With Easter this Sunday, I thought it might be a good time to go on an Easter egg hunt. I’m of course referring to movie and DVD Easter eggs. An Easter egg in a movie or on a DVD is an intentional inside joke, hidden message, or image. Why call it an Easter egg? Well, if you can’t figure that one out something’s wrong. But in case you can’t, it’s because the act of looking for these hidden “treasures” has been compared to a traditional Easter egg hunt…now do you get it?
Need some examples? Try finding Alfred Hitchcock’s cameo appearances in his movies, or figuring out which character John Ratzenberger is voicing in every PIXAR movie (he’s the only one who has been in them all). Or, if those are too easy, in Back to the Future the first boy to see Marty McFly in the past is named Sherman (a reference to the time traveling dog from Rocky and Bullwinkle), or in American Graffiti, the license plate of the police car that gets its axle yanked off is THX-1138 which is a reference to George Lucas’ first film of the same title—oh, and in case you missed it, they also make that reference in Star Wars when they’re transferring a prisoner from cell block 1138.
Exactly what is an Easter egg on a DVD or Blu-Ray? Unlike an inside joke, cameo or hidden object within the actual movie, they are undocumented features on the disc you access by finding hidden links within the various menus. Some of the best are probably hiding on one of your favorite movies. For example:
On the 300 DVD- go to SPECIAL FEATURES, press UP on your remote until the SPECIAL FEATURES heading gets a blood-splattered highlight. Press ENTER and see a short documentary in which director Zack Snyder and graphic novelist Frank Miller talk about translating the book to the screen. The documentary includes the test footage shot to demonstrate to the studio what Snyder’s idea of Spartan action would look like.
On the Avengers Blu Ray- On the Main Menu when Play is highlighted, press to the left on your remote to highlight the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo. Hit ENTER to access S.H.I.E.L.D. Secret Files on all of the characters. This is also available via the Second Screen App listed above.
Okay, I’m done helping you. To find Easter eggs on your own search for odd items. As you move through the DVD/BluRay menus be aware of any icons or items that appear out of place, such as an offset icon or menu choice that does not conform to the menu layout. As for within the movie—I guess if you’re not in on a joke you’ll probably miss it but therein lies the challenge and the fun of finding new things every time you watch one of your old favorites. I suppose you could cheat and look up your favorite movie online and see what it has to offer but where’s the fun in that? At any rate, good luck, happy Easter and happy hunting!