As you’ve probably noticed, the children’s animation studios of today just love filling their movies with references to things that a large percentage of their audience couldn’t possibly get. For DreamWorks, that means blatant dick jokes … and in the case of Pixar, it means slipping in connections to a movie about an alcoholic who’s driven insane by ghosts and tries to murder his entire family. For example, remember the scene in Toy Story where Buzz and Woody are trying to escape Sid’s house?
“Where’s the exit? Let’s ask those twin girls standing over there.”
Did you feel an inexplicable sense of dread while watching that scene? Well, that’s probably because the carpet in Sid’s house has the exact same pattern as the carpet in the Overlook Hotel in The Shining, the same one where junior psychic Danny Torrance used to play with his toys:
Looks like Buzz just saw that dude in the bear costume.
Buzz and Woody eventually escape that place without killing each other, but the horror continues in Toy Story 3. At one point, we see a monkey toy watching the feed from some surveillance cameras in a nursery. On the same desk, there’s a small box with the Overlook carpet pattern on it again, plus a 1970s intercom modeled after the one seen in the hotel manager’s office in The Shining.
Pixar/Warner Bros. via empireonline.com
After all those murders, the company just gave up and started hiring inanimate objects as caretakers.
But the most recurrent element in the movie is the number 237. We see a security camera with the model number “OVERLOOK R237”:
Pixar via empireonline.com
That’s almost as creepy as the surveillance tape where all the toys stand up and move around.
A garbage truck with the plate number “RM237”:
And Woody chatting with someone with the username “Velocistar237”:
“For the last time, stop calling me Danny.”
Well, those are all references to the Overlook Hotel’s Room 237 — you know, the one where Jack Nicholson made out with that naked lady who then turned into a cackling corpse. Apparently she has pretty good Wi-Fi in there and likes chatting with toys to pass the time.
And none of this is a coincidence, by the way: Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich is a massive fan of The Shining and personally put in all of these Easter eggs … except the one in Toy Story 1. Presumably that’s just straight up haunting.