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Top 10 Beauty and the Beast Easter Eggs You Missed

VO: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake
Try the Easter eggs, they’re delicious. For this list, we’re taking a look at hidden details and references from the first animated feature to score a Best Picture Oscar nomination, Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” Our list includes Bambi’s Mom, “The Wizard of Oz” References, Gaston’s Death Glare, Hidden Mickeys, Belle’s Book, and more! Join MsMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Beauty and the Beast Easter Eggs.

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Top 10 Beauty and the Beast Easter Eggs

Try the Easter eggs, they’re delicious. Welcome to MsMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Beauty and the Beast Easter Eggs.

For this list, we’re taking a look at hidden details and references from the first animated feature to score a Best Picture Oscar nomination, Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.”

#10: The Gargoyles

The Beast is actually a hodgepodge of other creatures, complete with a gorilla’s eyebrows, a wild boar’s tusk, a wolf’s legs and tail, a lion’s mane, a bear’s body, a buffalo’s head, and a human’s eyes. Before animator Glen Keane got the Beast’s design just right, however, he experimented with several other potential looks, as is the case with virtually every animated character. Rather than let Keane’s earlier sketches go to waste, the filmmakers recycled many of them as gargoyles in the Beast’s castle. Since these statues helped evolve the Beast’s design, it’s only fitting that they’re also given a makeover once the spell is broken.

#9: Borrowed Scenes

“Beauty and the Beast” was truly a game-changer for feature animation. So it might surprise you to learn that not every nook and cranny of the film was actually animated. You know the smoke that emerges during the Beast’s transformation? That’s real smoke! Even more intriguing, the smoke seen here was originally used in the 1985 Disney film, “The Black Cauldron.” This isn’t the only instance where the filmmakers reused old footage.The dance our titular characters share during the finale is almost identical to Princess Aurora and Prince Philip's dance at the end of “Sleeping Beauty.” According to co-director Gary Trousdale, this “was done for time” with the final deadline just days away.

#8: “The Wizard of Oz” References

For Belle’s design, the animators drew inspiration from several iconic actresses and characters, most notably Judy Garland as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz.” In addition to being brunettes, Belle and Dorothy share a similar sense of style, wearing blue and white ensembles. The Beast meanwhile closely resembles the Cowardly Lion, especially when Lumière tries to doll him up for a romantic evening with Belle. Instead of a red bow, however, the Beast also sports blue. This signifies his connection with Belle, who’s the only other major character in the film who wears this color. The parallels between these two classic family films are so evident, and yet audiences rarely pick up on them.

#7: Bambi’s Mom

Bambi’s mom has popped up in quite a few Disney films, although she often slips by unnoticed. Akin to an Alfred Hitchcock cameo, Bambi’s mom appears in the opening scene of “Beauty and the Beast.” Since all eyes are fixated on the castle in the background, it’s easy to miss the doe minding her own business by the waterfall. What does this mean exactly? Could it be that Bambi’s neck of the woods is just a short journey from the Beast’s castle? Since Bambi is destined to become the Prince of the Forest one day, it would be fitting if his neighbor was another prince with animalistic characteristics.

#6: Battleship Potemkin

A baby carriage rolling down a flight of stairs as total chaos erupts. It’s one of the most famous moments in all of cinema, but only the most diehard cinephiles know which movie this scene is originally from. For those of you who slept through film history class, it’s from the “The Odessa Steps” sequence in 1925’s “Battleship Potemkin.” This sequence has been parodied and referenced in countless other movies. “Beauty and the Beast” contains one of the subtlest homages, as a carriage makes its way down a staircase during the climatic castle battle. So, did one of the servants get turned into a carriage or did the Beast just have one lying around?

#5: Hidden Mickeys

We can’t talk about the Easter eggs in any Disney film without bringing up the hidden Mickeys on display. Mouse ears can be found all over the place in “Beauty and the Beast,” though it takes a keen eye to spot them. As the Beast shows Belle his vast library of books, it’s easy to overlook the hidden Mickey at the top of a column. This isn’t the only hidden Mickey in the Beast’s castle, as one also sits atop his front door. While Mickey’s outline appears in several other instances, perhaps the most elusive is the one on the back of Cogsworth’s head. Take a closer look and tell us if it seems familiar.

#4: Gaston’s Death Glare

You know how we mentioned earlier that Belle is the only person in her town who wears blue? This not only demonstrates how unique Belle is, but also creates a link between her two potential love interests. Both the Beast and Gaston have bright blue eyes. Where the Beast slowly sheds his spoiled, selfish, and unkind ways, though, Gaston only becomes more beastly as the story progresses. By the point where Gaston stabs the Beast in the back, he has evolved from an egotistical jerk to an irredeemable monster. As Gaston plummets from the castle, a pair of deadly skulls can be briefly seen in his blue eyes, confirming that he won’t survive the fall.

#3: Belle’s Book

When Gaston snatches Belle’s book out of her hands, he asks how she can read a story with no pictures. Gaston’s obviously not the brightest guy since the book clearly has illustrations. Speaking of which, Belle’s book is practically a window into her own future. While reading, Belle gets to her favorite part when a fair maiden dressed in blue meets Prince Charming, although she doesn’t discover his true identity until chapter three. Likewise, Belle doesn’t meet the prince behind the Beast until the film’s third act. Belle basically lives out her favorite book with far-off places, daring sword fights, magic spells, and – of course – a prince in disguise.

#2: Window Foreshadowing

Belle’s book isn’t the only use of clever foreshadowing in the film. In the opening scene, stained glass windows offer a glimpse into the Beast’s tragic backstory. If you’re well-versed in Latin, you might’ve noticed that this prologue not only provides exposition, but also hints at what’s to come. The family crest depicted on the window reads, “vincit qui se vincit,” which translates to “he conquers who conquers himself.” This ties into the movie’s theme of finding the strength to change and seeing the errors of your ways. By conquering the beast within himself, the prince emerges as a kinder, more thoughtful human being who earns his happy ending with the woman he loves.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

‘Mr. Toad’ Wild Trophy

Director Cameos

Girl with a Pearl Earring

#1: The Signs

On his way to the fair, Maurice gets lost in the woods and stumbles upon a series of signs. The directions are so jumbled and blurry that neither Maurice nor the audience can make them out very well. The signs read “Ramona,”“Saugus,”“Newhall,”“Valencia, and “Anaheim,” all of which are towns in Southern California. Anaheim is notably where Disneyland is located while Walt Disney Feature Animation is also based in California. We’re not sure how Maurice got this off-track because you can’t ride a horse from France to the United States… unless Philippe just swam across the North Atlantic! In any case, it’s still an enchanting set of Easter eggs.

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