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From 101 Dalmatians; Screencap/Annotation by Rudie Obias

39 Hidden Mickeys in Disney Animated Movies

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From 101 Dalmatians; Screencap/Annotation by Rudie Obias

Mickey Mouse has been the central mascot of the Walt Disney Corporation since his creation in 1928. The iconic cartoon character has seen many updates over the years, but his mouse ears, red pants, and white gloves are staples in the mouse's design—just three well-placed circles are enough to create Mickey’s recognizable silhouette. 

This geometric representation of Mickey Mouse is called a “Classic Mickey,” which Disney artists, designers, and imagineers hide throughout Disney theme parks and resorts, attractions, and media including animated movies, TV series, and live-action films. These covertly-placed gems are affectionately called “Hidden Mickeys.”

Although the Walt Disney Corporation has not officially recognized the appearances, Hidden Mickeys have become part of the fabric of the complete Disney experience. Here are 39 Hidden Mickeys in Disney animated movies.

1. and 2. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

Hidden Mickeys have appeared in every Disney full-length animated feature film since the very beginning with the release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937. Two Hidden Mickeys appear early in the film—when Snow White finishes scrubbing the castle’s steps, and when the Prince serenades Snow White under her balcony.

3. Pinocchio (1940) 

After the Blue Fairy turns the puppet Pinocchio into a wooden boy, Mister Geppetto and his cat Figaro and goldfish Cleo celebrate his arrival. When Pinocchio sets his finger on fire, Geppetto rushes to put it out. They pass by a chair, which looks like Mickey Mouse’s head.

4. and 5. Fantasia (1942)

Disney’s high-concept animated film Fantasia features two Hidden Mickeys: one during the Nutcracker Suite, and the other in the legendary Sorcerer’s Apprentice movement before Mickey gets caught in a whirlpool. 

6. and 7. Dumbo (1941)

A majority of Hidden Mickeys involve water ripples and bubbles, perhaps because this is the easiest way to introduce various circles of all shapes and sizes. 

In Walt Disney’s 1941 animated film, when Dumbo receives a loving bath from his mother, the soap bubbles form a Hidden Mickey. Then, when Dumbo’s miniature companion Timothy falls into a bucket of champagne, he emerges ostensibly drunk as he hiccups pink bubbles, which form another.

8. Bambi (1942) 

At the very beginning of Bambi, when the wildlife of the forest celebrate the start of a new spring season, a bird feeds her three baby birds a small group of berries that resembles the iconic Mickey Mouse.

9. Cinderella (1950)

As Cinderella scrubs the floor, soap bubbles float up to reveal her reflection in a trio of bubbles that form a Hidden Mickey.

10. Peter Pan (1953) 

The film is actually bookended with the same image of the Darling home. In front of their London house, a cluster of trees forms a Hidden Mickey.

11. Sleeping Beauty (1959)

After the wicked fairy Maleficent curses the baby Aurora to death when she reaches the age of 16, the trio of good fairies have tea to talk about what they’re going to do about Maleficent’s curse and how to protect the new baby. The blue fairy Merryweather conjures cookies in the shape of Mickey Mouse’s head to go with her tea.

12. 101 Dalmatians (1961)

Considering Dalmatians are white dogs with black spots, this could have been an opportunity for the animators to go overboard with the Hidden Mickeys, but only one appears—on Pongo’s right shoulder.

13. Robin Hood (1973)

During Robin Hood and Maid Marian’s love song at the pond, there are three lily pads that make up a Hidden Mickey.

14. The Rescuers (1977) 

At the very beginning of the film when the Rescue Aid Society assembles at the United Nations in New York City, the clock on the wall is a watch with a Mickey Mouse clock face.

15. The Fox and the Hound (1981)

When Todd and Copper first become unlikely friends at the beginning of the film, they play a game of hide and seek. Todd hides behind a cluster of bushes; some of their berries form a Hidden Mickey. 

16. Tron (1982)

At the end of the film when Tron, Flynn, and Yori escape, they board a “solar sailer simulation” that travels throughout the Grid. They pass through an open plain that reveals a large Hidden Mickey underneath the solar ship.

