The geniuses at Pixar are well-known for hiding Easter eggs in their animation films.
Often characters from previous works are hidden in new releases, from posters on the walls in background, subtle references through clothing, or simply blending cameos into a crowd in the background.
But fans have spotted one addition that continues to pop up in Pixar films time and time again – and that’s a reference to the code ‘A113’. It’s often hard to find, but it’s always there somewhere.
In Toy Story it’s the licence plate on Andy’s mum’s car, clearly visible as Woody hangs onto the bumper. In Monsters University it’s on the door of the lecture hall where Mike and Sully attend a class. In Finding Nemo it’s the model of the camera used by a scuba diver.
There’s almost too many examples to list, with fans spotting it in A Bug’s Life, The Incredibles, Cars, WALL-E, Up, Inside Out, Onward, and plenty more. Some fans have even argued that WALL-E himself is a reference to the code (WA11-3).
But when someone on Reddit spotted ‘A113’ printed on the ear tag of Git the rat in Ratatouille, identifying it as a “frequently used Pixar Easter egg”, a fellow fan took to the comments to explain its simple origins.
They wrote: “A113 was the classroom number for many of the original Pixar artists at Cal Arts (California Institute of the Arts).
“It appears in numerous movies and twice in Ratatouille. It also appears on a train on the TV while Linguini and Remy are sleeping in Linguini’s apartment.”
The reference is a nod to the classroom where many of the animators behind the films learned their craft, and it’s a little inside tradition that’s not only restricted to Pixar films.
Fans have also spotted it in a couple of episodes of The Simpsons, as well as non-Pixar movies including Lilo & Stitch, The Avengers, and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.
CalArts was founded by Walt Disney himself, and with Pixar being owned by The Walt Disney Company, it’s perhaps only fitting that the animation artists pay tribute to the school that launched their careers.
The insight blew the minds of Pixar fans online, as one said: “I wish I’d just known about the number being in every film but not just looked at all those pictures. I could have had a Pixar marathon/scavenger hunt. I’m almost 30.”
And another said: “The people who find this sort of stuff are either really good at paying attention to detail or already knew what to look for going into the movie. I never noticed this though (I don’t think the average person would either).”