By Ethan Alter, Yahoo Entertainment
We’ve already told you about some of the many, many Disney-based Easter eggs that are hidden in the web-savvy sequel Ralph Breaks the Internet, which topped the UK box office taking £4m in its opening week.
Now we can show you some of the inside jokes and references that you probably missed. (Full disclosure: So did we.) Yahoo is exclusively premiering four images from the follow-up to 2012’s Wreck-It Ralph, and each shot highlights how cleverly directors Rich Moore and Phil Johnston and their crew of animators hid these treasures in the frame.
They also prove how deep into the Disney archives the filmmakers ventured, emerging with characters and objects that span the entirety of Mouse House history. Follow along as we break down some of the best hidden gags from Ralph Breaks the Internet.
2018 marks 90 years since the release of the very first Mickey Mouse cartoon, Steamboat Willie, which means that he and Minnie are one of one of the few celebrity couples who can boast reaching Stone Anniversary status.
But those mice aren’t the only critters celebrating the big 9-0. Steamboat Willie also featured the first appearance of Clarabelle Cow, a popular supporting player in the larger Disney animated universe. Romantically linked to both Goofy and Horace Horsecollar in the past, Clarabelle has been a solo act in many of her recent appearances in Disney Channel cartoons like Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
She’s also single in her Ralph Breaks the Internet cameo; look for her in the top right corner of this scene, mingling among the hordes of avatars clogging the digital streets of her employer’s official online portal, Oh My Disney. Her fellow nonagenarian, Mickey, doesn’t appear in this scene, but you can spot his famous Fantasia wizard cap in the bottom left, atop a bespectacled kid who’s standing next to a girl wearing a Coco-inspired shirt. Plus, there are plenty of mouse-eared hats to spare.
Gettin’ Grumpy with it
Steamboat Willie helped build the Disney brand name in the nascent days of American animation. The studio’s first feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, single-handedly built the Disney empire.
The princess from that groundbreaking 1937 film is featured in one of Ralph‘s best scenes, in which Sarah Silverman’s Vanellope von Schweetz meets the other female members of Disney’s ever-growing royal family. When it comes to her seven pals, Moore and Johnston chose to give Grumpy some much-needed love. The cranky dwarf is front and centre in a tableside tableau that also includes Moana’s unsinkable chicken sidekick Hei-Hei and Peter Pan’s winged companion Tinkerbell.
Speaking of the Pan, that’s his irascible shadow striking a pose on the far left. Wanna bet he’ll try to get his shadowy fingers on one of those Zootropolis pawpsicles?
Smarter than the average bear
Eight years before Yogi Bear started swiping picnic baskets from Jellystone Park visitors, Brownstone Park’s own Humphrey the Bear was the first name in animated ursine entertainment. Without uttering a word, the furry goofball stole scenes from Goofy in the 1950 cartoon Hold That Pose, and that led to him headlining his own series of shorts. And because every animated bear needs a park ranger to bedevil, Humphrey’s frequent foil was the short-tempered J. Audubon Woodlore.
The duo appears in the background of this image, directly in front of a signature bit of scenery from Disney’s stop-motion classic The Nightmare Before Christmas. (We’re not directors, mind you, but we can’t help thinking it would be even more appropriate to position Humphrey a little closer to the left, where he’d be flanking a poster for his bear companion Winnie the Pooh. Instead, Big Hero 6‘s Baymax gets that prime spot.)
Let your eyes drift further left and you’ll see a plus-size version of Mickey Mouse’s noggin (in the form of the popular Tsum-Tsum toy line) looking over the scene. Meanwhile, the foreground is populated by aliens from cinematic universes that fall under the Disney umbrella: Gamora from Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy series, Thor’s beloved hammer Mjolnir (RIP) and a disconcertingly happy-looking Darth Maul.
Bringing it up the present day, this shot of a group of office drones delighting in Ralph’s online antics includes shout-outs to two contemporary Disney favourites. Pinned to the exterior of the cubicle is a typically sunny postcard from singing snowman Olaf (from his “In Summer” song), which is sure to melt even the most Frozen of hearts.
On the desk is the “World’s Best Assistant Mayor” mug previously owned by Zootropolis‘ Dawn Bellwether. No doubt reflecting the disgraced sheep’s current employment status, the words “assistant mayor” have been crossed out and replaced by “Dad.” This image also contains one of the few non-Disney Easter eggs in the film: look above the computer screen and you’ll see one of those fabled T.P.S. Reports, an important part of any office space.
Ralph Breaks the Internet is in cinemas now.