Cast one eye over Pixar’s decorated track record and you’ll begin to notice a handful of recurring motifs and Easter Eggs that crop up regardless of whether said film takes place in the mystical highlands of Brave or in the inky-blackness of space found in Wall-E. Those inside nods include the iconic Pizza Planet truck, references to A113 – the classroom where the Pixar brain trust sparked into life all those years ago – and the Luxo ball.
But there is one Easter Egg that supposedly predates them all – Ed O’Neill’s grouchy octopus from Finding Dory. Embracing the occasion of April Fools’ Day, Disney and Pixar have rolled out a new video for the animated sequel that features both O’Neill and director Andrew Stanton highlighting the studio’s best-kept “secret.”
Peeling the curtain back on the Pixar Easter Egg to end all Pixar Easter Eggs, here’s what Stanton had to share about O’Neill’s elusive cephalopod.
“Every Pixar fan knows that we love Easter Eggs. And until now, Hank has been our most closely guarded secret. There are even people internally at Pixar who don’t know about this. Hank started off as a bit of an inside joke between those of us who were here at Pixar in the very beginning. But since then, finding a place for him in our films has become part of our culture, and I’m glad we finally get to introduce him properly to fans.”
Headlining the all-star cast are Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks and Hayden Rolence as Dory, Marlin and Nemo, respectively. For Pixar’s long-awaited sequel, they’ll be joined in the voice booth by Diane Keaton, Willem Dafoe, Dominic West, Kaitlin Olson, Ty Burrell, Diane Keaton, Ed O’Neill, Eugene Levy, Idris Elba and Michael Sheen.
Finding Dory drifts into theaters on June 17.