'Monsters University': Pixar reveals Easter eggs and in-jokes


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The Luxo Jr. ball

While Toy Story was Pixar’s first feature, their first animated short came nearly a decade before that with 1986’s Luxo Jr.

Directed by John Lasseter, it featured two white desk lamps — one large, one small — playing with a red, yellow, and blue ball adorned with a star. The short ran only two minutes, but was a groundbreaking piece of digital animation, going on to be the first such film to earn an Academy Award nomination.

The small lamp is now part of Pixar’s logo, bouncing on the “i” until it collapses. But the ball turns up in most of the studio’s movies, too.

Again, in films like Toy Story and its sequels, slipping it into the background is easy. In fact, anywhere play might be happening is a good place to look for the Luxo ball: it’s in the dentist’s waiting room in Finding Nemo, Boo’s bedroom in Monsters, Inc., and is one of the family playthings in The Incredibles.

In Monsters University, director Dan Scanlon chose not to hide it in the usual place. This time, you can find it as graffiti on the wall behind the announcers for the school’s annual Scare Games.

See any more references in the film? Feel free to let us know in the comments …

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