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From 101 Dalmatians; Screencap/Annotation by Rudie Obias

39 Hidden Mickeys in Disney Animated Movies

Original image
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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ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images
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10 Fascinating Practices on UNESCO’s Cultural Heritage List
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ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images

You've probably heard of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Sites—places like Machu Picchu, Auschwitz, and the Tower of London that UNESCO has deemed architecturally or historically important. But UNESCO doesn’t just choose important places to protect—it also maintains an Intangible Cultural Heritage List, which includes traditions and ways of life passed down from generation to generation and now in danger of being lost.

The list is rooted in a 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, which created the list to raise visibility for the practices and encourage dialogue around cultural diversity. The list protects five types of cultural heritage: oral expression and traditions (including language); performing arts; social practices, rituals, and festivities; knowledge and practices about nature and the universe; and traditional craftsmanship.

In some ways, cultural heritage is even more fragile than buildings and archaeological sites because it lies in people’s memories, and so can be easily lost or changed with no real record to preserve it. And the results of a loss of cultural heritage can be dire: Culture helps define a minority group, and the loss of that culture can mean a disconnection from the past.

UNESCO now maintains two lists: the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding (the latter only includes items identified as needing immediate protection).

To be added to a list, an item must be nominated by one of the countries that is a party to the convention. A committee then meets annually to determine which practices should be added to the lists, based on whether they meet the convention's definitions of cultural heritage, whether inscribing the practice will encourage dialogue and awareness, and whether there's been wide involvement by the culture concerned, among other criteria.

1. CULTURE OF JEJU HAENYEO // KOREA

Female divers (some as old as 80) from Jeju Island in the Republic of Korea have been collecting shellfish for hundreds of years. The divers, known as Haenyeo, submerge as much as 30 feet without scuba gear to harvest sea urchins and abalone, working up to seven hours a day. They hold their breath for a minute during each dive, and each makes a distinctive whistling noise when surfacing. Prayers are said to the goddess of the sea before the dives begin. The culture has played an important part in elevating women’s status on the island—women are the primary breadwinners in these families, and the haenyeo have become a symbol of the place.

2. HIKAYE // PALESTINE

Palestinian women over the age of 70 are part of this narrative tradition. During the winter, at gatherings of women and children (it's considered inappropriate for men to attend), the older women in the community tell fictional stories that critique society from the female point of view and, UNESCO notes, often reveal a conflict between "duty and desire." The storytelling involves rhythm, inflection, and other vocal arts, but is now on the decline due to the availability of mass media.

3. CAMEL COAXING // MONGOLIA

Mongol camel herders perform a special ritual when they want a mother camel to accept a newborn calf or adopt an orphan. The mother and calf are tied together and the camel coaxer sings a special song that includes gestures and chants designed to encourage the mother to accept the baby. A horse-head fiddle or flute is also played. The ritual reinforces social ties in the nomadic society, and is passed down from parent to child. But as motorcycles are replacing camels as transportation, the practice is in danger.

4. SUMMER SOLSTICE FIRES // PYRENEES MOUNTAINS

In the Pyrenees Mountains of Andorra, Spain, and France, residents from local villages carry flaming torches down the hills to light large beacons on the night of the summer solstice. Carrying the torches is a rite of passage from childhood to adulthood, and setting the first fire is a special role given to priests, politicians, or the newly married. Unmarried girls greet the torch carriers with pastries and wine, and ashes are collected the next morning to put in gardens.

5. KNUCKLE-BONE SHOOTING // MONGOLIA

In Mongolia, residents play a game in which small teams of six to eight people flick pieces of marble across a table to push sheep knuckle bones into a target. The shooters wear personalized costumes denoting their rank in the game, and use individually created shooting tools. They also sing traditional tunes throughout the game.

6. VÍ AND GIẶM FOLK SONGS // VIETNAM

In northern Vietnam, folk songs in the Nghệ Tĩnh dialect are sung while people harvest rice, row boats, make conical hats, or put children to sleep. The songs focus on the values important in that culture, including respect for parents, honesty, and goodness. The songs also provide a way for unmarried young men and women to share their feelings with each other.

7. YURT-MAKING // KAZAKHSTAN AND KYRGYZSTAN

Nomads in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan make round yurts for use as temporary, portable homes, as well as for ceremonies like weddings and funerals. A round wooden frame forms the basis for the structure, and is then covered in felt and braided ropes. Men create the wooden frame, while women create the outside covering and inside decorations, working in groups to create the intricate patterns and reinforce social values.

