Four John Lasseter Films With ‘Toy Story’ Easter Eggs

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Legendary director, producer, and screenwriter, John Lasseter, is responsible for some of the most beloved Disney and Pixar films. Movies from Pixar and Disney are known for having small details that form a common thread connecting them. The ones Lasseter is a part of are no exception. 

Notable Easter Eggs in John Lasseter’s Movies

In this case, the term “Easter egg” refers to an image, message, or feature that is included in a movie. Astute movie watchers have noticed many such Easter eggs in John Lasseter’s films. One such Easter egg is actually a 1995 movie that Lasseter directed and wrote the original story for Toy Story.

1. Cars

The movie Cars was first released in 2006. The film contains several references to Toy Story, including characters Buzz, Woody, and Hamm as styled cars when the show Toy Car Story is playing at the drive-in. 

Lightning McQueen and the other Piston Cup racers are all outfitted with Lightyear Buzzard tires. This is, of course, a nod to Buzz Lightyear as well as Goodyear Eagle tires. 

Even Lightning McQueen’s race number has significance to Toy Story. The very first movie of the Toy Story franchise was released in 1995 — the same number that Lightning McQueen races under. 

2. Monsters, Inc.

In 2001, John Lasseter was the executive producer of Monsters, Inc. This movie also has many Toy Story references peppered throughout. Viewers who pay particular attention will notice that the toy airplane seen on a shelf early in the movie is actually making its second appearance. It made its debut in Toy Story when Buzz landed on it when he was attempting his first flight. 

Skipping forward in the movie to the end, Boo arrives home, and a Jessie doll is waiting for her on the table. Boo picks up the doll and hands it to Sulley. 

When you’re watching the movie, pay attention to the laugh floor — particularly the laugh canisters that are located near the end. Those viewers with sharp eyes might notice that the clown toy that originally appeared in Andy’s room is there — albeit in a larger size. 

During the scene when Randall is practicing being scary, the cloud wallpaper from Andy’s room makes an appearance. 


A 2008 movie, WALL-E featured Lasseter as an executive producer. Wall-E’s room has the orange traffic cones from Toy Story 2. These same cones also appeared in garbage piles.

Also in Wall-E’s house is Hamm. He is seen when there is a visit from EVE. Rex makes an appearance in Wall-E’s house as well. 

In the movie, a lunchbox featuring Buzz Lightyear is seen. Barbie’s car is also spotted. 

4. Finding Nemo

Finding Nemo is a 2003 movie produced by John Lasseter. In the scene when Nemo is in the fish tank in the dentist’s office, observant viewers might have noticed a familiar figure beside the waiting room toy box. An action figure of Buzz Lightyear appeared next to the toy box. 

There is no doubt that John Lasseter put his special touch on many of the Disney and Pixar films he worked on. Moviegoers can expect to see more from this brilliant director, writer, and producer in the future. 

He is the head of animation at Skydance. An animated television series based on a nova by Tony DiTerlizzi, The Search for WondLa, is currently in the works with a release date that has not yet been determined. It will air on Apple TV+. 

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