5 great Easter eggs hidden in famous movies

Have you ever seen this Easter Egg in the Watchmen? (Screengrab)

Have you ever seen this Easter Egg in the Watchmen? (Screengrab)

Steve Tilley, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:51 PM ET

Sunday is Easter, which for many of us means two things: hunting for brightly coloured eggs, and a long weekend spent watching a whole lot of movies.

In movie parlance, Easter eggs are quick and funny references inserted into a film by a director or writer. Sometimes they’re a tip of the hat to another movie, sometimes they’re clever cameos, sometimes they’re in-jokes that only fans of the fiction will get.

Whatever the case, they’re fun to hunt for, and contain way fewer calories than that one-kilo solid chocolate rabbit you’ve been eyeballing all week. Here’s a look at five of my favourite movie Easter eggs.

 E.T. in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

Steven Spielberg’s 1982 classic E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial was all about a stranded alien trying to get back home. Little did we know E.T.’s homeworld was part of the Star Wars galactic senate: a trio of E.T.s show up in a blink-and-you-miss-it scene in 1999’s Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, in which the various alien members of the senate react to a speech by Queen Amidala (Natalie Portman).


Pac-Man in Tron

Another one for us ’80s fans, the original Tron contains a scene in which the villainous Sark (David Warner) is commanding forces from the control room of his ship, in front of a schematic display that shows an animated Pac-Man munching away. You can even hear the classic video game’s sound effects in the background.


The Shining in Toy Story 3

Pixar movies are stuffed with Easter eggs, many of which connect the various films in clever ways. (Pixar even released their own Easter egg primer on YouTube this week, which you can find here: http://bit.ly/pixareggs). But Toy Story 3 contains several references to Stanley Kubrick’s creepy 1980 flick The Shining and its infamous Room 237 at the Overlook Hotel, including the words “OVERLOOK R237” on a security camera at the Sunnyside Daycare, and the licence plate RM237 on the garbage truck that hauls the toys away. The Shining is Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich’s self-professed favourite film.


Batman in Watchmen

Long before he cast Ben Affleck as the Caped Crusader in the upcoming Man of Steel sequel, director Zack Snyder helmed Watchmen, based on the dark and gritty graphic novels. In the first shot of the film’s opening credits sequence, we see Nite Owl punching a gun-toting criminal in front of posters advertising Batman No. 1, released in 1940. Better yet, some say Nite Owl is actually clobbering the guy who was about to murder Bruce Wayne’s parents, seen in the background. It’s the Inception of Easter eggs.

Watchmen opening from Sara Goes on Vimeo.


Iron Man (1966) in Iron Man (2008)

Marvel movies are also famous for fan-service Easter eggs that fly over the heads of casual filmgoers. There are literally dozens of them spread across the various flicks, and one of the most obscure – and funniest – is the ringtone that James Rhodes (Terrence Howard) has for Tony Stark in 2008’s Iron Man: it’s the theme song to the old-school Invincible Iron Man cartoon, part of 1966’s The Marvel Super Heroes series.

Twitter: @stevetilley

steve.tilley@sunmedia.ca


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