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The 5 most obvious Apple references in Pixar films

You might already know that Pixar movies are Easter egg gold mines. The animation studio is famously self-referential — inspiring, for example, an elaborate fan theory suggesting that all of the films exist in the same universe.

But Pixar movies are also full of Apple references. Yes, the tech company.

‘Why Apple?’ you wonder. Well, Pixar’s massive success is often credited in part to Steve Jobs, Pixar’s former owner and CEO. 

Jobs purchased Pixar from Lucasfilm in 1985 after being pushed out of Apple and was the the studio’s largest shareholder until it was sold to Disney in 2006. Jobs eventually made his way back to Apple in 1997 as CEO, but maintained his position at Pixar until its sale. Pixar’s film references to Apple are presumably a nod to Jobs’ tech legacy and the success he brought the studio.

We searched through the internet and combed through the Pixar Wikia, to find some of the most obvious Apple references in Pixar’s slate of films. From the barely subtle to the absolutely in your face, these are the top five most obvious Apple references.

1. The magazine advertisement in Monsters, Inc.

When Mike Wazowski holds up a magazine celebrating his new successful business with James P. “Sulley” Sullivan, you can make out an advertisement for a computer on the back of the cover. The advertisement’s slogan says “Scare Different,” a spin on Apple’s slogan, “Think Different.”

Apple’s “Think Different” campaign was launched in 1997, the same year Jobs returned to Apple as CEO.

2. EVE’s design

Image: DISney/pixar/youtube

As Wall-E director Andrew Stanton told CNN Money in a 2008 interview, EVE was designed to look like an Apple product. 

From CNN Money:

“A call from Stanton to Jobs in 2005 resulted in Johnny Ive, Apple’s behind-the-scenes design guru, driving across the San Francisco Bay to Pixar’s converted warehouse headquarters to spend a day consulting on the Eve prototype.”

3. There’s a Macintosh in the Land of the Dead

Peep the tiny rainbow Apple logo.

Peep the tiny rainbow Apple logo.

Image: Disney/pixar/netflix

In Coco, when Mamá Imelda tries to find out why she can’t leave the Land of the Dead to go visit her family, the clerk assisting her uses a Macintosh computer to look her up. 

According to Pixar Wikia, the computer is likely Apple’s earliest computer model, the Macintosh 128K which launched in 1984, . 

4. Holley Shiftwell designs apps in Cars 2

The elusive Holley Shiftwell.

The elusive Holley Shiftwell.

Image: Disney/pixar/youtube

Finn McMissile explains that Holley Shiftwell’s cover is “designing iPhone apps.” How a car could make use of a phone app? Who knows.

Apple’s App store debuted 10 years ago, according to the Washington Post, only three years prior to Cars 2’s release. 

5. A racer is sponsored by Apple in Cars

An Apple sponsored racer is named Mac iCar. This is less of a reference to Apple than it is Pixar screaming, “Hey, did you know we have a connection to Apple?”

Mac iCar’s racing number is also 84. As we noted above, 1984 is the year Apple released its first personal computer, the Macintosh 128K.

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