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It was just announced yesterday that Toy Story 4 is headed our way in a few years, news that excited many but surprised few. As the internet once more is all abuzz about those loveable toys, now seems like the perfect time for us to get in on the fun, and highlight the dark side of the beloved franchise…

Well, actually, it’s less of a dark side and more of a ‘holy shit, that’s really cool and I never noticed that!’ side, but you get what I’m going for here.

Though the Toy Story franchise is of course primarily made with children in mind, Pixar filmmaker Lee Unkrich has nevertheless managed to slip in many homages to his favorite horror movie throughout the franchise.

Unkrich’s favorite movie, as you’ve surely gathered by the title of this post, is The Shining, which he credits for igniting his passion for making movies – in fact, he even runs a Tumblr blog called The Overlook Hotel, dedicated entirely to Kubrick’s horror masterpiece!

An editor on Toy Story and Toy Story 2, Unkrich took on directing duties for Toy Story 3, and it’s in that third installment that The Shining influence is most heavily felt. That said, there is a nice little homage in the first film, as you will soon see.

Check out a pictorial rundown of all the little winks and nods below, which were brought to our attention by Empire Online!


TOY STORY – Carpet pattern in Sid’s house is the same as The Overlook Hotel’s


TOY STORY 3 – Garbage truck’s license plate is RM237, a reference to The Shining‘s dreaded Room 237


TOY STORY 3 – Security camera in Sunnyside Daycare is labeled ‘Overlook R237’


TOY STORY 3 – PA system is the same as the one in Stuart Ullman’s office. Also note the tissue box, with the Overlook print on it.


TOY STORY 3 – Screen name of Trixie the Dinosaur’s friend is ‘Velocistar237’

Pretty crazy, right? Can’t wait to see if the homages continue in Toy Story 4, due out in 2017!