17. The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

When the evil Professor Ratigan proclaims himself the Supreme Ruler of All Mouse-dom at his headquarters, as one of his followers lights his cigarette, you can see the follower is wearing Mickey Mouse-shaped cufflinks. 

18. Oliver & Company (1988) 

When the stray dogs’ human friend Fagin looks at his collection of watches, the first watch on his wrist has a Mickey Mouse clock face.

19. and 20. The Little Mermaid (1989)

At the very beginning of the film, King Triton enters an underwater concert hall full of eager concertgoers. Mickey Mouse and Goofy are two of them, and a number of spectators are wearing Mickey Ears.

There is also a Hidden Mickey when Ariel sings "Part of Your World."

21. Beauty and the Beast (1991)

In the animated film’s second act, the Beast gives Belle his humongous library of books as a gift to show his gratitude for helping him mend his wounds. At the very top of the center bookshelf is a Hidden Mickey that brings the entire library together.

22. and 23. Aladdin (1992)

There are a few Hidden Mickeys and additional Easter eggs throughout the animated film Aladdin. At the beginning of the film, when Aladdin meets Princess Jasmine for the first time in the Agrabah marketplace, a bushel of apples makes up a Hidden Mickey at one of the vendor’s fruit stands.

At the very end of the film, after Jafar is tricked into becoming an all-powerful genie, the baby cub Rajah quickly morphs into Mickey Mouse before turning back into a full-sized tiger.

24. and 25. The Lion King (1994)

During “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King,” a pair of monkeys grooms Mufasa’s assistant Zazu. The monkeys pick off a Hidden Mickey from Zazu’s head.

While Simba’s cast out from the Pride Lands, Pumbaa and Timon befriend him. When Timon shows him that they eat insects and grubs to survive, one of the grubs in the background has a Hidden Mickey on its back.

26. Pocahontas (1995)

During “The Colors of the Wind," Pocahontas shows John Smith the beauty of her land. While they frolic in a field of Sunflowers, three sunflowers create a Hidden Mickey in the background.

27. and 28. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

The animated film is bookended with the Notre Dame Cathedral; a Mickey is part of the architecture of the giant church.

29., 30. and 31. Hercules (1997)

One of the Hidden Mickeys in the animated film Hercules is actually part of one of its main characters. Calliope’s (the muse) hairdo is an upside-down Hidden Mickey.

The other two Hidden Mickeys are reflected in the animated film’s struggle between good and evil. In Hades’ lair, there’s a map of the underworld, which is in the shape of Mickey Mouse’s head. When Hercules meets his father Zeus for the first time as a teenager, there’s a Hidden Mickey in the ceiling of Zeus’ monument.

32. and 33. Mulan (1998)

After Mulan has had a makeover to be presented to the Matchmaker, and the other hopefuls are lined up, the last woman on the right side of the frame has a hairdo shaped like Mickey Mouse’s ears.

Captain Li Shang’s horse also has two Hidden Mickeys on his front and rear side.

34. and 35. Lilo & Stitch (2002)

When Lilo is teaching the alien Stitch how to hula, there’s a Hidden Mickey in the fruit stand behind them. There’s also another Hidden Mickey when Lilo shows Stitch her room for the first time. Mickey Mouse is in one of the photos on her wall.

36. and 37. Tangled (2010)

At the very beginning of the animated film, Flynn Rider narrates Rapunzel’s origins and reveals the power of her long hair. When he mentions a single sun drop fell from the sky, the sun drop forms a Hidden Mickey when it hits the ground.

Rapunzel’s birth mother also wears a necklace with a Hidden Mickey at its center.

38. and 39. Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

Mickey Mouse is on a billboard behind the arcade at the very beginning of the animated film.

Once Wreck-It Ralph is inside the Sugar Rush video game with Vanellope von Schweetz, the video game’s racetrack is lined with round peppermint candies that form a handful of Hidden Mickeys.

Sources: Hidden Mickeys; Hidden Mickey Guy; Wikipedia.

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© 2002 Twentieth Century Fox
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20 Things You Might Not Have Known About Firefly
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© 2002 Twentieth Century Fox

As any diehard fan will be quick to tell you, Firefly's run was far, far too short. Despite its truncated run, the show still offers a wealth of fun facts and hidden Easter eggs. On the 15th anniversary of the series' premiere, we're looking back at the sci-fi series that kickstarted a Browncoat revolution.

