Easter Egg: Finding Dory Swims with Herbie

Disney/Pixar animators love to add little inside jokes to all of their theatrical releases and Finding Dory is no exception. Each of these inside jokes are called an ‘easter egg’ because you have to really look to find them!

So somewhere near the beginning of the movie and in the end credits of Finding Dory we see a little white Volkswagen who could be no other than the famous Herbie the Love Bug himself. First, we see him with Dory just while she is trying to find someone to help her:

And then we see Herbie being test driven by Hank:

But how did Herbie get there? If you remember the film Herbie Goes Bananas you’ll recall that Herbie is punished by the Captain of The Sun Princess cruise ship by being made to ‘walk the plank’, or in reality, by being tipped overboard. Re-live the sad moment by watching the video below:

FUN FACT: The car that “walks the plank” in the movie was never recovered from the sea. It was tossed overboard from the SS Cozumel ferry ship. The car is somewhere between La Paz and Baja California. The car thrown overboard was not a proper car and had many wooden parts.

But for the purpose of this easter egg, we’re saying it is actually Herbie himself chillin’ at the bottom of The Big Blue. And although his trademark stripes and number 54 are worn off by years under the sea, he looks like he is still ready for one last drive with Hank:

So is the initial pass in the night with Dory and this chance meeting between Hank the septapus and Herbie the Love Bug really possible? Would they end up in the same part of the Ocean? Well, consider the following map:

In Finding Dory, she, along with Marlin and Nemo, once again leave the Great Barrier Reef and would again need to use the East Australian Current (EAC, dude) as a highway. This time they would need to travel across the entire Pacific Ocean to a point just off the North-West tip of Africa where the EAC completes its circle and heads back to Australia. From there, they would have to swim up to California where the Marine Life Institute is located, in a picturesque Bay.

Now in the film, it is claimed that they simply use the California Current to make the entire trip, but this current doesn’t start over near Australia. And… it also flows South, so it would be going the wrong way to carry our characters up to California. But hey, it’s a movie, so lighten up!

As mentioned earlier, the cruise ship The Sun Princess dumped Herbie somewhere between La Paz and Baja California. So Hank and Herbie could definitely end up in the same part of the Pacific Ocean, just off the coast of California.

Hypothesis: Proven! At least in my mind.

Monday Topics: Best of Disney – Characters

W E E K     T H R E E

BEST OF DISNEY

Our friends over at Love Our Crazy Life have asked some of their blogging friends (like me) to participate in a Blogging Challenge. So for four weeks in April, on every Monday morning, I will be covering a different Disney-related topic. You can click the link above to find all of the other participants and their entries. Enjoy!

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Top Five Best Disney Characters

A good thing about Disney movies is that they are populated with great characters. You can cheer them on and delight in their life journeys. Some even touch your heart and stay with you for a lifetime! But who are the best of the best?

Please check out my Top Five List of the best Disney characters, and my reasons why:

Number Five – Mickey Mouse (The Little Guy)

Mickey Mouse

Photo Credit: Disney’s PhotoPass CD

The underdog has always been an endearing character in history. Charlie Chaplin certainly took his Tramp persona to unprecedented levels in the silent era of film, and in so doing spawned a long line of imitators–of which Mickey Mouse is certainly one of the best!

Mickey led the world out of the Depression. He taught our children how to be nice. And he showed us all that good guys don’t always finish last. He was the little guy who never gave up.

What really endears this mouse to my heart is that he never puts himself first. In a world where selfishness and Me-ism seems to be the norm, even celebrated, Mickey just keeps on showing that when you put others first, that’s when you gain real happiness!

Number Four – Uncle Remus (Song of the South)

Photo Credit: Copyright 1958 Walt Disney Productions

At a time in history when there were many justifiable reasons for hatred and resentment, one African-American man decided to show unprecedented love. No matter the skin color of the child in need, he was there with a story to make everything better again!

Song of the South is presently ‘banned’ from release due to alleged racism in its content, but I see a very different story within this important film. I see an older man of color respected and relied on by his former owners, a leader amongst his own people, and a person who shows just how big the human heart can be. Uncle Remus is a man everyone in this present world needs to meet and learn from!

