Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One’s Many Easter Eggs and Callbacks

Warning: FULL SPOILERS follow for Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One. 

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One has landed, and returning writer/director  Christopher McQuarrie has made sure every detail of this mission counts. The seventh installment of the Mission: Impossible saga has debuted to rave reviews, with praise for the cast, storyline, and adrenaline-fueled action sequences that have become a staple for the Tom Cruise -led franchise.

Even though McQuarrie and Cruise are now saying that Dead Reckoning Part Two likely won’t be Ethan Hunt’s last outing, there is a sense of coming full circle to the first half of this two-parter, as it references its predecessors and acts as a nostalgic, bittersweet reflection on the simplicity back at the beginning of Ethan’s journey in 1996’s  Mission: Impossible .

The threat at that point was physical, tangible and required force to challenge it. The object of Ethan’s mission was straightforward. Now, the weaponized autonomous AI outsmarts him, slips through his fingers, and predicts his every move, while its chosen messiah is the man who already haunts Ethan’s nightmares, Gabriel (Esai Morales).

The film unites previous storylines to pay tribute to the characters and sequences that have built this franchise into the phenomenon it is today. Die-hard M:I fans will have spotted the easter eggs, but in the middle of the nail-biting action it’s easy to miss a few, so we’ve outlined some of our favorites for you.

A mid-chase greeting

Benji Dunn and Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation

Mission: Impossible is no stranger to a car chase, though we haven’t seen anything quite like a Fiat 500 tumbling down the Spanish Steps in Rome.

However, this sequence slid in a reference to 2015’s Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation as Ethan and Grace (Hayley Atwell) turn and slam sideways into agents Briggs and Degas who have been chasing them, along with every other intelligence agency and The Entity’s entourage.

The humorous acknowledging look is similar to Benji (Simon Pegg) and Ethan’s encounter with their teammates Brandt (Jeremy Renner) and Luther (Ving Rhames) mid-chase in Marrakech, as they slam into the side of them, share a quick wave and resume the action.

Fighting on top of a train 

Dead Reckoning Part One shares several parallels with the first Mission: Impossible we’ll get into below, including a big fight scene on top of a fast-moving train.

In the 1996 movie, Cruise climbed along the top of the train, as he attempted to foil Jim Phelps’s (Jon Voight) escape on a low flying helicopter, which resulted in a near-fatal collision in a tunnel.

The latest movie takes this to a whole new level, as Ethan and Gabriel enter into a full-blown fight, with knives on the runaway, unstoppable train, all while they try to avoid oncoming obstacles.

Kittridge’s deal with Max

Kittridge in Mission: Impossible

Almost 30 years later, Henry Czerny reappeared as Eugene Kittridge in Dead Reckoning Part One as the Director of the CIA. Last seen in Mission: Impossible, Ethan’s old adversarial colleague remains a recruiter for the IMF, and liaises with the late Max Mitsopolis ‘ daughter, Alanna Mitsopolis (Vanessa Kirby).

During their supposed negotiation (when Grace actually poses as Alanna), Kittridge references the deal he made with her mother back in the first film, to keep her out of prison and work together to share information that was of mutual benefit. Notably, this entire exchange happens on a train, similar to Kittridge’s first meeting with Max in Mission: Impossible (and, as mentioned above, Ethan once more ends up fighting a bad guy on top of that train).

Kittridge’s return is a well-timed reminder of Ethan’s origins, as this familiar face assigns Ethan his biggest mission to date to capture the key to The Entity.

Ethan & Kittridge’s Upset Journey 

Kittridge in Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning - Part One

After a disguised Ethan gases a room full of directors, Kittridge comes face to face with his old nemesis and has a callback to their first heated encounter in Mission: Impossible .

In the first movie, Ethan is incredibly distressed and bleary-eyed as he comes to terms with the loss of his entire team, only for a seemingly detached Kittridge to tell him, “I know you’re upset,” with  Ethan coldly responding, “Kittridge, you’ve never seen me very upset.”

Dead Reckoning Part One makes a direct callback to this famous line, as Kittridge says: “I know you’re upset.” This time, Ethan replies, “Upset? I’m not upset.”

Alias: John Lark 

August Walker and Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible - Fallout

Even though every intelligence agency knows Ethan Hunt, if not by name, then by reputation, the White Widow only knows him as John Lark. In Mission: Impossible – Fallout Ethan had to impersonate Lark to meet with the Widow aka Alanna, and it turns out she still isn’t privileged to his real name, only the extremist alias.

In Fallout,  it was revealed that Lark is actually CIA agent August Walker, who orchestrated the syndicate and employed terrorists such as Solomon Lane to commit his international crimes.

While Ethan has concealed his true identity, it seems likely that in Part Two his name will be dropped and Alanna will piece together the connection with her late mum as an enemy turned ally.

More Masks, More Problems

Benji Dunn in Mission: Impossible - Fallout

Espionage movies are teaming with gadgets, but for Mission: Impossible there is one staple, a machine that prints latex masks.

In Dead Reckoning Part One , Ethan brings out the well-referenced equipment to create masks of the  White Widow and her brother,  Zola Mitsopolis , to infiltrate the Orient Express and switch places with them for the deal of the key. However, with the number of times the machine breaks throughout the franchise, it’s surprising that Ethan and his time still rely on them.

In 2015’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol , the software is fried, and Ethan is forced to meet Sabine Moreau (Léa Seydoux) as himself, without a mask. Similarly, in Dead Reckoning – Part One it fails them again as The Entity hacks the system and stops the machine mid-print. Once again, Ethan has to improvise and find another way onto the train, which leads to that epic stunt.

Seriously, IMF needs to work on this mask machine equipment. In Fallout , Ethan has to meet Alanna without a mask, after another mishap, which started their relationship. Walker even rips off Benji’s mask of Lane, as he reminds himself that the IMF is “Halloween, a bunch of grown men wearing masks.”  

Ethan’s sleight of hand 

Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning - Part One

It’s been a while since Ethan demonstrated his low-key art of deception with sleight-of-hand tricks, which previously led him to steal the drive out of  Franz Krieger ’s pocket and pinch his knife in the first  Mission: Impossible , but this particular skill set returns in Dead Reckoning Part One .

Inspired by notorious international thief Grace, Ethan showcases his own impressive pickpocket skills that come in handy in a pivotal moment, as he steals the key from Gabriel’s pocket just before the antagonist escapes.

The Ol’ Ethan Run

Mission: Impossible wouldn’t be the same at this point without Tom Cruise showcasing his iconic run. Dead Reckoning Part One even captures a similar shot to Mission: Impossible III , the film where Cruise and Hunt’s running skills really ramped up, when Ethan sprints down alongside the river, giving viewers a tracking side view of his high-speed pursuit on foot.

Famously, Cruise ran faster than the camera in this sequence, as the crew underestimated his ability to sprint at speed. In the new movie, a very similar shot sees Ethan flee from an exclusive party hot on Grace’s trail, and sprint in the exact same manner alongside a row of candles.

The IMF choice

Ethan Hunt and Grace in Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning - Part One

After six movies, Mission: Impossible finally gives more context to the all-important line “Your mission, should you choose to accept it.”

Ethan explains that every member of the IMF – himself, Benji and Luther included – was approached for their specific skills and given the ‘choice’ to leave behind their life, become a ghost and work for the secret spy agency, with the implications that they all had led a dangerous, likely criminal, life up to that point, just as Grace has.