8. WEAVING OF THE Q’ESWACHAKA BRIDGE // PERU

Quechua-speaking peasant communities in Peru come together each year to replace the suspension bridge over the Apurimac River in the Andes Mountains. The bridge is made of an unusual material—straw that's twisted and tied into ropes. The ropes are attached on each side of the river, and the bridge builders work until they meet in the middle. When the bridge is complete, a festival is held.

9. BARKCLOTH MAKING // UGANDA

Buganda craftsmen from southern Uganda harvest bark from the Mutuba tree and beat the bark with wooden mallets until it is soft, cloth-like, and a terracotta color. The barkcloth is worn as togas by men and women (who add a sash to their outfit) during ceremonial events. The availability of cotton has resulted in a reduction in the production of this specialized cloth.

10. SHRIMP FISHING ON HORSEBACK // BELGIUM

In Oostduinkerke, Belgium, 12 families harvest shrimp using horses. The Brabant horses walk breast-deep in the water parallel to the shore, pulling funnel-shaped nets. They also pull a chain along the bottom, which causes vibrations that make the shrimp jump into the nets. The caught shrimp are then carried in baskets attached to the horses’ sides. Each family specializes in a particular part of the practice, such as caring for the horses or weaving nets. The community celebrates this heritage with a yearly Shrimp Festival.

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© 2004 Twentieth Century Fox
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10 Sweet Facts About Napoleon Dynamite
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© 2004 Twentieth Century Fox

ChapStick, llamas, and tater tots are just a few things that appear in Napoleon Dynamite, a cult film shot for a mere $400,000 that went on to gross $44.5 million. In 2002, Brigham Young University film student Jared Hess filmed a black-and-white short, Peluca, with his classmate Jon Heder. The film got accepted into the Slamdance Film Festival, which gave Hess the courage to adapt it into a feature. Hess used his real-life upbringing in Preston, Idaho—he had six brothers and his mom owned llamas—to form the basis of the movie, about a nerdy teenager named Napoleon (Heder) who encourages his friend Pedro (Efren Ramirez) to run for class president.

In 2004, the indie film screened at Sundance, and was quickly purchased by Fox Searchlight and Paramount, then released less than six months later. Today, the film remains so popular that last year Pedro and Napoleon reunited for a cheesy tots Burger King commercial. Here are 10 sweet facts about the ever-quotable comedy.

1. DEB IS BASED ON JERUSHA HESS.

Jared Hess’ wife Jerusha co-wrote the film and based Deb on her own life. “Her mom made her a dress when she was going to a middle school dance and she said, ‘I hadn’t really developed yet, so my mom overcompensated and made some very large, fluffy shoulders,’” Jared told Rolling Stone. “Some guy dancing with her patted the sleeves and actually said, ‘I like your sleeves … they’re real big.’” 

Tina Majorino, who played the fictional Deb, hadn’t done a comedy before, because people thought of her as a dramatic actress. “The fact that Jared would even let me come in and read really appealed to me,” she told Rolling Stone. “Even if I didn’t get the role, I just wanted to see what it was like to audition for a comedy, as I’d never done it before.”

2. NAPOLEON'S FAMOUS DANCE SCENE MANIFESTED FROM THE SHORT FILM.

At the end of shooting Peluca, Hess had a minute of film stock left and knew Heder liked to dance. Heder had on moon boots—something Hess used to wear—so they traveled to the end of a dirt road. They turned on the car radio and Jamiroquai’s “Canned Heat” was playing. “I just told him to start dancing and realized: This is how we’ve got to end the film,” Hess told Rolling Stone. “You don’t anticipate those kinds of things. They’re just part of the creative process.” 

Heder told The Huffington Post he found inspiration in Michael Jackson and dancing in front of a mirror, for the end-of-the-movie skit. But when it came time to film the dance for the feature, Heder felt “pressure” to deliver. “I was like, ‘Oh, crap!’ This isn’t just a silly little scene,” he told PDX Monthly. “This is the moment where everything comes, and he’s making the sacrifice for his friend. That’s the whole theme of the movie. Everything leads up to this. Napoleon’s been this loser. This has to be the moment where he lands a victory.” Instead of hiring a choreographer, the filmmakers told him to “just figure it out.” They filmed the scene three times with three different songs, including Jamiroquai’s “Little L” and “Canned Heat.”

3. FANS STILL FLOCK TO PRESTON, IDAHO TO TOUR THE MOVIE’S LOCATIONS.

In a 2016 interview with The Salt Lake Tribune, The Preston Citizen’s circulation manager, Rhonda Gregerson, said “every summer at least 50 groups of fans walk into the office wanting to know more about the film.” She said people come from all over the world to see Preston High School, Pedro’s house, and other filming locations as a layover before heading to Yellowstone National Park. “If you talk to a lot of people in Preston, you’ll find a lot of people who have become a bit sick of it,” Gregerson said. “I still think it’s great that there’s still so much interest in the town this long after the movie.”