1. A CIVIL WAR NOVEL INSPIRED THE FIREFLY UNIVERSE.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Killer Angels from author Michael Shaara was Joss Whedon’s inspiration for creating Firefly. It follows Union and Confederate soldiers during four days at the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War. Whedon modeled the series and world on the Reconstruction Era, but set in the future.

2. ORIGINALLY, THE SERENITY CREW INCLUDED JUST FIVE MEMBERS.

When Whedon first developed Firefly, he wanted Serenity to only have five crew members. However, throughout development and casting, Whedon increased the cast from five to nine.

3. REBECCA GAYHEART WAS ORIGINALLY CAST TO PLAY INARA.

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Before Morena Baccarin was cast as Inara Serra, Rebecca Gayheart landed the role—but she was fired after one day of shooting because she lacked chemistry with the rest of the cast. Baccarin was cast two days later and started shooting that day.

4. NEIL PATRICK HARRIS WAS ALMOST DR. SIMON TAM.

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Before it went to Sean Maher, Neil Patrick Harris auditioned for the role of Dr. Simon Tam.

5. JOSS WHEDON WROTE THE THEME SONG.

Whedon wrote the lyrics and music for Firefly’s opening theme song, “The Ballad of Serenity.”

6. STAR WARS SPACECRAFT APPEAR IN FIREFLY.

Star Wars was a big influence on Whedon. Captain Malcolm Reynolds somewhat resembles Han Solo, while Whedon used the Millennium Falcon as inspiration to create Serenity. In fact, you can spot a few spacecraft from George Lucas's magnum opus on the show.

When Inara’s shuttle docks with Serenity in the pilot episode, an Imperial Shuttle can be found flying in the background. In the episode “Shindig,” you can see a Starlight Intruder as the crew lands on the planet Persephone.

7. HAN SOLO FROZEN IN CARBONITE POPS UP THROUGHOUT FIREFLY.

YouTube

Nathan Fillion is a big Han Solo fan, so the Firefly prop department made a 12-inch replica of Han Solo encased in Carbonite for the Canadian-born actor. You can see the prop in the background in a number of scenes.

8. ALIEN'S WEYLAND-YUTANI CORPORATION MADE AN APPEARANCE.

In Firefly’s pilot episode, the opening scene features the legendary Battle of Serenity Valley between the Browncoats and The Union of Allied Planets. Captain Malcolm Reynolds takes control of a cannon with a Weyland-Yutani logo inside of its display. Weyland-Yutani is the large conglomerate corporation in the Alien film franchise. (Whedon wrote Alien: Resurrection in 1997.)

9. ZAC EFRON'S ACTING DEBUT WAS ON FIREFLY.

A 13-year-old Zac Efron made his acting debut in the episode “Safe” in 2002. He played Young Simon in a flashback.

10. CAPTAIN MALCOLM REYNOLDS'S HORSE IS A WESTERN TROPE.

At its core, Firefly is a sci-fi western—and Malcolm Reynolds rides the same horse on every planet (it's named Fred).

11. FOX AIRED FIREFLY'S EPISODES OUT OF ORDER.

Fox didn’t feel Firefly’s two-hour pilot episode was strong enough to air as its first episode. Instead, “The Train Job” was broadcast first because it featured more action and excitement. The network continued to cherry-pick episodes based on broad appeal rather than story consistency, and eventually aired the pilot as the show’s final episode.

12. THE ALLIANCE'S ORIGINS ARE AMERICAN AND CHINESE.

The full name of The Alliance is The Anglo-Sino Alliance. Whedon envisioned The Alliance as a merger of American and Chinese government and corporate superpowers. The Union of Allied Planets’ flag is a blending of the American and Chinese national flags.

13. THE SERENITY LOUNGE SERVED AS AN ACTUAL LOUNGE.

Between set-ups and shots, the cast would hang out in the lounge on the Serenity set rather than trailers or green rooms.

14. INARA SERRA'S NAME IS MESOPOTAMIAN.

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Inara Serra is named after the Mesopotamian Hittite goddess, the protector of all wild animals.