In every film, Ethan has been given a mission and a choice whether to accept the near-impossible task, so this vital part of his backstory and Grace’s origin in the IMF was a golden easter egg to include.

A Troubling History

In a moment of poetic tragedy, Dead Reckoning Part One sees Ethan’s close friend (and perhaps more), Ilsa Faust , die. Ahead of murdering Ilsa, Gabriel acknowledges a grim pattern that has emerged — which he oh-so darkly keeps contributing to — where nearly every woman who gets close to Ethan has their life uprooted at the least and endangered or outright ended at the worst, all through their association with him.

And looking at the franchise’s history, this does seem true, given Ethan’s love  Nyah Nordoff-Hall  nearly died from the  Chimera virus in Mission: Impossible II, while his protégée  Lindsey Farris was killed in action, and his wife Julia Meade-Hunt  was kidnapped and nearly killed in Mission: Impossible III.  Julia and Nyah ultimately survived, but notably, neither of them ended up with Ethan, and even prolonged distance from him didn’t guarantee safety, as seen with Julia in Fallout .

In Dead Reckoning Part One,  Gabriel warns Grace to stay away from Ethan, saying that, despite his promises, he won’t be able to protect her, all while bringing up the history of the women in his life. Of course, what we know, and Grace doesn’t, is Gabriel seemingly began this pattern himself, murdering Ethan’s first love, Marie , which was the catalyst for him to join the IMF all those years ago. A pattern Gabriel now makes sure to continue by killing Ilsa.

Luther’s Handles

Ethan isn’t the only IMF agent who adopts an alias from time to time. In Mission: Impossible , Luther is revealed to have the memorable online handles of the Net Ranger and Phineas Phreak, which is how he monitors everything and anything online, without being detected.

These online alter egos were never mentioned again, until Dead Reckoning Part One  that is, when fellow tech-whiz Benji mocks Luther for his somewhat silly previous handles (hey, it was the mid-90s, Benji!) When Luther then impresses Benji by showing off programming Benji hasn’t seen before, making it appear as though random strangers are Ethan to tracking equipment, Luther boasts back to him that no one can escape Phineas Phreak.

Jess Bacon


MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - GHOST PROTOCOL Blu-ray Review. Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, and Paula Patton star in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 4.

Tom Cruise is a movie star, but after his public embarrassments in 2005, whether audiences could accept him in any role was questioned. And at this point, he probably can’t create a character who isn’t a variation on Tom Cruise, movie star, which may be why the Mission: Impossible franchise is perfect for him. After four films, what can you say about Ethan Hunt other than he’s an effective problem-solver? Ultimately, when you have a director engaged with the material, you get a good film, otherwise it’s just wheel spinning by craftsmen. Brad Bird had a lot to prove with Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol , and it shows, he delivered a home run. Cruise is supported by Simon Pegg , Jeremy Renner , and Paula Patton in his battle to stop a terrorist ( Michael Nyqvist ). And our review of the Best-Buy exclusive Blu-ray follows after the jump.

Ethan Hunt starts the film in jail, and Bird gives Cruise a star entrance. He’s working with Jane Carter (Patton) and Benji Dunn (Pegg) to break out of jail in a sequence scored to Dean Martin. The film tells you that it’s going to be a fun ride, though the plotting is often nonsense. Jane had been working with Trevor Hanaway (Josh Holloway, who sans long hair looks kind of like Cruise) to get nuclear codes from Russian terrorists, but Trevor is assassinated by Sabine Moreau (Lea Seydoux) and the codes are in the wild. The team heads to the Kremlin to figure out what this could lead to, but their plan is interrupted by Kurt Hendricks (Nyqvist), who sets them up for sabotage. This sends the team into Ghost Protocol mode, where they are acting without any government backing. They are also joined by William Brandt (Renner), who’s got some secrets.

They head to Dubai to intercept the selling of the codes, and that leads to the film’s biggest and best action sequence where Hunt has to climb outside one of the world’s tallest buildings using only wall walking gloves that don’t work as well as he might hope. This sequence was why the film was worth seeing in Imax, but the film here is presented all the way through in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio. And when the deal gets complicated, Hunt has to chase after a suspect in a big sandstorm. The rest of the film is about stopping Hendricks before he can start and all-out nuclear war.

What’s amazing about this film (and pretty much the entire series) is that no one really has much of a character. Everyone are pretty much pawns with either good or bad motivations. But the film works because Brad Bird keeps throwing complications at the situation. Nothing is ever easy, but it’s the fun of seeing the characters – specifically Cruise – deal with climbing a building with one working glove, or trying to get down twelve floors with not enough rope, or escaping the fourth floor of a hospital with nothing but a pair of pants on. And for that the film is very entertaining, and has great comic support in Simon Pegg (who has the best line in the film).

Watching it for a second time, it’s fair to say that though the third act is okay the film peaks in the middle. I think partly because that’s when the stakes are at their highest. When the world is threatened with nuclear war - no matter how lucky and last second the team is in defeating evil - this isn’t the sort of film that’s going to kill the world. And so it’s at its best when the stakes are most palpable – when there is a chance they could fail. It’s probably why people love second films in trilogies so much. Resolutions are less fun than complications at the end of the day.

Brad Bird decided to release the film without switching ratios for the Imax sequence. Some people would prefer the switching in and out, but I tend to find it distracting, and it isn’t even the best representation of Imax footage. But this is merely aesthetic preference.

Paramount has released the film on Blu-ray with a DVD and digital copy. If you buy it at most locations it’s a two disc set, but Best Buy has an exclusive three disc set (which we are reviewing) that puts all the supplements on a second Blu-ray disc. The film is presented in widescreen (2.35:1) and in 7.1 Dolby Digital TrueHD.

Disc two kicks off with the three part documentary “Mission Accepted” (48 min.), which covers the film’s three main shooting locations: Prague, Dubai and Vancouver. It’s a fun piece that shows how much prep went into the big sequences, and how difficult it was to get the windows out of the hotel. “Impossible Missions” (51 min.) offers eleven sections on different aspects of the production, from shooting in Imax, the scoring, and the Russian prison set. This gives a great look behind the scenes of the making of the film, with mostly fly on the wall type pieces. There’s eight wisely deleted scenes (15 min.) that suggest different directions of the narrative, and how Bird himself didn’t know how all the pieces were coming together while filming. This is the only place where Bird offers commentary, and he basically says everything cut was unneeded. The disc also comes with two trailers, and at least four Easter eggs, all of which are pretty goofy.

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Mission: Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol Easter Egg - A113 Ring

Pictures and videos.

Easter Eggs: Robin And More Hidden In 'The Dark Knight Rises' Trailer, Pixar Nods In 'Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol'

mission impossible ghost protocol easter eggs

Chances are you saw the new trailer for Christopher Nolan 's The Dark Knight Rises and didn't catch Robin the boy wonder or a reference back to the very beginning of the trilogy: Batman Begins . And you probably also saw Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol in IMAX but somehow missed the hidden Pixar easter eggs that Ratatouille/The Incredibles director Brad Bird hid within the film. Aren't you glad we're here to point them out to you? Find the easer eggs, after the jump.

mission impossible ghost protocol easter eggs

Director Brad Bird has put the reference in every project he has worked on:

  • Amazing Stories : in The Family Dog episode
  • The Simpsons : Bart Simpson's inmate number in his mugshot in the Do the Bartman music video
  • The Iron Giant : License plate on car partially eaten by the Giant and in Dean's house on a painting.
  • The Incredibles : The room number in Syndrome's lair  and the prison level where Mr. Incredible is held is "Level A1" in Cell #13.
  • Ratatouille : A tag on Git the lab rat's left ear.