Besides the filming locations, the town used to host a Napoleon Dynamite festival. In 2005, the fest drew about 6000 people and featured a tater tot eating contest, a moon boot dancing contest, boondoggle keychains for sale, and a tetherball tournament. The fest was last held in 2008.

4. IDAHO ADOPTED A RESOLUTION COMMENDING THE FILMMAKERS.

Jerusha and Jared Hess
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

In 2005, the Idaho legislature wrote a resolution praising Jared and Jerusha Hess and the city of Preston. HCR029 appreciates the use of tater tots for “promoting Idaho’s most famous export.” It extols bicycling and skateboarding to promote “better air quality,” and it says Kip and LaFawnduh’s relationship “is a tribute to e-commerce and Idaho’s technology-driven industry.” The resolution goes on to say those who “vote Nay on this concurrent resolution are Freakin’ Idiots.” Napoleon would be proud.

5. NAPOLEON WAS A DIFFERENT KIND OF NERD. 

Sure, he was awkward, but Napoleon wasn’t as intelligent as other film nerds. “He’s not a genius,” Heder told The Huffington Post. “Maybe he’s getting good grades, but he’s not excelling; he’s just socially awkward. He doesn’t know how much of an outcast he is, and that’s what gives him that confidence. He’s trying to be cool sometimes, but mostly he just goes for it and does it.”

6. THE TITLE SEQUENCE FEATURED SEVERAL DIFFERENT SETS OF HANDS.

Eight months before the theatrical release, Fox Searchlight had Hess film a title sequence that made it clear that the film took place in 2004, not in the ’80s or ’90s. Napoleon’s student ID reveals the events occur during the 2004-2005 school year. Heder’s hands move the objects in and out of the frame, but Fox didn’t like his hangnails. “They flew out a hand model a couple weeks later, who had great hands, but was five or six shades darker than Jon Heder,” Hess told Art of the Title. “If you look, there are like three different dudes’ hands—our producer’s are in there, too.”

7. THE MOVIE MESSED UP NETFLIX’S ALGORITHMS.

Beginning in 2006, Cinematch—Netflix’s recommendation algorithm software—held a contest called The Netflix Prize. Anyone who could make Cinematch’s predictions at least 10 percent more accurate would win $1 million. Computer scientist Len Bertoni had trouble predicting whether people would like Napoleon Dynamite. Bertoni told The New York Times the film is “polarizing,” and the Netflix ratings are either one or five stars. If he could accurately predict whether people liked the movie, Bertoni said, then he’d come much closer to winning the prize. That didn’t happen for him.

The contest finally ended in 2009 when Netflix awarded the grand prize to BellKor’s Pragmatic Chaos, who developed a 10.06 percent improvement over Cinematch’s score.

8. NAPOLEON ACCIDENTLY GOT A BAD PERM.

© 2004 Twentieth Century Fox

Heder got his hair permed the night before shooting began—but something went wrong. Heder called Jared and said, “‘Yeah, I got the perm but it’s a little bit different than it was before,’” Hess told Rolling Stone. “He showed up the night before shooting and he looked like Shirley Temple! The curls were huge!” They didn’t have much time to fix the goof, so Hess enlisted Jerusha and her cousin to re-perm it. It worked, but Jon wasn’t allowed to wash his hair for the next three weeks. “So he had this stinky ‘do in the Idaho heat for three weeks,” Jared said. “We were shooting near dairy farms and there were tons of flies; they were all flying in and out of his hair.”

9. LAFAWNDUH’S REAL-LIFE FAMILY STARRED IN THE MOVIE.

Shondrella Avery played LaFawnduh, the African American girlfriend of Kip, Napoleon’s older brother (played by Aaron Ruell). Before filming, Hess phoned Avery and said, “‘You remember that there were no black people in Preston, Idaho, right? Do you think your family might want to be in the movie?’ And that’s how it happened,” Avery told Los Angeles Weekly. Her actual family shows up at the end when LaFawnduh and Kip get married.

10. A SHORT-LIVED ANIMATED SERIES ACTED AS A SEQUEL.

In 2012, Fox aired six episodes of Napoleon Dynamite the animated series before they canceled it. All of the original actors returned to supply voices to their characters. The only difference between the film and the series is Kip is not married. Heder told Rolling Stone the episodes are as close to a sequel as fans will get. “If you sit down and watch those back to back, you’ve got yourself a sequel,” he said. “Because you’ve got all the same characters and all the same actors.”

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