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The Most Paused Disney Movie Moments

Disney has made dozens of animated movies since 1937, the year its first feature-length filmSnow White and the Seven Dwarfs — came out. With a massive vault of classic titles that includes pioneering hits like Snow White and Pinocchio as well as more recent releases such as The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, and Frozen, Disney has been making movies for so long that its films have become cinematic touchstones for generations of film fans around the world.

Some of these movies, though, have been scrutinized a little more closely than others. Did you know the magic carpet from Aladdin made an appearance in another Disney film? Or that Nemo had a cameo in a Disney movie that came out before Finding Nemo? How about the spinning wheel in Tangled — notice anything special about that? Here are some of the most memorable Disney movie moments that will make you say "Did I just see what I thought I saw?," pick up the remote, and hit pause.

Finding Nemo — to an aquarium and beyond

Released in 2003, Finding Nemo follows the story of a little clownfish who is separated from his father and desperately tries to get back home. According to Business Insider, this Disney/Pixar hit had a production budget of $94 million and grossed $940.3 million at the box office. Clearly, it was seen by lots and lots of people, many of them more than once — but it wasn't until many years later that most viewers picked up on one little detail.

During Nemo's journey, he ends up in the fish tank of a dentist's office. When he wakes up in the tank, the camera pans around the dentist's waiting room, showing what Nemo can see from his watery vantage point. The view shows some toys lying on the floor — including Buzz Lightyear, who made his first movie appearance eight years before Nemo's. Pixar is fond of leaving Easter eggs for its viewers to find, and since this one involves two of the most popular and heartwarming Disney films ever made, it's exciting to pause the movie and spot Buzz Lightyear's cameo.

The Lion King — Everything the light touches is our kingdom

The 1994 film The Lion King is epic, and when it comes to which scenes are the best of all, the one in which Mufasa shows Simba the pridelands just might take the cake. Little Simba eagerly and insistently wakes up his dad, and the two of them head out to a cliff.

"Look, Simba," says Mufasa as the two sit side by side. "Everything the light touches is our kingdom... One day, Simba, the sun will set on my time here and will rise on you."

The scene is touching and adorable, and more than that, it's beautiful. It's no wonder that this is one of the most-paused Disney movie moments — the silhouette of the two lions backed by the rosy light of the sun will take anyone's breath away.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame — Greetings from Agrabah

Originally released in 1996, The Hunchback of Notre Dame follows the story of Quasimodo (voiced by Tom Hulce), a man who is rejected by his people because of his titular deformity. Quasimodo lives in a tower of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, where he serves as the bell-ringer and spends his days in solitude wishing for someone to share his life with.

At the beginning of the movie, Quasimodo sings the song "Out There" from the top of Notre Dame cathedral. The camera pans along the street below, and as it goes, we can see a man shaking out the magic flying carpet that Disney fans will recognize as being from Aladdin. If that isn't enough to make you pause, here are two bonuses: If you look closely enough, you'll also see Belle from Beauty and the Beast and Pumbaa from The Lion King.

Aladdin — Beastly toy

Aladdin is a charming 1992 Disney movie that follows a street urchin who discovers a genie (voiced by Robin Williams) in a lamp and has his wishes fulfilled — but things aren't always as they seem, and Aladdin must save his love interest Princess Jasmine.

"If the makers of Aladdin had their own magic lamp, it's easy to guess what they might wish for: another classic that crosses generational lines as successfully as Beauty and the Beast did, and moves as seamlessly from start to finish," said the New York Times. "Aladdin is not quite that, but it comes as close as may have been possible without a genie's help."

Although the Times' critic might have thought Aladdin didn't live up to Beauty and the Beast, the two movies were connected in another way. In a shot of the toys stacked up by Jasmine's father, the Sultan, a model of the Beast can be seen teetering near the top of the pile.

Some people take this fan theory even further and say that Belle is talking about Aladdin when she describes her latest read to the bookseller in Beauty and the Beast. That can't be proven for sure — but there's no doubt that it's the Beast in that stack of toys in Aladdin. If you're not convinced, just pause the scene and take a look.

The Little Mermaid — Wedding guests

Oscar-winning 1989 Disney classic The Little Mermaid has one scene that's chock-full of cameos from characters seen in the studio's other movies — so many, you'll definitely want to hit pause and count. During the scene featuring King Triton's entrance, four other Disney characters are visible: Mickey Mouse, Goofy, and Donald Duck can be seen near the bottom left of the screen. It's a quick cameo, though, since King Triton is moving so quickly — so in order to spot the characters, viewers have to quickly pause and peer closely. Future Disney acquisition Kermit the Frog is there, too.