So where does it appear in Mission: Impossible? It actually appears not once but twice!

  • Josh Holloway 's character Agent Hanaway uses a "class ring" to subdue a bad guy. The ring has A113 emblazoned on the side.
  • Tom Cruise 's character Ethan Hunt gives an  extraction access code verbally over the phone: "A113"

Unfortunately, none of the trailers or clips from the movie feature the A113 references, so I'm unable to provide a screencapture.

mission impossible ghost protocol easter eggs

Another Pixar reference comes in the form of a cameo: an artist who worked for Bird designing characters and storyboards for The Iron Giant, before coming to Pixar with Bird as a character designer on The Incredibles and Ratatouille . Newton co-wrote the short film Jack-Jack Attack and made his directorial debut with the Pixar short film Day & Night . Newton is known to voice secondary characters in Pixar films: the newsreel narrator in The Incredibles , Skinner's lawyer in Ratatouille , the Steward robots in Wall-E , a television commercial salesman in Up , and most famously — Chatter Telephone in Toy Story 3 .

mission impossible ghost protocol easter eggs

In Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol Newton is the over-the-phone voice that gives Hunt his mission instructions.

Lets move on to The Dark Knight Rises :

During the football sequence, fans have noticed 2 easter egg mentions of Robin the boy Wonder. Yeah, we know — Christopher Nolan has said that he'll never include Robin in his Batman films — but someone has secretly hidden at least one Rob in reference for comic book fans to enjoy.

mission impossible ghost protocol easter eggs

In a crowd shot (from CBM ) you will notice a group of fans holding up signs, each one with a letter, that reads "Rogues". The team playing at the football game is the Gotham Rogues. But you might notice that the R is a reference to the style R used in Robin's logo. Some have pointed out that the sequence of the film was shot with 10,000 extras there at Heinz Field, most of whom brought their own costumes and some who created their own signs. Chances are that Nolan didn't even know about this Robin easter egg... but what about the other reference?

mission impossible ghost protocol easter eggs

A football player in the sequence is seen with a jersey that features the last name WARD... as in Burt Ward (aka Robin)?

mission impossible ghost protocol easter eggs

Ready for it?

mission impossible ghost protocol easter eggs

The above image of Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman) appears in the new trailer. Do you notice anything strange in the image? Take a look at her necklace. The below observation was found on Reddit:

mission impossible ghost protocol easter eggs

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Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, and Jeremy Renner in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011)

The IMF is shut down when it's implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin, causing Ethan Hunt and his new team to go rogue to clear their organization's name. The IMF is shut down when it's implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin, causing Ethan Hunt and his new team to go rogue to clear their organization's name. The IMF is shut down when it's implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin, causing Ethan Hunt and his new team to go rogue to clear their organization's name.

  • Bruce Geller
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  • André Nemec
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  • 677 User reviews
  • 304 Critic reviews
  • 73 Metascore
  • 5 wins & 30 nominations

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Anil Kapoor

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Josh Holloway

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Miraj Grbic

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  • Trivia Tom Cruise performed the sequence where Ethan Hunt scales the outside of the Burj Khalifa tower himself without the use of a stunt double. The Burj Khalifa tower is the tallest building in the world at 2,722 feet, or 829.8 meters. Cruise dangled outside the tower at approximately 1,700 feet, or 518 meters.
  • Goofs In the climax sequence, at the multilevel car park in India, all the cars are left-hand drive but in India cars are right-hand drive, like in Britain.

Benji Dunn : [explaining Ethan's gloves] Easy way to remember: blue is glue.

Ethan Hunt : And when it's red?

Benji Dunn : Dead.

  • Crazy credits Much like the first 'Mission: Impossible' movie, the opening credits to this film contain major plot points to the film.
  • Alternate versions American broadcast TV replaces Ethan's response to Brandt's "Your line's too short," ("No s***!") with an alternate take ("Yeah, I know!")
  • Connections Featured in Breakfast: Episode dated 16 September 2011 (2011)
  • Soundtracks Ain't That a Kick in the Head Written by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen (as James Van Heusen) Performed by Dean Martin Courtesy of Capitol Records Under license from EMI Film & Television Music

User reviews 677

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  • Dec 16, 2011

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  • How long is Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol? Powered by Alexa
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  • Where are Dubai and Mumbai located?
  • December 21, 2011 (United States)
  • United States
  • Paramount (United States)
  • Burj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Paramount Pictures
  • Skydance Media
  • TC Productions
  • See more company credits at IMDbPro
  • $145,000,000 (estimated)
  • $209,397,903
  • $12,785,204
  • Dec 18, 2011
  • $694,713,380

Technical specs

  • Runtime 2 hours 12 minutes
  • Dolby Digital
  • IMAX 6-Track

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Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

2011, Action/Adventure, 2h 13m

What to know

Critics Consensus

Stylish, fast-paced, and loaded with gripping set pieces, the fourth Mission: Impossible is big-budget popcorn entertainment that really works. Read critic reviews

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Mission: impossible - ghost protocol videos, mission: impossible - ghost protocol   photos.

Blamed for a terrorist attack on the Kremlin, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and the entire IMF agency are disavowed by the U.S. government, while the president initiates the Ghost Protocol. Forced to go "off the grid" -- left without resources or backup -- Hunt must somehow clear the agency's name and prevent another attack. Complicating matters even more, Ethan must undertake the impossible mission with a group of fellow IMF fugitives whose actual motives are suspect.

Rating: PG-13 (Seq of Intense Action Violence)

Genre: Action, Adventure, Mystery & thriller

Original Language: English

Director: Brad Bird

Producer: Tom Cruise , J.J. Abrams , Bryan Burk

Writer: Josh Appelbaum , Andre Nemec

Release Date (Theaters): Dec 21, 2011  wide

Release Date (Streaming): Dec 31, 2013

Box Office (Gross USA): $209.4M

Runtime: 2h 13m

Distributor: Paramount Pictures

Production Co: Bad Robot

Sound Mix: SDDS, Dolby Digital

View the collection: Mission: Impossible

Cast & Crew

Jeremy Renner

William Brandt

Paula Patton

Jane Carter

Michael Nyqvist

Kurt Hendricks

Vladimir Mashkov

Anatoly Sidirov

Léa Seydoux

Sabine Moreau

Anil Kapoor

Josh Holloway

Trevor Hanaway

Josh Appelbaum


Andre Nemec

J.J. Abrams

Jeffrey Chernov

Executive Producer

David Ellison

Paul Schwake

Dana Goldberg

Robert Elswit


Jim Bissell

Production Design

Paul Hirsch

Film Editing

Michael Kaplan

Costume Design

Michael Giacchino

Original Music

News & Interviews for Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

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Critic Reviews for Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

Audience reviews for mission: impossible - ghost protocol.

bit of a cheesy start but an easy 4 and as good as the very first.

mission impossible ghost protocol easter eggs

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol is filled with edge of your set thrills executed with great performances, visual splendor and great direction all thanks to Brad Bird!


I may not agree with the critics and other reviewers as to how well this sequel matches up with the others, but I can say with some certitude that if you liked any of the previous ones, you should like this one.