James Bassett deserves better than to be robbed of his due for his portrayal of such a pivotal character in the Disney canon.

Number Three – Anna (Frozen)

Mention the Disney movie Frozen and everyone will immediately think of Elsa, the Ice Queen, who finally learns to ‘let it go’ and be her true self. Sounds good on the surface, but have they actually seen this movie? We have a person who damages her own Kingdom, runs away instead of staying and trying to fix things, abandons her duty and her sister, almost kills her sister (twice!), and basically adopts the attitude that it’s not her problem anyway. And this is a woman for little girls to look up to?

Anna, on the other hand, has no negative qualities. From childhood, she desperately tries to make a connection with her sister. Even though she is alone and rejected for years, her love never cools. When the Kingdom is in trouble, she steps up. She tries again and again to save her sister. And in the end, she is willing to die for someone who has done nothing to deserve such a sacrifice. This is a woman for everyone to look up to!

Just because a character has a hit song doesn’t mean they are one of the best Disney characters. Billions at the box office doesn’t do it either. Anna is one of the best Disney characters because she exhibits qualities that we all should strive to emulate!

Number Two – Baymax (Big Hero 6)

“Hello. I am Baymax, your personal healthcare companion.” Those who dedicate their lives to serve others, like nurses, are to be commended and respected. And although Baymax is a robot who was programmed to serve, we learn as his story unfolds, that there is more to him than computer code!

Two things emerge about Baymax during the film Big Hero 6. He will bend over backwards to do what he is asked by a ‘patient’ up to the point that it would harm them. Then he refuses to comply and explains why. Secondly, at the end of the film, we see that he is willing to lay down his own life, or terminate his program, to save others. Again, self-sacrifice is a big part of why Baymax is on this list!

“On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate this character?”

Number One – Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins)

Practically Perfect in Every Way. Using the word ‘practically’ means that there are a few things, or at least one, about this Nanny that could be better. I guess she is a bit full of herself, but in a prim and proper way! So why is this lady number one on my list of the best Disney characters?

First, she is selfless. She has given up a life of her own to serve and protect the children of the world. We find hints that she loves Bert and could pursue a relationship with him, but not without compromising her mission. So she goes on alone.

Secondly, her love of children is strong, but she can never have any of her own. In the final scenes of the movie, we see her shed a tear as she has to leave yet another set of children whom she has come to love as her own. Imagine going through that pain each and every time you accept a posting, knowing that you will have to leave!

Thirdly, even though she is a bit of a bossy flossy, she usually lets her hair down and joins in the fun.

Oh, and Supercalifrajalistic makes her expialidocious. And who else can you say that about?

Bonus Character – Herbie (The Love Bug)

Just look at that face! Adorable and plucky, this little VW Beetle probably has one of the most endearing personalities of any Disney character. Whether it’s bringing two people together, winning a race, foiling a plot, or falling in love himself, Herbie does it all with a ‘Meep Meep’ and a ‘Vroom Vroom’!

Perhaps no other character better personifies the no-quit spirit. He has been sabotaged, stolen, ripped in half, and heart-broken, but never has he been beaten! Sometimes it’s the smallest amongst us that have the biggest hearts.

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Be sure to check out all four of my posts in this series of Monday Topics:

Topic One – Disney Essentials

Topic Two – Disney Tutorial

Topic Three – Best Of Disney (You are here)

Topic Four – Looking Back at Disney

Disney Vehicles Found in the Real World

Disney animators love to give character to inanimate objects. And when they are fleshing out a human character, they usually imbue any objects they use or possess with a complimentary character trait.

While looking through my pictures from both the Motor Muster and Old Car Festival, held in Greenfield Village each year, I began to notice that I had some interesting Disney car tie-ins. Don’t know what I mean?

    

Exhibit One: Herbie Blushes

I was taking close-up pictures of some of the cars to get cool reflections and to optimize the shapes and features of each car. The shot above, of a Volkswagen Beetle, made me think of an embarrassed Herbie!

