The Pixar guys are quite awesome – I’ve said for years they have totally harnased the spirit of what used to be good about old school Disney films. They’re also big fans of self references. They are constantly putting in references to their other films, and not always backwards – they go forwards sometimes, too. Like the time in Monsters Inc where Boo gave Sulley a Nemo toy – Finding Nemo had not yet come out at that point.
There is a really good article showing off where several of these references are in various Pixar films. Go check that out here. If you like this kind of thing, you will love this page, I guarantee it.
Anyway, this year Pixar is coming out with their annual new film, this one is called “Up!” As with all the others, I expect a gaggle of injokes, like “Find the Pizza Planet Truck”, and “Where’s the Luxo Ball?” (the latter can be seen in one of the earlier movie trailers, actually). Anyway, in watching the third (and I think final) trailer (shown below), there’s a rather large bird in the middle of it, which appears to accompany the main characters in the movie plot. I’m looking at this thing, and it immediately reminded me of one of the older Pixar shorts.
There was one from 2000 called “For the Birds“. It had a bunch of small, mostly annoyed birds sitting on a wire. A larger, stupid bird came up and sat on the line with them.
Anyway, in the new trailer, the “Up bird” looks to be influenced by the “For the Birds bird”. It doesn’t look EXACTLY the same, but given Pixar’s penchant for self-referential characters, it wouldn’t surprise me if this is the same bird model they were working from. Take a look, let me know what you think.