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This page lists all reported easter eggs for discs released in the Blu-ray format. If you've spotted an easter egg not listed here, please use our feedback form to let us know, and we'll credit you with the find.

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

The big gundown, maniac cop 2, the lone ranger (2013), the rutles anthology, breaking bad: the final season, monsters university - 3d: ultimate collector's edition, chucky: the complete collection, prince of darkness: collector's edition, the amityville horror trilogy, the fog: collector's edition, regular show: the complete first and second seasons, breaking bad: the fifth season, the howling: collector's edition, willow: 25th anniversary edition, monsters, inc: collector's edition, monsters, inc. - 3d: ultimate collector's edition, joshua tree, trailer war, mad men: season five, halo 4: forward unto dawn, the princess bride: 25th anniversary edition, a nightmare on elm street collection, my bloody valentine (2009) - 3d, the avengers (2012), the avengers - 3d, fringe: the complete third season, ichi the killer, once upon a time: the complete first season, fringe: the complete fourth season, the lord of the rings: the return of the king - extended edition, the lord of the rings: the two towers - extended edition, the lord of the rings: the fellowship of the ring - extended edition, mission: impossible - ghost protocol, game of thrones: the complete first season, the ring (2002), the muppets: the wocka wocka value pack, a nightmare on elm street collection (u.k. import), horror express, dreamworks dragons, star wars: the clone wars - the complete season three, pearl jam twenty, cars 2 - 3d, nirvana: live at the paramount, jane eyre (2011), mars needs moms, donnie darko: 10th anniversary edition, red riding hood: alternate cut (combo pack), supernatural: the complete second season, lara croft: tomb raider, the lord of the rings: the motion picture trilogy - extended editions, once upon a time in the west, the green hornet, maniac (1980), pirates of the caribbean trilogy, the man with no name trilogy, s.w.a.t.: firefight, ocean's eleven (1960): 50th anniversary edition, the last airbender - 3d, scott pilgrim vs. the world, star wars: the clone wars - the complete season two, the amityville horror (2005), thx 1138: the george lucas director's cut, the simpsons: the thirteenth season, cemetery junction, the crazies (2010), when in rome, the slammin' salmon, battlestar galactica: season 2, law abiding citizen, cabin fever, goodfellas: 20th anniversary edition, the green berets, role models, star wars: the clone wars - the complete season one, fight club: 10th anniversary edition, adventureland, transformers: revenge of the fallen (big screen edition), transformers: revenge of the fallen, battlestar galactica: the plan, child's play, monsters vs. aliens, how i met your mother: season four, big trouble in little china, i love you, man, battlestar galactica: the complete series, jeff beck - performing this week: live at ronnie scott's, without a paddle, underworld blu-ray 3-pack, spears & munsil high definition benchmark, x-men: the last stand (special edition), the rundown, pan's labyrinth, the dark knight, futurama: bender's game, the heartbreak kid (2007), iron man (2008), daredevil: director's cut, transformers (2007), smart people, beowulf: the director's cut (2007), step up 2: the streets, cloverfield, national treasure: book of secrets, elton 60 - live at madison square garden, dan in real life, rush hour 3, the fly (1986), the simpsons movie, pirates of the caribbean: at world's end, the die hard collection, ratatouille, spider-man: the high-definition trilogy, spider-man 3, dirty dancing (20th anniversary edition), final fantasy: the spirits within, bram stoker's dracula, rocky balboa, pirates of the caribbean: dead man's chest, pirates of the caribbean: the curse of the black pearl, open season, nacho libre, terminator 2: judgment day, the italian job (2003), sky captain and the world of tomorrow (re-issue), mission: impossible - ultimate missions collection, mission: impossible iii, the benchwarmers.

If you've spotted an easter egg not listed here, please use our feedback form to let us know, and we'll credit you with the find.


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The History Of Pixar's A113 Easter Egg Explained

Buzz and Woody watch car drive away

Outside of officially connected cinematic universes like "Star Trek" or the Marvel Cinematic Universe, few studios are more famous for referencing past — and sometimes even future — films within other films than Pixar. From Pizza Planet to various elements of its early shorts, Pixar animators love to pack the periphery of their films with self-referential nods to their own work. Sometimes these Easter eggs are impossible to miss, while other times they go by so quickly that a carefully-timed pause is required to catch them. But Pixar has always made it worth fans' while to pore over every inch of every frame of the studio's films to find the many fun little secrets that the animators clearly have a blast sticking in.

While most of the Easter eggs in a Pixar movie are pretty easy to explain and define, there is one that is a bit more nebulous: the alphanumeric code "A113." From the time it was used as the license plate on Andy's mom's car in "Toy Story," the code has gone on to become an ongoing reference throughout Pixar's films through recent entries, including  "Turning Red." Plenty of people have noticed it and know to look for it, but not everyone knows what it means or why it was ever used in the first place. 

It's certainly not just some random grouping of numbers and a letter; A113 has a very specific origin that is deeply entrenched in the history of some of the most pivotal people at Pixar, not to mention its importance to Disney's overall history as well.

It's a classroom where animation is taught at CalArts

There are obviously a lot of talented folks at Pixar. And while we're not here to debate how much of a person's talent is naturally occurring and how much of it is learned, there's no denying that a certain classroom at a certain university had a hand in training some of the people who have helped to make Pixar what it is. As explained on Pixar's  own YouTube channel , classroom A113 at California Institute of the Arts — or CalArts for short — is "where many Pixarians got their filmmaking start."

The school that became CalArts in 1961 was born from a merger of two financially-underperforming schools: the Chouinard Art Institute and the Los Angeles Music Conservatory. Walt Disney realized that many of his employees came from one of those two schools and joined together with other benefactors to set about combining the schools so that they could live on and continue to train future animators and filmmakers. His brother, Roy O. Disney, was also one of the founders of CalArts and helped ensure the school would continue on after Walt's death in 1966 — so that it could eventually see various future Pixar members pass through its halls. 

Brad Bird is considered the first person to use A113 as an Easter egg

Among the Pixar favorites who studied in room A113 at CalArts was Brad Bird, whose biggest contribution to the studio is being the writer and director of both "Incredibles" movies — not to mention voicing sassy fashion designer Edna Mode. While the A113 references in Pixar movies predate Bird's work with the studio, A113 references predate those in Pixar movies. In fact, according to Daily Mail , Bird was the originator of A113 as an Easter egg in the first place. 

The first example of A113 being referenced on screen is during an episode of the anthology series "Amazing Stories," which was created by Steven Spielberg and ran on NBC from 1985 to 1987. Bird co-wrote a Season 1 episode before returning in Season 2 with "Family Dog" — later spun off into its own short-lived series — which he wrote, directed, and voiced the titular canine. It was during that episode that A113 got its debut as an Easter egg when it was used as a license plate number, which remains one of its most common uses to this day. 

A113 is also referenced literally every time Bird tweets — it's part of his Twitter handle .

It made its movie debut in The Brave Little Toaster

Between its journey from television to "Toy Story," A113 had already had its big screen debut elsewhere. The code appeared on a door in the 1987 animated film "The Brave Little Toaster," which might not be a Pixar movie but was worked on by several key figures who would soon play a major role in that studio. For starters, it was co-written by Joe Ranft, who has story and/or screenwriter credits on "Toy Story," "A Bug's Life," and "Cars." It was also the first CGI film ever pitched by a certain John Lasseter, director of the first three Pixar films and executive producer on many others ( per The Wrap ). 

