One of the coolest things you could ever show me would be an Easter egg in a movie. An Easter Egg is something hidden in the film usually pointing to something outside the story of the movie. Pixar is notorious for stuff like this. The Pizza Planet delivery truck has been in every Pixar movie except for the Incredibles, I think. Or the appearance of Flynn and Rapunzel at the coronation of Elsa. Did I say cool?
Well tonight I want to share a very special Easter Egg that I found almost 10 years ago now in a movie that is over 70 years old. While listening to a podcast in ’97, one of the guys mentioned that if you watch the Clown scene of Dumbo you’d get a little surprise. Specifically the crowd. I was all over this. And could not wait to check it out. I had Dumbo on VCR, but no VCR player. We had ditched our last one after it broke and had too many DVD’s and not enough VCR tapes to get another. (Non-Disney Note) Look into Freecycle in your area. The Freecycle Network is made up of more than 5,000 groups with 9 million members around the world. It’s a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. (Advertisement over) Well long story short, I picked up a VCR for free and got down to business.
Okay, fast forward to the circus clown scene. Wait…what was that…Oh yeah, Casey Jr. Love that song…there he goes over the hill and there’s the stork. Wait, I was looking for the circus scene. Fast forward to get there…but what’s that? Pink Elephants on parade? Dumbo tying one on? Cool. Love that song and eerie scene. We’ve all been there. But…the circus scene. Fast forward and there are those pain in the butt Crows and the magic feather. Almost there. Fast forward and there it is. Dumbo diving off the burning building. He was dressed as a clown and had the greatest hat. Kinda funny and little sad. Timothy his ever faithful friend hanging on as they take that dive.
Dumbo pulls out of that dive just in time and goes soaring over the crowd, and these are their faces as they look up at him. Can you see Walt here? Gotta remember this was in the late 30’s early 40’s. This scene was drawn by Frank Grundeen and it was not unheard of to have animators take small liberties such as this. Here is a closer look at Walt.
So, what do you think, is it him? I certainly believe it is and as a little more proof, below is a picture of Walt from the same time-frame. Same thin mustache and the small Eddie Munster/Paul Ryan like widow’s peak. I think it is really him and such a great Easter Egg. My only reservation is that I cannot find any info to back this up which in today’s world with the internet, that’s kinda odd. Reply in the comments and let me know what you think.