While you might expect to find Stephen King-related easter eggs in a horror movie, the latest place they’ve been unearthed is also the most unlikely: Disney/Pixar’s Coco.
So how did ghosts of the Overlook hotel creep into a movie that deals with death and the afterlife in a much less nightmarish way? Bloody-Disgusting found out Coco director Lee Unkrich is so obsessed with The Shining that even his blog is called The Overlook Hotel. He’s also managed to sneak easter eggs into all the animated movie’s he’s ever worked on. That means you may experience chilling déjà vu in movies like Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Toy Story 3, and now Coco if you look hard enough.
Pause the movie at around 11 minutes. Something should look familiar, even if you’re seeing that yard for the first time and the Mexican heat is just about the furthest you can get from the Overlook’s frozen terror. Zoom in to the left. Looks like Jack Torrance left something behind in animation land. It’s that axe he hacked away with while Wendy was screaming in the other room, looming menacingly in the shadows behind a happily unaware Dante.
At little over half an hour in, Miguel makes the mistake of taking Dante into forbidden territory. When the dog slinks into an art studio, watch out for a glimpse of the Grady twins as Miguel follows him in and when Dante sniffs out a rainbow monkey hiding out under a papier maché devil’s head. They fight their way past the painting of the specters in those infamous matching blue dresses. At least they don’t beckon Miguel to come play with them.
The third easter egg is a little more obscure, because this one is a visual of the one word that keeps getting repeated in The Shining. Go back to that axe scene and really get up close and personal with it. Think about the thing right next to the axe, unassuming but so obvious you realize what it is. Red drum. Redrum.
If you want to have some R-rated fun with PG movies and hunt for more Shining references, don’t blink and you might catch Bruce the shark pulling a Heeeeeere’s Johnny! in Finding Nemo, an eerily familiar carpet in Toy Story, and more revealed here.