"The Brave Little Toaster" ended up being traditionally animated instead, with "Toy Story" eventually earning the distinction of the first fully computer-animated feature film. After Lasseter was fired following his CGI pitch for "Toaster," he ended up being one of the founders of Pixar, and the rest is history. In many ways, "The Brave Little Toaster" wound up paving the way for Pixar's future — not to mention the fact that "Toy Story" borrowed the concept of inanimate objects that come to life in the absence of humans from "Toaster." So the latter being the first movie to use A113 prior to it becoming a Pixar tradition makes a lot of sense in retrospect.

The director of The Brave Little Toaster was the first student accepted into CalArts' animation program

So if Brad Bird wasn't involved with "The Brave Little Toaster," why did A113 get referenced in it? Well, that's because the movie was directed and co-written by Jerry Rees, who was friends with Bird as well as John Lasseter at CalArts. He also has a particularly special tie to CalArts in terms of its notoriety for producing legendary animators — Rees was the very first student accepted into the school's new Character Animation Program in 1975 ( per Vanity Fair ). 

Rees took what he learned in the program and applied it to character animation work for Disney movies like "Pete's Dragon" and "The Fox and the Hound." He then got to work on the trailblazing 1982 film "Tron," which laid some early groundwork for computer animation in film, bringing things full circle with his aforementioned CalArts pals and where their careers were headed. Bird first introduced A113 as a reference, while Rees took it to the movies — and neither of them could've possibly known just what an enduring Easter egg tradition they were starting. 

A113 supposedly appears in some form or another in every single Pixar movie

While the use of A113 has become widespread throughout film and television — which we'll get more into in a bit — and didn't  start  with Pixar, the studio's use of it has become its most common appearance. So much so, in fact, that many people see it as a Pixar-specific thing. And that makes sense, given that it's become a game for fans to try and find how it's used in every Pixar movie. 

Sometimes it's right in your face and is even a major plot point, such as in "Wall-E" (pictured above). Other times, it's used a little more creatively, like the way it appears in Roman numeral form in "Brave." Most often it's a background element like a license plate or apartment number, but there are also a few times when it is spoken out loud in some fashion by a character. 

There may be one exception, however. Infamously, many fans claimed it doesn't  seem  to appear in "Monsters, Inc." which would make that the only Pixar movie thus far to seemingly not have an A113 reference. However,  the sleuths of the internet found one possible inclusion, while outlets like the YouTube channel SuperCarlinBrothers claim that Pixar deliberately trolled its fans by filling "Monsters, Inc." with numerous  almost  examples of A113 just to tease viewers without ever fully committing to the reference. So A113 is either in every Pixar movie except for "Monsters, Inc.," or it's in "Monsters, Inc." in some extremely obtuse way.

It appears in non-Pixar Disney animated films as well

CalArts isn't a Pixar-specific institution, of course. In fact, as previously stated, combined with the other two schools that rolled into it, it has graduated a lot of Disney superstars. So it's not at all surprising that A113 has been used as an Easter egg in non-Pixar Disney animated movies as well. A couple of noteworthy examples include a license plate in "Lilo & Stitch," a trolley number in "The Princess and the Frog," and on a computer screen in "Big Hero 6."

That said, it has also spread to other non-Disney animated movies besides "The Brave Little Toaster." The underrated 1999 cult favorite "The Iron Giant" has a really cool-looking painting that contains A113 in the cluttered office of junkyard owner Dean. Sticking with the license plate theme, there is a car in the movie that has been damaged by the titular robot that has what is clearly meant to be an A113 license plate, though the 3 is missing. Of course, A113 showing up in "The Iron Giant" makes perfect sense — the movie was directed and co-written by Brad Bird.

Many key figures of the Disney Renaissance studied in room A113

After having struggled in the 1970s and much of the '80s, Disney badly needed things to turn around — otherwise, it might have been a company we'd be referring to in the past tense these days. Fortunately, in 1989, the company released "The Little Mermaid," which was a huge critical and commercial success that ended up kicking off the period known as the "Disney Renaissance."

The period, which is generally considered to have run through 1999, was marked with numerous films that would right the ship for Disney and lay the groundwork for it to become a company so successful that it would eventually be able to acquire Marvel, Lucasfilm, 20th Century Fox, and more. The CalArts website  explains how a "core group of CalArts alums — including Glen Keane, John Musker, Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise, Brenda Chapman, Chris Sanders, and Rob Minkoff — lead the way in reviving the animated feature film as an art form." One or more of those people worked on "Mermaid" as well as "Beauty and the Beast," "Aladdin," "The Lion King," and more.

In addition, a guy named Tim Burton also studied in A113 and helped to add another beloved Disney movie — "The Nightmare Before Christmas" — to that acclaimed era.

Famous non-animation CalArts alumni include Alison Brie, Paul Reubens, and many more

To be clear, CalArts isn't just a school for animators. The home page of its website states that it has "more than 70 comprehensive degree programs in the visual, performing, media and literary arts." As such, the institution has helped to put a lot of artists out into the world beyond just those who do their art in the form of animation. It's not total happenstance that Tim Burton teamed with composer Danny Elfman and actor Paul Reubens for his debut feature film "Pee-wee's Big Adventure"; he met them both at CalArts, even though Elfman just sat in on classes and was never an officially-enrolled student.

Looking at the CalArts School of Film/Video alumni page isn't just a who's who of animators both within and outside of the Disney family; you'll also find on that list James Mangold, director of multiple Oscar-winning films including "Girl, Interrupted," "Walk the Line," and "Ford v Ferrari." Among the graduates of the university's School of Theater  are actors Alison Brie, Don Cheadle, Ed Harris, and Katey Sagal. And the School of Art alumni listing  includes "Lost in Translation" director Sofia Coppola. 

The Simpsons and other animated series have referenced A113

While Brad Bird has become best known for "The Incredibles" and his other film work, he was also a major creative force behind "The Simpsons" in its early years. Bird worked on the show for eight seasons, during which time his jobs included writer, director, storyboard artist, character designer, and executive consultant. Needless to say, this led to A113 being a frequently-occurring Easter egg on the Fox animated sitcom, starting during his stint on the show and continuing for many years after he left. 

A113 has since become a go-to reference for many other animated series as well, including "Family Guy," "American Dad," and "BoJack Horseman." It has also penetrated live-action series like "Doctor Who" as well as some of Marvel's Disney+ shows. Some people like to poke fun at the reference as well, such as the A114 license plate of one of the main characters of the animated series "Big City Greens." As co-creator Chris Houghton told a fan who asked about it on his Tumblr page , "since [my brother] Shane and I didn't go to CalArts, it's our way of being lil stinkers."

Live action movies have referenced A113 as well

A113 isn't an Easter egg that is limited to animation on the big screen. Multiple films have referenced it in one way or another, particularly Disney movies. In "Saving Mr. Banks," for example, it is part of the flight number for P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) as seen on the flight itinerary she is holding. In the 2020 adaptation of "Call of the Wild" starring Harrison Ford, a flyer near a map reads "Post A113." And it pops up multiple times throughout the Marvel movies, most commonly on a computer screen or digital display of some kind.