15. THE CHARACTERS SWORE (JUST NOT IN ENGLISH).

The Firefly universe is a mixture of American and Chinese culture, which made it easy for writers to get around censors by having characters swear in Chinese.

16. THE UNIFORMS ARE RECYCLED FROM STARSHIP TROOPERS.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

The uniforms for Alliance officers and soldiers were the costumes from the 1997 science fiction film Starship Troopers. The same costumes were repurposed again for the Starship Troopers sequel.

17. "SUMMER!" MEANS SOMEONE MESSED UP.

Every time a cast member flubbed one of his or her lines, they would yell Summer Glau’s name. This was a running gag among the cast after Glau forgot her lines in the episode “Objects In Space.”

18. THE SERENITY SPACESHIP WAS BUILT TO SCALE.

The interior of Serenity was built entirely to scale; rooms and sections were completely contiguous. The ship’s interior was split into two stages, one for the upper deck and one for the lower. Whedon showed off the Firefly set in one long take to open the Serenity movie.

19. "THE MESSAGE" SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE SHOW'S FAREWELL.

Although “The Message” was the twelfth episode, it was the last episode filmed during Firefly’s short run. Composer Greg Edmonson wrote a piece of music for a funeral scene in the episode, which served as a final farewell to the show. Sadly, it was one of three episodes (the other two were “Trash” and “Heart of Gold”) that didn’t air during Firefly’s original broadcast run on Fox.

20. FIREFLY AND SERENITY WERE SENT TO THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION.

American Astronaut Steven Ray Swanson is a big fan of Firefly, so when he was sent to the International Space Station for his first mission (STS-117) in 2007, he brought DVD copies of Firefly and its feature film Serenity aboard with him. The DVDs are now a permanent part of the space station’s library.

This post originally appeared in 2014.

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10 Hush-Hush Facts About L.A. Confidential
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Warner Bros.

On this day 20 years ago, a rising star director, a writer who thought he’d never get the gig, and a remarkable cast got together to make a film about the corrupt underbelly of 1950s Los Angeles, and the men and women who littered its landscape. This was L.A. Confidential, a film so complex that its creator (legendary crime writer James Ellroy) thought it was “unadaptable.” In the end, it was one of the most acclaimed movies of the 1990s, a film noir classic that made its leading actors into even bigger stars, and which remains an instantly watchable masterpiece to this day. Here are 10 facts about how it got made.

1. THE SCRIPTING PROCESS WAS TOUGH.

Writer-director Curtis Hanson had been a longtime James Ellroy fan when he finally read L.A. Confidential, and the characters in that particular Ellroy novel really spoke to him, so he began working on a script. Meanwhile, Brian Helgeland—originally contracted to write an unproduced Viking film for Warner Bros.—was also a huge Ellroy fan, and lobbied hard for the studio to give him the scripting job. When he learned that Hanson already had it, the two met, and bonded over their mutual admiration of Ellroy’s prose. Their passion for the material was clear, but it took two years to get the script done, with a number of obstacles.

"He would turn down other jobs; I would be doing drafts for free,” Helgeland said. “Whenever there was a day when I didn't want to get up anymore, Curtis tipped the bed and rolled me out on the floor."

2. IT WAS ORIGINALLY INTENDED AS A MINISERIES.

When executive producer David Wolper first read Ellroy’s novel, he saw the dense, complex story as the perfect fodder for a television miniseries, and was promptly turned down by all the major networks at the time.

3. JAMES ELLROY DIDN’T THINK THE BOOK COULD BE ADAPTED.

Though Wolper was intrigued by the idea of telling the story onscreen, Ellroy and his agent laughed at the thought. The author felt his massive book would never fit on any screen.

“It was big, it was bad, it was bereft of sympathetic characters,” Ellroy said. “It was unconstrainable, uncontainable, and unadaptable.”

4. CURTIS HANSON SOLD THE FILM WITH CLASSIC LOS ANGELES IMAGES.

To get the film made, Hanson had to convince New Regency Pictures head Arnon Milchan that it was worth producing. To do this, he essentially put together a collage of classic Los Angeles imagery, from memorable locations to movie stars, including the famous image of Robert Mitchum leaving jail after his arrest for using marijuana.

