One of the many favorite pastimes in the Disney fandom is trying to locate the various Hidden Mickeys sprinkled in throughout their animated features. Almost every one of the original animated classics features at least one Mickey head hiding somewhere in the background or foreground serving as the animator’s wink to the audience.
Some Hidden Mickeys are very plainly seen, like in paint splatters or decor, but then there are those where you have to look twice to catch them. Fortunately, we’ve got a list of our favorite ten that you can go back and find the next time you pop in a Disney flick.
10 Various Bubble Formations
Three circles pushed together are a pretty easy formation to hide in plain sight, and one of the most commonly used methods of hiding said three circles is in soap bubbles. Some of Disney’s early work features their hidden Mickeys in floating suds or washing sequences to hide them right in front of the audience’s nose.
Snow White, Cinderella, Fantasia, and Dumbo are just a few Disney flicks that use bubbles to their advantage. Though Cinderella’s were a little more obvious, Fantasia’s was pretty creative in hiding its bubbles right beside Mickey himself. It’s a simple strategy, but it works.
9 Geppetto’s Chair
Though this hidden Mickey is right in the foreground, it’s hidden by the subtle art of misdirection. We’re too busy watching Geppetto try to put out the fire on Pinocchio’s finger to notice the large Mickey head that makes up the back of a wooden chair right in the corner of the screen.
We’re not putting it on this list because of how noticeable it is, but simply because of the method the animators used to draw our attention away from it. There’s nothing concealing it but the human eye, and that deserves recognition in our books any day.
8 Belle’s Library
We’re honestly a little bit ashamed for not noticing this one. When the Beast gifts Belle his enormous library full of all the books she could ever ask for, we’re so blinded by the size and scope of his collection of literature that we completely miss the giant golden mickey hanging right at the top of the screen.
Granted, at first glance, it looks like any organic-inspired French design. But when one pauses the film and takes a good hard look, a collective slapping of the foreheads can be heard when we realize that we’ve been staring at Mickey without even thinking about it.
7 The Oranges Behind Lilo & Stitch
This one we really had to focus on to catch, but Disney has hidden their Mickeys in food before. The main thing that keeps the trio of oranges in a Mickey shape hidden from many first viewings is partially due to the amazing watercolor-style backgrounds in Lilo and Stitch.
When Lilo is teaching Stitch some hula moves in the farmer’s market, a small hidden Mickey can be seen in the crate of oranges behind Lilo’s head. Very easy to miss, but not impossible for us dedicated and eagle-eyed Disney buffs! We’re just wondering how physics would make that display possible.
6 Clawhauser’s Face
Zootopia has a handful of Hidden Mickeys and other Disney references, but one of them stands out just a little bit more than the rest. It’s not the size, the misdirection, or the objects that make it that puts it on our list. It’s the location
Putting a Hidden Mickey literally on one of your characters should make it pretty easy to find, but it’s only when this big lug turns his head that we see an almost perfect Mickey head in the spots on his cheek. Seeing that Clawhauser is a Cheetah, using the spots is a great and creative way to get us to take a doubletake to catch his Hidden Mickey.
5 Dalmatian Spots
Where Clawhauser’s spots were easy to spot once he made the right angle, Disney’s previous use of animal spots was a little more deceptive. In the original 101 Dalmatians, spots are practically spread across the screen at almost any given time. Hiding a Mickey in the sea of dots was an easy trick to get away with, but only dogs have a hidden Mickey.
Both Pongo and his Puppy Patch have a Hidden Mickey on their shoulders, but you’d be forgiven for missing them. With an ocean of spots to search through, it can be difficult to find three in a specific pattern. But not for us hardcore Mouseketeers.
4 Powerline’s Audience
Not only do we have a hidden Mickey head in this spot, but we also have the full character himself! Though there’s also a similar occurrence in The Little Mermaid this one was much more recognizable. When Goofy and Max finally make it to L.A. for the Powerline concert, we see a very familiar figure featured in his audience.
Looks like Mickey was able to hitch a ride to California after all, and he’s got a taste for some seriously stand-out music. It’s one thing to feature a cleverly hidden Mickey, but it’s another to catch the Mouse himself in a crowd.
3 Andy’s Room Wall Clock
Even Pixar has gotten in on the Hidden Mickey game a time or two, and what better place to give them a spot than their surprise hit, Toy Story. Andy must be a Disney fan, because not only does his mom play the Lion King soundtrack on the car ride to the new house, he has a Mickey watch wall clock in his room.
Yet another use of clever misdirection, Mickey is right in front of our faces and we’re too enraptured by Buzz Lightyear’s stunt show on the Hot Wheels track. It’s a clever way to hide Mickey in a child’s room without resulting to a toy character, so we’re giving this one a high spot.
2 Timon’s Bugs
This one definitely hides very well, but not from us. With the background slightly out of focus while Timon holds up a big, juicy grub for Simba, it can be frustratingly difficult to catch this hidden Mickey at first glance, but we will give some credit for creativity for using the beetle’s shield pattern
In the middle of “Hakuna Matata” as Timon is persuading Simba to try eating bugs for the first time, a hidden Mickey can be seen on the back of a crawling beetle in the corner next to a slithering earthworm. It’s small, but noticeable upon an additional viewing. Definitely top tier, but not number one.
1 The Structure of Notre Dame
These Hidden Mickeys take top billing simply because not only are they easy to miss at first glance, but they are part of the central setpiece of an entire animated feature. And they dwell right in the walls of the famous cathedral in Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame.
If we’re going to be perfectly honest, we didn’t notice these ones ourselves until doing further research for this. Now that we know they’re there, we can’t look away. There are Hidden Mickeys in the arches, the stones, and even around the Rose Window of the famous cathedral. Good luck getting these out of your sight the next time you put this underrated gem on!
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