Originally written by Cooper Hood for Screen Rant
Pixar's new movie Onward was teased in a quick Toy Story 4 Easter egg. For almost as long as Pixar has been around, the animation powerhouse has made it a habit to include fun references to their other films in each new release. One of the biggest examples of this came from Toy Story's Pizza Planet truck, which has appeared in other Pixar films like Monsters, Inc. and Finding Nemo. The vehicle returned in Toy Story 4 as well.
As Woody and Forky went on this new adventure, though, Toy Story 4 included many other Easter eggs. The new additions of Ducky and Bunny helped welcome 20th Century Fox to the Walt Disney family through a reference and even shouted out Star Wars. But, Pixar has also included Easter eggs that are tougher to find because the movies they are referencing have not been released yet. For example, Toy Story 4's new character Duke Caboom was first introduced in 2018's Incredibles 2, but many missed this since the Keanu Reeves-voiced stuntman had not yet debuted. The same is true of how Toy Story 4 teased Pixar's Onward.
Fans of Pixar searched long and hard to see if Toy Story 4 continued the trend of subtly teasing the next Pixar movie, and one was finally discovered in late 2019. For a film set mostly at a carnival filled with toys, it isn't until the very end of Toy Story 4 that the Onward reference becomes clear. Instead of characters from the film appearing as toys, the tease came through the bouncy castle. The logo on the bounce house is that of a Pegasus, which would be a nod to the fantasy world of Onward by itself. But, the mystical flying horse appears to be the same one featured on the van that the film's elvish brothers drive throughout their road trip.
The elvish brothers in Onward that drive the Pegasus-branded van are Ian and Barley Lightfoot, who are voiced by Tom Holland and Chris Pratt, respectively. The van has been prominently featured throughout the marketing campaign for the movie. It is the primary mode of transportation for the Lightfoot brothers as they go on a journey to complete a spell that will give them one more day with their deceased father.
The plot of Onward may not have any ties to Toy Story 4, and its fantasy world isn't the same one that Woody and his friends exist in, but fan theories have already tried to connect the two films beyond this Easter egg. Several theories attempt to have Onward fit into the Pixar Universe theory, but better cases for such a theory can be made once audiences finally get a chance to see the film. There could be a Pegasus castle to reference Toy Story 4's Easter egg again, but viewers should also be on the lookout for how Onward could tease Soul, Pixar's next movie.
Pixar's latest movie, Onward, opens at Regal this Friday, March 6th.