Back to Brad Bird, he of course has made sure to give the A113 plenty of life in his own live-action movies. In "Tomorrowland," the opening credits flat out call the film "An A113 Production," and he gives the number several shout-outs in "Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol."  One seemingly random movie that contains an A113 reference is "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," but that is until a little digging reveals that credited co-writer Michael deBruyn is actually a pen name sometimes used by screenwriter Michael Arndt ( per TheScriptLab ) — and Arndt has a Pixar connection in that he also wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay for "Toy Story 3." 

Films from CalArts animation program alumni have earned over $40 billion at the box office

In an article from FastCompany that humorously opens by taking a jab at people who doubt the value of creative arts degrees, the piece points to a graphic from CalArts  that touts how much money the films of the school's graduates have earned at the box office. As it stands, that number has soared well past the $40 billion mark. The interactive graphic allows for looking at specific films, and reveals that the highest individual earners thus far are "Frozen," "Minions," "Finding Dory," Tim Burton's live-action "Alice in Wonderland," and "The Lion King."

As we've obviously focused heavily on Disney and Pixar throughout this feature, it seems only fair to show some love to some of the non-Disney movies besides "Minions" that have come from CalArts alumni that contributed a fair amount of cash to that $40 billion box office tally. Among some of the highest-earning of those are "The Secret Life of Pets," "Shrek 2," "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted," "Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol," "The Croods," and "Hotel Transylvania 2." 

A113 has also shown up in video games

Television and film aren't the only places to find A113 as an Easter egg. It has also shown up in a few video games as well — most commonly, of course, in games that are directly adapted from a Disney film or are otherwise Disney-adjacent in some way. The video games "Kinect Rush: A Disney/Pixar Adventure" and "LEGO The Incredibles" both feature A113 as license plates and/or apartment numbers. Square Enix's "Kingdom Hearts III," one of the entries in the long-running RPG series that features characters traveling to various Disney worlds and meeting Disney characters, also has a car with an A113 license plate as well as a bulletin board with an A113 flyer.

As with film and TV, it isn't strictly Disney-related games that reference A113, either. For instance, the Microsoft Studios-published, Insomniac Games-developed 2014 open-world action game "Sunset Overdrive" isn't a Disney or Pixar game in any way but still contains its own A113 license plate on a vehicle. It's entirely possible that a member of the developer's staff attended CalArts, or it could just be a fun nod to the famous reference. 

Either way, the possibility of A113 being hidden in video games opens up a whole new avenue for people to look for the reference and another medium for it to live on in for years to come.

Screen Rant

Where to find every a113 easter egg in pixar movies.

Pixar has a long-standing tradition of including creative Easter eggs in each of their movies, and here's where to find every A113 Easter egg.

  • Pixar's A113 Easter egg tradition has been present in every single one of their films as a fun scavenger hunt for viewers to find.
  • A113 serves as a reference to the classroom number where many Pixar employees studied at the California Institute of the Arts.
  • The Easter egg can be spotted in various ways throughout each film, such as on license plates, in code on cereal boxes, or as room numbers, adding a playful touch to the movies.

Pixar does many things exceptionally well, including how they carefully craft and hide Easter eggs such as "A113" throughout each one of their films. The studio, which kicked off its massive success with the beloved film Toy Story , is known for its animated pieces that touch the hearts of multiple generations. One way that they celebrate their accomplishments and their long history of impactful stories is through their innovative creation and inclusion of certain traditions that reference their history. Although ones, such as the John Ratzenberger cameo, have not been able to make their way into more recent movies, the A113 Easter egg has been present in every single Pixar film.

A113 started as an inside joke of the animators at Pixar and has turned into a phenomenon that viewers have picked up on and look forward to. It serves as a reference to the classroom number that many Pixar employees studied at when attending the California Institute of the Arts. Not only has the joke made its way into every Pixar movie , but also some non-Pixar projects as well. Some of these include Lilo & Stitch , The Avengers , and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol . Ultimately, the Easter egg has turned into a fun scavenger hunt for viewers, and here are the answers as to where to find A113 in every Pixar film.

27 Toy Story

With Toy Story being Pixar's first-ever film, it's no surprise that several long-lasting traditions were established through it. Released in 1995, Toy Story was the first movie to find a way to incorporate A113, and every Pixar movie since has followed suit. In Toy Story , A113 can be spotted on the license plate of Ms. Davis' bright blue minivan.

26 A Bug's Life

A Bug's Life came out in 1998 and continued the A113 tradition, not once but twice. The first time, it can be seen as a code on a brown cereal box when Flix enters the Bug City. It is also on the nutrition facts for a box of Casey Jr. Cookies that are part of the construction of P.T. Flea's circus train.

25 Toy Story 2

1999's sequel to Toy Story , Toy Story 2, brought back the A113 Easter egg in the same way as its predecessor. It was included on the license plate of Ms. Davis' blue car. This was not the only time A113 was referred to in the film, though. An airport announcer says "LasstAir flight A113 from Point Richmond now arriving at Gate 3." This was not only an inclusion of the A113 Easter egg, but also a reference to the esteemed director of the film, John Lasseter.

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24 monsters inc..

The A113 Easter egg tradition found its way into the new decade through 2001's Monsters Inc. There are several instances where A113 is speculated to be hidden, although some of them seem more probable than others. The first one is the easiest to spot; it is in one of the pillars in a hallway inside the factory. This does read "A13" instead of "A113", though, so there is controversy over whether or not this is the actual Easter egg.

Every Upcoming Pixar Movie & TV Show

The second instance is where Mike and Sulley are watching the news and the yellow newscaster is shaped like the letter "A", the orange newscaster is in the shape of a "1" and the background says "13". The third, and final instance, is the sky above the trailer where Randall gets beaten up. The stars can be connected to read "A113".

23 Finding Nemo

While it seems hard to include an Easter egg underwater, 2003's Finding Nemo found a way to creative way to deliver. While hard to find at first glance, it can be spotted as the model number on a camera used by a scuba driver.

22 The Incredibles

Pixar's sixth movie, The Incredibles , came out in 2004 and boasted several A113 call-outs. The first of which was the room number of a conference room in Syndrome's lair, where Mr. Incredible is waiting to get his second assignment before being attacked by the Omnidroid. The second instance is quite creative, as the prison level that Mr. Incredible is being held on is "Level A1" and the cell number is 13. The jet hanger that the family ends up in looks like it reads A113 on the wall, as well.

The 2006 Pixar film, Cars , incorporated A113 in three very natural ways. The first of which was having it be the goofy tow truck, Mater's license plate number. There is also a train that Lightning McQueen thinks is Mack that reads "A113" on the front. Additionally, the Easter egg is a part of Dexter Hoover's license plate with the whole thing reading "A113CA".

20 Ratatouille

Similar to its predecessor, 2007's Ratatouille had multiple inclusions of A113. One of which was a tag that read "A113" on a lab rat named Git's left ear. The other was when Linguini was seen watching TV, A113 was written on a train behind the on-screen couple.

Wall-E came out in 2008 and marked the first and only time that A113 was made a part of the central plot. In the movie, A113 is the forbidden code for AUTO's directive. In Leet Speak, Wall-E is WA113, serving as another interesting Easter egg. A113 can also be seen on the 4K/Blu-ray release cover.

One of the most heart-wrenching Pixar films of all time, Up, was released in 2009 and had just one inclusion of A113. When Carl is sitting outside of the courtroom, it can be seen on a small, bronze plaque on the wall.