"Now you've seen the image of L.A. that was sold to get everybody to come here. Let's peel back the image and see where our characters live,” Hanson said.

Milchan was sold.

5. KEVIN SPACEY WAS ON HANSON’S WISH LIST FOR YEARS.

Though the other stars of the film were largely discoveries of the moment, Kevin Spacey was apparently someone Hanson wanted to work with for years. Spacey described Hanson as a director “who’d been trying for years and years and years to get me cast in films he made, and the studio always rejected me.” After Spacey won an Oscar for The Usual Suspects, Hanson called the actor and said “I think I’ve got the role, and I think they’re not gonna say no this time.”

6. SPACEY’S CHARACTER IS BASED ON DEAN MARTIN.

Warner Bros.

Though he cast relative unknowns in Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce, Hanson wanted an American movie star for the role of Jack Vincennes, and decided on Kevin Spacey. In an effort to convince Spacey to take the role, Hanson invited him to dine at L.A.’s famous Formosa Cafe (where scenes in the film are actually set). While at the cafe, Spacey asked a vital question:

“If it was really 1952, and you were really making this movie, who would you cast as Jack Vincennes? And [Hanson] said ‘Dean Martin.’”

At that point, Spacey looked up at the gallery of movie star photos which line the cafe, and realized Martin’s photo was right above him.

“To this day, I don’t know whether he sat us in that booth on purpose, but there was Dino looking down at me,” Spacey said.

After his meeting with Hanson, Spacey watched Martin’s performances in Some Came Running (1958) and Rio Bravo (1959), and realized that both films featured characters who mask vulnerability with a layer of cool. That was the genesis of Jack Vincennes.

7. HANSON CHOSE MUCH OF THE MUSIC BEFORE FILMING.

To help set the tone for his period drama, Hanson began selecting music of the early 1950s even before filming began, so he could play it on set as the actors went to work. Among his most interesting choices: When Jack Vincennes sits in a bar, staring at the money he’s just been bribed with, Dean Martin’s “Powder Your Face With Sunshine (Smile! Smile! Smile!)” plays, a reference to both the character’s melancholy, and to Spacey and Hanson’s decision to base the character on Martin.

8. THE CINEMATOGRAPHY WAS INSPIRED BY ROBERT FRANK PHOTOGRAPHS.

To emphasize realism and period accuracy, cinematographer Dante Spinotti thought less about the moving image, and more about still photographs. In particular, he used photographer Robert Frank’s 1958 collection "The Americans" as a tool, and relied less on artificial light and more on environmental light sources like desk lamps.

"I tried to compose shots as if I were using a still camera,” Spinotti said. “I was constantly asking myself, 'Where would I be if I were holding a Leica?' This is one reason I suggested shooting in the Super 35 widescreen format; I wanted to use spherical lenses, which for me have a look and feel similar to still-photo work.”

9. THE FINAL STORY TWIST IS NOT IN THE BOOK.

Warner Bros.

[SPOILER ALERT] In the film, Jack Vincennes, Ed Exley, and Bud White are all chasing a mysterious crime lord known as “Rollo Tomasi,” who turns out to be their own LAPD colleague, Dudley Smith (James Cromwell). Though Vincennes, Exley, and White are all native to Ellroy’s novel, the Tomasi name is entirely an invention of the film.

10. ELLROY APPROVED OF THE MOVIE.

To adapt L.A. Confidential for the screen, Hanson and Helgeland condensed Ellroy’s original novel, boiling the story down to a three-person narrative and ditching other subplots so they could get to the heart of the three cops at the center of the movie. Ellroy, in the end, was pleased with their choices.

“They preserved the basic integrity of the book and its main theme, which is that everything in Los Angeles during this era of boosterism and yahooism was two-sided and two-faced and put out for cosmetic purposes,” Ellroy said. “The script is very much about the [characters'] evolution as men and their lives of duress. Brian and Curtis took a work of fiction that had eight plotlines, reduced those to three, and retained the dramatic force of three men working out their destiny. I've long held that hard-boiled crime fiction is the history of bad white men doing bad things in the name of authority. They stated that case plain.”

Additional Sources:
Inside the Actors Studio: Kevin Spacey (2000)

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