Animated films take a LONG time to complete. Disney Pixar feature-length films can take anywhere between 4 and 7 years to be ready for release! When you spend so long putting a film together frame by frame, you need something to amuse yourself, and illustrators have been adding secret or private jokes into their work for as long as there have been cartoons. From the beginning of Disney, you’ve been able to find unexpected items in the background, inside jokes, nods to myths and cultures, and character guest stars that link different films in Disney’s oeuvre. We’ve put on our detective’s hat and found 50 that you might not have noticed.
A lost flounder
Our favorite little blue guppy had an eventful time in The Little Mermaid, as Ariel’s best friend and travel companion, despite his nervous nature. He embarks on all her adventures with her, usually pointing out how terrible an idea they are first, and often being proved right.
It looks like he ended up on a similar adventure in this screenshot from Moana, where we see the little guy during Maui’s self-congratulatory song. He looks pretty relaxed considering.