isn’t Easy.” It's a silver frame on the upper left side.

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5. The Little Mermaid

Hades Fan/DisneyWiki

Check out the King and the Grand Duke from Cinderella during the wedding scene in The Little Mermaid.

6. Tarzan

A version of Mrs. Potts and Chip Cup can be seen in a camp scene of Tarzan. Try 1:12. They're not as animated as you might remember them from Beauty and the Beast, but it's definitely them!

7. The Princess and the Frog

In the beginning scenes of The Princess and the Frog, a little girl can be seen shaking out a rug that looks an awful lot like Magic Carpet from Aladdin. The animators must have been fans of the 1992 movie, because you can also catch a glimpse of the Genie’s lamp during the “Dig a Little Deeper” number. Here's Carpet at 0:52.

8. Aladdin

Some of the “cameos” in Aladdin are obvious tongue-in-cheek references—the Goofy hat Genie wears while sporting a Hawaiian shirt at the end, for example. But for a more subtle appearance, look for the Beast as one of the Sultan’s toys. Though not confirmed, it's been pointed out that the little vulture also looks a lot like the Jungle Book vultures.


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9. The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Since The Hunchback of Notre Dame takes place in France, it’s really not so surprising that everyone’s favorite well-read mademoiselle makes a brief cameo... with her nose stuck in a book, no less. This video also shows cameos by Magic Carpet and Pumbaa. I wasn't so sure about the Pumbaa claim, but Snopes backs it up.

10. The Rescuers

If you've got a soft spot for Bambi and his mom—and seriously, who doesn't—you can see them reunited at 0:35 below, the "Someone's Waiting for You" song from The Rescuers.

11. Almost Every Pixar Movie

Pixar Wiki

Pixar is notorious for sneaking little nods to upcoming projects in films. For example, the Pizza Planet truck from Toy Story appears in movies even where it doesn’t make sense—like 10th-century Scotland. Here are a few more Pixar cameos in other Pixar movies.

This is just a smattering—there are tons more cameos out there, including some that probably haven't even been discovered yet. Let us know which ones you've spotted!

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iStock // Ekaterina Minaeva
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Man Buys Two Metric Tons of LEGO Bricks; Sorts Them Via Machine Learning
May 21, 2017
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iStock // Ekaterina Minaeva

Jacques Mattheij made a small, but awesome, mistake. He went on eBay one evening and bid on a bunch of bulk LEGO brick auctions, then went to sleep. Upon waking, he discovered that he was the high bidder on many, and was now the proud owner of two tons of LEGO bricks. (This is about 4400 pounds.) He wrote, "[L]esson 1: if you win almost all bids you are bidding too high."

Mattheij had noticed that bulk, unsorted bricks sell for something like €10/kilogram, whereas sets are roughly €40/kg and rare parts go for up to €100/kg. Much of the value of the bricks is in their sorting. If he could reduce the entropy of these bins of unsorted bricks, he could make a tidy profit. While many people do this work by hand, the problem is enormous—just the kind of challenge for a computer. Mattheij writes:

There are 38000+ shapes and there are 100+ possible shades of color (you can roughly tell how old someone is by asking them what lego colors they remember from their youth).

In the following months, Mattheij built a proof-of-concept sorting system using, of course, LEGO. He broke the problem down into a series of sub-problems (including "feeding LEGO reliably from a hopper is surprisingly hard," one of those facts of nature that will stymie even the best system design). After tinkering with the prototype at length, he expanded the system to a surprisingly complex system of conveyer belts (powered by a home treadmill), various pieces of cabinetry, and "copious quantities of crazy glue."

Here's a video showing the current system running at low speed:

The key part of the system was running the bricks past a camera paired with a computer running a neural net-based image classifier. That allows the computer (when sufficiently trained on brick images) to recognize bricks and thus categorize them by color, shape, or other parameters. Remember that as bricks pass by, they can be in any orientation, can be dirty, can even be stuck to other pieces. So having a flexible software system is key to recognizing—in a fraction of a second—what a given brick is, in order to sort it out. When a match is found, a jet of compressed air pops the piece off the conveyer belt and into a waiting bin.

After much experimentation, Mattheij rewrote the software (several times in fact) to accomplish a variety of basic tasks. At its core, the system takes images from a webcam and feeds them to a neural network to do the classification. Of course, the neural net needs to be "trained" by showing it lots of images, and telling it what those images represent. Mattheij's breakthrough was allowing the machine to effectively train itself, with guidance: Running pieces through allows the system to take its own photos, make a guess, and build on that guess. As long as Mattheij corrects the incorrect guesses, he ends up with a decent (and self-reinforcing) corpus of training data. As the machine continues running, it can rack up more training, allowing it to recognize a broad variety of pieces on the fly.

Here's another video, focusing on how the pieces move on conveyer belts (running at slow speed so puny humans can follow). You can also see the air jets in action:

In an email interview, Mattheij told Mental Floss that the system currently sorts LEGO bricks into more than 50 categories. It can also be run in a color-sorting mode to bin the parts across 12 color groups. (Thus at present you'd likely do a two-pass sort on the bricks: once for shape, then a separate pass for color.) He continues to refine the system, with a focus on making its recognition abilities faster. At some point down the line, he plans to make the software portion open source. You're on your own as far as building conveyer belts, bins, and so forth.

Check out Mattheij's writeup in two parts for more information. It starts with an overview of the story, followed up with a deep dive on the software. He's also tweeting about the project (among other things). And if you look around a bit, you'll find bulk LEGO brick auctions online—it's definitely a thing!

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What Happened to Jamie and Aurelia From Love Actually?
May 26, 2017
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Nick Briggs/Comic Relief

Fans of the romantic-comedy Love Actually recently got a bonus reunion in the form of Red Nose Day Actually, a short charity special that gave audiences a peek at where their favorite characters ended up almost 15 years later.

One of the most improbable pairings from the original film was between Jamie (Colin Firth) and Aurelia (Lúcia Moniz), who fell in love despite almost no shared vocabulary. Jamie is English, and Aurelia is Portuguese, and they know just enough of each other’s native tongues for Jamie to propose and Aurelia to accept.

A decade and a half on, they have both improved their knowledge of each other’s languages—if not perfectly, in Jamie’s case. But apparently, their love is much stronger than his grasp on Portuguese grammar, because they’ve got three bilingual kids and another on the way. (And still enjoy having important romantic moments in the car.)

In 2015, Love Actually script editor Emma Freud revealed via Twitter what happened between Karen and Harry (Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman, who passed away last year). Most of the other couples get happy endings in the short—even if Hugh Grant's character hasn't gotten any better at dancing.

[h/t TV Guide]

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