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The directors of 'Wish' had to use an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of the dozens of Disney Easter eggs in the film

Kirsten Acuna   

The directors of 'Wish' had to use an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of the dozens of Disney Easter eggs in the film
  • Disney's "Wish" contains over 100 Easter eggs to other classics, including "Snow White" and "Peter Pan."
  • Directors Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn told Business Insider they used an Excel sheet kept track of every nod.

Disney's 62nd animated feature, "Wish," may reference the studio's animation history more than any of its other movies.

It's fitting, given that the film, which follows 17-year-old Asha (Ariana DeBose) on a quest to save people's wishes from the evil King Magnifico (Chis Pine), also serves as an origin story for the wishing star that's featured in several Disney movies, including "Pinocchio" and "Princess & The Frog."

"We talked about making an original story with original songs, making sure that was solid before we added all these layers," the film's codirector Chris Buck told Business Insider earlier this month. "But now there's over a hundred nods." There were so many that the filmmakers had to use an Excel sheet to keep track of them.

Buck, who also directed "Frozen," said the Easter eggs are a way to honor The Walt Disney Company's 100th anniversary this year. Nearly every one of the film's 92 minutes references another film in the company's vault.

At one point, Asha wears a cloak reminiscent of the Fairy Godmother's from "Cinderella." The Evil Queen's poison apple from "Snow White" can be spotted in Magnifico's lair. A rabbit purposefully thumps his foot like Thumper from "Bambi."

Buck and codirector Fawn Veerasunthorn said there are nods in the film they didn't even know about until seeing them added to the growing Excel sheet.

"We've watched it quite a few times, but we'd have to watch it even more just to see," Buck said.

Business Insider spoke with the film's directors about their favorite Easter eggs and why the film's credits honor so many Disney favorites.

Asha's friends are inspired by Snow White's dwarves

One of the film's more clever nods to past Disney films is how Asha's friends are modeled after Snow White's seven dwarfs — right down to their mannerisms and clothing.

"We knew that we wanted to have Asha's group of friends, the younger generation that's on the cusp of making a decision of whether or not they would give their wish away to Magnifico," Veerasunthorn told Business Insider. "And we were like, well, friends, how about seven? How about seven personalities? It would be such a great nod to the first movie."

"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," released in 1937, was the first-ever full-length animated feature film and Walt Disney's first feature film. It landed Disney an honorary Oscar for the achievement.

"Even the color palette, their costumes are the same color as the ones they're inspired by," Buck added that each of Asha's friends shares a first initial with one of the famous seven dwarves.

The directors' favorite Easter eggs are from 'Pinocchio' and 'Beauty and the Beast'

Buck told Business Insider that his favorite Easter egg in the film comes at the very end when Asha's grandfather sings "When You Wish Upon a Star" from "Pinocchio."

Buck wanted that nod included from the very beginning but was initially unsure of how to work it in.

Veerasunthorn, a big "Beauty and the Beast" fan, said she fought for one of that film's characters to make a tiny appearance.

"I was like, 'Chip has to be somewhere,'" Veerasunthorn said of the memorable tea cup that helps Belle. But it wasn't easy to get Chip in the final movie.

"We kept putting it at different places and those scenes got cut," Veerasunthorn said. "It didn't work out, and I was like, 'Well, OK. All right. That's OK. We have a lot in here.' Then one opportunity arose, and we were able to put it right in the center of the screen. I won't say where."

Why Disney characters close out the film's credits

The Easter eggs continue well after the movie ends.

As the credits for "Wish" play, gorgeous golden line drawings of classic Disney characters ranging from Tarzan and Mulan to more obscure characters from "The Great Mouse Detective" and "Oliver and Company" appear on screen.

"We had put so many nods the whole way through," said Buck of why they chose to end the film in this manner. "We thought what a great way to sort of say goodbye to everyone, showing our whole legacy there with some of these classic characters."

"Wish" is in theaters now.

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