    

Exhibit Two: Prof. Ned Brainard’s Flying Model T Ford

Inside the Henry Ford Museum you can see how an actual Model T Ford was constructed, and sit in or pose with an original model, as above. Yet no matter how much Flubber I used, I just couldn’t get this one to fly!

    

Exhibit Three: Cruella De Ville’s evil-looking Bugatti

I’m not sure just what model Cruella’s car was supposed to be in the animated film 101 Dalmatians, but it looks an awful lot like the vintage Bugatti above. Think how cool it would have been if this white Bugatti was covered in spots! But being as there are only 3 or 4 of these left in the world, and only this one in North America, I don’t suppose the museum will be upgrading the paint any time soon.

    

Exhibit Four: Doc Hudson as The Fabulous Hudson Hornet

The film Cars by Pixar came out in 2006 and I took the above picture in 2009. At the time, I never even clued in that I was looking at the inspiration for Doc Hudson’s racing career. And it took until 2014 for me to even realize I had this shot! It just goes to show that you never know when a Disney reference will pop up in your life.

For more information about this Disney reference, please visit my post entitled Keith Partridge Buy’s Pixar’s Doc Hudson over at My Dreams of Disney.

    

Exhibit Five: Interpol car from Muppets Most Wanted

Not an exact match, but when art imitates life, art often takes liberties. I think the essence of the fake car is definitely present in the real car! Sadly, no muppet emerged from the yellow version.

So if Beaker were a car, he’d end this post simply by saying: “Beep, beep!”

Book Review: Herbie the Love Bug Goes to Monte Carlo

by Vic Crume
Scholastic Book Services
1977
This great little paperback novel only cost me $4 even, and it’s turned out to be worth every penny. Of course, at $4, that isn’t saying much!
But seriously, the cover art alone is worth the price, along with the black and white photographs from the movie inside. The story is written in a simplified way for children, but gives some interesting insights into Herbie that didn’t come across in the movie.
Novel adaption of the third Herbie movie
To give you an idea of the style of writing, and how the book helps us to see Herbie in a more intimate way, here is a reprint of the opening lines:
What a sight!
Swinging safely in a cargo net from the big ship’s unloading crane, Herbie had a bird’s-eye view of the busy docks below. In fact, he could see quite a lot of the port city of Le Havre, France.
Herbie is a white Volkswagen bug with a big, bright “53” painted on his hood and sides, and the view wasn’t quite what he’d expected. A small frown crept between his pistons. Not a race track in sight! Odd! Herbie was sure that Jim Douglas, his driver, and Wheely Applegate, his mechanic, had brought him across the Atlantic Ocean especially to race. Then the cargo net started to descend, and Herbie spotted his friends down on the docks. He’d soon find out where he’d be taking them!
(break)
“There he is!” Wheely sang out when he saw the VW. “Look out Europe! Here comes Herbie!” They broke into a fast trot.
They knew their little white bug, Herbie, was someone extra special. Wheely knew every inch of Herbie  – from front to back bumper – and he had never located anything unusual tucked away in the fierce little racer, but he and Jim were sure that Herbie had a mind and a heart of his own hidden somewhere. No wonder they rushed to the unloading dock to meet Car 53.
I’m planning on reading the entire novel soon to enjoy more insights into Disney’s most famous car.
Stills from the movie
With all of the merchandise out there, I’m surprised that I have never come across a die cast model of Herbie, or rarely seen any type of Herbie collectible! For such a huge franchise, one would expect more product.
Be that as it may, I’m glad I found this book!
To conclude this post, I’ll leave you with the closing lines, that give us yet more insight into Herbie… and one of his co-stars:
In the shadows, two sets of headlights blinked gently on and off. Herbie and Giselle!
As they (Jim and Diane) watched, there was a gentle thump of two doors touching.
Softly, the Mediterranean moon beamed silvery light upon two silvery door handles. There was no doubt about it –
Herbie and Giselle were holding doors!
All together now: Awww!