17 Toy Story 3

The third movie in the Toy Story lineup, 2010's Toy Story 3 had three different A113 references. The first was, once again, on the license plate of Ms. Davis' blue minivan. It was also in an advertisement shown in the film for "Cars 'n Deals of Emeryville". In the ad, a car has A113 as its license plate as well. The third instance was when the film went static for half a second, leading an address to be left on the screen. This address is "" and led to a clip of Cars 2 .

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2011's sequel to Cars , Cars 2 , featured A113 multiple times and in innovative ways. The first may feel familiar to viewers, as it was on Mater's license plate like in the first movie. The second instance, however, is new. It was seen on the tail of a spy plane named Siddeley. The third, and final, time A113 was spotted in Cars 2 was beneath a photograph of Miles Axlerod's engine, as Finn, Holley, and Mater are examining it.

Released in 2012, Brave has one of the hardest A113 Easter eggs to find in the Pixar film lineup for two reasons. First, it is seen in Roman numerals which makes it tougher to look out for if viewers are unaware of this change. The second reason it can be so difficult to spot is because it is not on the screen for very long. It is located above the front door entrance of the witch's cottage but for just a few seconds.

14 Monsters University

A113 was able to make its way to school, along with Mike and Sulley, in 2013's sequel to Monsters Inc. , Monsters University . The classroom number for the class featured in the movie, "Scaring 101", is A113. It can be seen on the wooden door as Sulley is walking into class.

13 Inside Out

2015's Inside Out included A113 not once but twice. It is most notably seen as graffiti in San Francisco when Riley gets a phone call from her mother after running away from home. It is also the number of Riley's school classroom.

12 The Good Dinosaur

Also released in 2015, The Good Dinosaur is one of Pixar's less popular films, but it deserves credit for its clever inclusion of A113. This is another one of those Easter eggs that if audiences don't know what to look for, can be incredibly difficult to spot. For those who have had trouble finding it, here's the answer as to its location. It is formed by pickets on the wood fence that surrounds Arlo's family farm.

11 Finding Dory

The highly-anticipated sequel to Finding Nemo was released in 2016 and did not disappoint in terms of A113 Easter eggs. The number can be seen on the tags of two sea lions, Fluke and Rudder, with one cleverly labeled "A1" and the other "13". The license plate on the truck that is holding the quarantined fish also reads "CAL A113".

Pixar's second threequel, 2017's Cars 3, managed to find three different ways to include the Easter egg. The first was, once again, as Mater's license plate. It was also Sterling's office number at the Rust-eze Racing Center and can be seen on Shannon Spoke's press sticker. The third instance was on one of Miss. Fritter's victims' license plates. It reads: "Nebraska A01-13L".

2017's Coco brought A113 to the Land of the Dead. The number is present on one of Ernesto de la Cruz's music albums. It can also be found on the office door of the Bureau of Family Grievances, which is located in the Land of the Dead's Grand Central station.

8 Incredibles 2

Incredibles 2 was released 14 years after The Incredibles , so it had plenty of time to cook up some innovative A113 Easter eggs. The number is first seen spray-painted onto a dumpster that Frozone is crouching behind after the Underminer's attack. It is also on the front of the Metrolev hover train, the door to the editing room at DEVTECH, and in the corner of the International Superhero Accord contract. The most obvious and easy-to-spot inclusion was on the marquee of the movie theater where Violet and Tony are going on their date, which reads "DEMENTIA-113".


‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’s Big Finale Includes a Reference to Every Previous ‘Mission: Impossible’

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The following post contains mild SPOILERS for all the films in the Mission: Impossible franchise. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to not care.

One of the big selling points of the new  Mission: Impossible   is the crazy helicopter sequence where Tom Cruise flies a helicopter, hangs off a helicopter, falls off a helicopter, and gets into assorted other shenanigans involving helicopters. And to be sure, the sequence is totally spectacular. But speaking as as longtime fan of the entire  Mission: Impossible  franchise, the coolest part about watching Tom Cruise save the world yet again was the fact that this sequence is like a mashup of all five previous  Mission: Impossible movies into one ultimate setpiece.

There’s no indication that  Fallout will be the last  Mission: Impossible . But if it is, then these winking callbacks to each of the other movies in the franchise were the perfect curtain call sendoff. Here’s each one of the references I spotted. There could be more! Let me know if I missed some other homages to  Mission s past in the comments section below.

1. Mission: Impossible

The Inspiration: The big finale of the first  Mission: Impossible is set in (and mostly on) a high-speed train. IMF traitor Jim Phelps (Jon Voight) tries to escape by jumping from the train to a helicopter. Ethan Hunt (Cruise) gives chase and manages to tether the copter to the train, dragging it into a tunnel.

How It Shows Up in Fallout : A helicopter attached to something it should not be attached to becomes a key part of the final fight between Ethan Hunt and August Walker (Henry Cavill). Just like in Mission: Impossible , a long cable hanging off a helicopter proves to be the bad guy’s undoing. In this case, it gets hooked on the edge of the cliff where Hunt and Walker are fighting. Hunt hangs onto the helicopter’s skid for dear life in both films as well.

2. Mission: Impossible II

The Inspiration: Ethan Hunt enjoys a little r&r by dangling off a gigantic mountain without a rope or net.

How It Shows Up in Fallout : After he finally beats Walker, Ethan has seconds to scale the edge of a cliff before a massive nuclear bomb goes off, killing his team and his wife, and igniting a catastrophic conflict between numerous nations. Luckily, Ethan hasn’t forgotten how to rock climb in the last 18 years.

3. Mission: Impossible III

The Inspiration: He was a classic gentleman bachelor spy in the first two movies, but then Ethan Hunt settles down in  Mission: Impossible III . And the film’s bad guy (played by the late Philip Seymour Hoffman) kidnaps Ethan’s wife Julia (Michelle Monaghan) and uses her to blackmail Ethan into retrieving an all-important MacGuffin.

How It Shows Up in  Fallout :   Mission   III  ends with Julia shifting from damsel in distress to proactive hero, as she protects Ethan’s prone body after he shocks himself in order to deactivate an explosive charge that’s been planted inside his head. (These movies are hilarious.) Julia serves an almost identical role in  Fallout.  She is in the immediate blast radius of Solomon Lane’s bombs, but Julia  also takes a hand in saving the day, by helping Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) disarm one of the weapons.

4. Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol

The Inspiration: In  Ghost Protocol , Ethan Hunt winds up on the trail of Kurt Hendricks (the late Michael Nyqvist), a nuclear extremist who wants to start a war between the United States and Russia. Hendricks manages to launch a nuclear weapon at San Francisco; Ethan and the IMF have to send it the abort code before it arrives at its target.

How It Shows Up in  Fallout : Once again, Ethan and the IMF are racing against the clock to stop a nuclear catastrophe instigated by a madman looking to start a war between countries.

5. Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation

The Inspiration:  Syndicate leader Solomon Lane manages to kidnap Ethan Hunt’s sidekick Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) and strap a bomb to his chest. As a timer on the bomb ticks down to zero, Lane demands Ethan Hunt hand over some all-important information or he will kill Benji, Ethan, and their ally Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson).

How It Shows Up in  Fallout : Acolytes leader Solomon Lane manages to kidnap Ilsa Faust and tie her up. Then he gets the jump on Benji and is very close to killing him (again). Meanwhile, Ethan manages to stop yet another Lane bomb as the timer is milliseconds away from reaching zero and blowing him and a whole bunch of other people to kingdom come.

