Pixar is known for being clever, emotional, and full of intent in everything they create. You can say the same of Stephen King's work, but you wouldn't say the two exactly go together like cheese and crackers.
Just don't tell Lee Unkrich that; Unkrich, director of many beloved cartoon films, leaves references to The Shining in many Pixar movies he directs and edits. Why? Unkrich cites Stanley Kubrick as one of his top inspirations. In an interview with Vulture, Unkrich says that Kubrick's adaptation of Stephen King's The Shining is what inspired him to become a filmmaker. In thanks, Unkrich pays Kubrick an homage as often as he can sneak it into his work.
Astute viewers will find Unkrich's easter eggs in Pixar movies like Toy Story, Toy Story 3, and Finding Nemo. There are even references to The Shining in Coco, Unkrich's latest directorial endeavor for Pixar.
As horrifyingly adorable as a Pixar take on IT could be, Unkrich's work is probably the closest we'll ever get to a Pixar/Stephen King mashup. Read on to see what you might have missed in your childhood (and adulthood) favorite films.
A Familiar Carpet - Toy Story
In the original Toy Story, Woody rescues Buzz from the evil clutches of Sid, the next-door neighbor with a fetish for destroying toys. Bet you never noticed that the carpet in Sid's house is the same pattern as the carpet in The Shining's Overlook Hotel. Coincidence? Doubtful.33050Did this surprise you?
Room 237 - Toy Story 3
The number 237 makes a frequent appearance in Unkrich's work for a reason—it's the room of many creepy happenings in Kubrick's version of The Shining. (In the book, it's Room 217, but the hotel used for exterior shots asked Kubrick to use a fake room number so guests wouldn't avoid Room 217.) You can count at least three references to 237 in Toy Story 3: the garbage truck bearing the license plate RM237, the screen name Velocistar237, and the make and model of the security camera, OVERLOOK R237.23439Did this surprise you?
A Pattern With A Pattern - Toy Story 3
Note the tissue box on the monkey's desk — the same carpet pattern from The Shining's Overlook Hotel that made an appearance in Toy Story returns in Toy Story 3.18142Did this surprise you?
Mr. Tony - Toy Story 3
In The Shining, Jack's son Danny talks to an imaginary finger-friend he calls Tony. In the Sunnyside Daycare of Toy Story 3, there's a "Mr. Tony": the janitor. Coincidence? Maybe. But given Unkrich's obsession and eye for detail, it was more than likely an intentional detail.17655Did this surprise you?