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Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One: Breaking Down Every Hidden Easter Egg

There were lots of references and callbacks in the first part of Tom Cruise's last impossible mission.

Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt is one of the most famous master spies in Hollywood, second only to Sean Connery's James Bond, famous for his high-stakes adrenaline-pumping stunts which the iconic actor has been performing himself for nearly thirty years. And now he has completed the first part of his last impossible mission in Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One .

Ethan's final mission – which he chose to accept even though he wasn't assigned the task – is to collect the two pieces of a key that controls a rogue AI supercomputer called the Entity, which has infiltrated every military system and intelligence network in the world, and can rule the world in the wrong hands. Hence, Ethan vows to destroy the Entity with the help of his longtime allies, including Isla (Rebecca Fergusson). But the mysterious Gabriel (Esai Morales), sharing a history with Ethan, seeks the keys for his own unknown ends.

This is confirmed to be the second to last installment we will ever see of the famous action franchise. After twenty-seven years of movies and shows, there are lots of references and callbacks to look for in the latest Mission: Impossible film, so here are all the biggest Easter eggs in Dead Reckoning: Part One .

More Mask Mistakes

It's not a spy movie without cool gadgets, and Mission: Impossible is no exception, with a tool used in many missions. A staple of the franchise is the latex masks, hyper-realistic print-outs that our heroes don to impersonate their foes. Though, given how many times they've failed throughout the films, it's surprising that Team Impossible still choose to rely on them.

Once before, in Ghost Protocol, Ethan's mask broke, and he was forced to meet his enemy face-to-face. The same thing happened in Fallout. Some characters have simply ripped the masks off the wearer's face, so they weren't very durable at all. And now, in Dead Reckoning, the Entity straight up hacks the printing machine's system and breaks it, meaning Ethan's mission to sneak the key away from Gabriel became that harder. As cool as the masks are, they might be more trouble than they're worth.

Expert Use of the Dutch Angle

Harkening back to the style of the original Mission: Impossible, Dead Reckoning brilliantly utilizes the famed Dutch angle , titling the view of the camera on the screen just a few degrees to emphasize the unreliability of everything, from the narrative to the characters, as you never know when someone is wearing someone else's face.

Director of the original Mission: Impossible Brian De Palma uses these off-kilter frames to heighten tension since the beginning, and director Christopher McQuarrie did the same in Dead Reckoning to tilt the audience's perspective with the camera in an expert use of tradition in cinematography.

Related: Mission: Impossible: Why This Is The Craziest Stunt Tom Cruise Has Ever Done

A Photo of Erika Sloane

A little hard to spot, but an Easter egg is just hanging on the walls out in the open. Erika Sloane (Angela Basset) was the former CIA director and worked closely with Ethan in the previous film Fallout before being replaced.

Early in Dead Reckoning , we see a photo of Sloane looking pretty official hanging on the wall of a big-wigs meeting between world spy leaders. Fans hoped to see more of the character, especially after it was confirmed , but apparently, it panned out.

The Great Paris

The most subtle and most rewarding Easter egg of Dead Reckoning is a deep cut to the original television series which inspired the whole film franchise, the CBS 60's show Mission: Impossible , which also followed a specialized group of spies keeping the world free and safe, usually from commies with nukes, considering the series aired during the height of the Cold War between America and Russia.

The original Team Impossible featured one member only known as Paris, a master of disguise and deception. Played by Leonard Nimoy of Star Trek fame for playing the iconic Spock, the retired magician Paris also served as the inspiration for Gabriel's assistant assassin , Paris (Pom Klementieff). Both the original Paris and the new Paris shared a flamboyant fashion sense with flowy robes, and we'll likely see more of these outlandish costumes in Part Two.

Related: Mission: Impossible 7 Is Actually A Romantic Comedy

The Iconic Run

There's no doubt that Tom Cruise is the star of the Mission: Impossible franchise, pulling off incredibly risky high-octane stunts for his films even though the actor's over sixty years old. And while Dead Reckoning features many more jaw-dropping, death-defying feats, the real achievement we wanted of Cruise was his famous run .

The good, ol' Ethan run where Cruise swings his arms like coupling rods on a train and kicks his legs up high in great lunges is what we all wanted to see Cruise do specifically, and given the ending of Dead Reckoning, it doesn't seem like he'll stop anytime soon.

'Mission: Impossible — Fallout' Has the Best 'M:I-2' Easter Egg

Climbing rocks has never been more meta.

mission impossible ghost protocol easter eggs

For many Mission: Impossible fans, the second movie from director John Woo is the worst of the entire series. Those people are joyless and wrong.

Luckily, those with taste who stan for Mission: Impossible II are finally being validated in a neat Easter egg from the latest installment, Mission: Impossible — Fallout , out July 26.

Warning: Spoilers for Mission: Impossible — Fallout ahead.

At the end of Fallout , a long battle across most of Europe brings the Impossible Missions Force (IMF) to a mountainous region in Indochina, where the team splits up to diffuse a pair of nuclear bombs planted somewhere in a village of thousands. While most of our heroes deal with those nukes, Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt hijacks a helicopter (in mid-air!) to pursue August Walker, aka Henry Cavill’s brawny CIA agent secretly working for the evil organization of the week, the Apostles.

Their battle basically plays out as helicopter dogfighting until their choppers crash into each other and August and Ethan end up fist-fighting on a mighty steep cliff. Naturally, their fight ends with Ethan and August climbing up the side of the cliff without harnesses. After vanquishing his foe, Ethan is left climbing a big ass rock in an image familiar to anyone who remembers Mission: Impossible 2 .

Look closely, and you might catch Tom Cruise smirking. It could be from relief after escaping a gruesome death, or it could be Cruise winking to the audience: You remember this, don’t you?

Of course you remember Mission: Impossible 2 . Specifically, you remember its heart-pounding intro, where Cruise free climbs a mountain in Moab, Utah’s Dead Horse Point State Park. (Tot to be confused when he climbed the Burj Khalifa, the mega-skyscraper in the United Arab Emirates with the most basic of urban climbing equipment, in 2011’s Ghost Protocol .)

It’s probably the most enduring scene out of anything in Mission: Impossible 2 , which remains unpopular with fans and critics. Though the film’s release predates Rotten Tomatoes, it has a telling 57% “Rotten” score and an equally abysmal 43% audience score.

Tom Cruise really did that stunt for real too, by the way. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly from 2000, John Woo revealed that he was terrified for Tom Cruise — who had only a “thin safety cable” — that he couldn’t look at the monitors during shooting the scene.

“I was really mad that he wanted to do it, but I tried to stop him and I couldn’t,” Woo said. ”I was so scared I was sweating. I couldn’t even watch the monitor when we shot it.”

With Fallout , the Mission: Impossible series takes an extremely rare opportunity to reference itself. That’s because, outside of recurring characters, the franchise is structurally episodic. It’s not important that you see any of the movies in order, or even at all. In fact, Fallout — the sixth in a series going on for twenty years — is the most steeped-in-saga entry of Mission: Impossible yet, with familiar faces like Ilsa (Rebecca Ferguson) and Solomon Lane (Sean Harris).

It’s unknown if Fallout director Christopher McQuarrie had the same problem. Probably not, given that he was the one who strapped Tom Cruise to a moving airplane just a few years ago.

Mission: Impossible — Fallout hits theaters July 26.

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