You can even spot the Warner Bros. property Mr. Limpet in The Little Mermaid — he pops up near the end of "Under the Sea." A bit of a lesser-known character, he was played by Don Knotts, who starred in the 1964 live-action/animated hybrid The Incredible Mr. Limpet, about a man who is turned into a fish. Clearly, there was plenty of room under the sea for the animators of The Little Mermaid to show some love to as many Disney characters as they wanted.

101 Dalmations — Hey Lady

The animated Disney film 101 Dalmations first came out in 1961. About a family of dogs living in London that has a litter of puppies that Cruella de Vil, one of Disney's most infamous villains, kidnaps, this hit remains a fan favorite decades after its debut — after all, who wouldn't want to watch a movie about puppies?

A third of the way through the film, dogs all across London are participating in the "twilight bark" (barking to each other across the city). In this scene we can see Jock, Bull, Peg, Lady, and the Tramp — all characters from Disney's 1955 film Lady and the Tramp. Jock, recognizable by his collar, comes out of a doghouse; Bull and Peg (who were in Lady and the Tramp as dogs in the pound) are sitting in the window of a pet store; and finally, after a car goes by, the Tramp stands on top of a truck and Lady is on the street.

Moana — Oh (rein)deer

Moana is a popular 2016 animated musical about a Hawaiian teenager who embarks on a journey to save her people and find herself. According to Business Insider, the movie is "jam-packed with Easter eggs" — including one that incorporated a Frozen character and thrilled audiences who had been in theaters for Anna and Elsa just three years earlier.

As Moana starts on her journey, she enlists the help of Maui, a demigod who owns a magical hook. The hook allows Maui to transform into any animal he wants. During the middle of the movie, Maui uses his hook to swiftly transform from animal to animal. The transformation goes so fast that it's a blink-and-miss-it type of scene, but one of the animals Maui transforms into is Sven, the lovable reindeer from Frozen. The scene is fast and definitely requires a pause button to catch the reindeer, but the expression on his face is hilarious and worth the second look.

Big Hero 6 — A feloniously familiar face

The movie Big Hero 6, which hit theaters in 2014, is a superhero story about a robotics genius who lives in a futuristic city. The boy, Hiro Hamada, puts together a team of superheroes in his attempt to catch a mysterious masked villain.

In one scene, Hiro goes to the San Fransokyo police station to file a report. Eagle-eyed viewers will notice a "Wanted" poster hanging on the wall that features none other than Prince Hans — the villain of Disney's 2013 Frozen. This cameo was easily noticeable since the police station scene was featured in the movie's trailer.

But Hans isn't the only Frozen character in Big Hero 6 — others found their way into the film, too, in places that were a little bit harder to spot. According to Oh My Disney, a boat from Arendelle (the name of the kingdom in Frozen) and a shot of beloved snowman Olaf made it into the movie, too. Just keep hitting pause until you catch 'em all.

Monsters, Inc. — A famous fish

2001 movie Monsters, Inc. tells the tale of the biggest scare factory in the monster world, a little girl who visits from the human world, and what happens next. Oh, and along the way, fellow Pixar favorite Nemo makes a cameo too. At one point in the movie, he's hanging on the wall of Boo's (the human girl's) room. Later, Boo and Sully (the "Top Scarer") are in her room together and she shows him a few of her favorite toys, including a stuffed Nemo.

Here's the real kicker, though — when Monsters, Inc. was released, Finding Nemo wasn't out yet. At the time Monsters, Inc. came out, audiences probably didn't think anything about the little clownfish that popped up once or twice. Many years later, though, diehard fans of Finding Nemo are fumbling for their remotes to hit that pause button and smile at the sight of their favorite fish.

Tangled — A wheel-y big surprise

Tangled is a 2010 movie telling the classic story of Rapunzel with a few fresh twists. "When the kingdom's most wanted, and most charming, bandit Flynn Rider hides in a mysterious tower," reads the film's official synopsis, "the last thing he expects to find is Rapunzel, a spirited teen with an unlikely superpower: 70 feet of magical golden hair."

There's something else in the film that's unlikely, too. At the beginning of the movie in Rapunzel's tower, one shot shows a spinning wheel behind the princess. It's the same spinning wheel from Sleeping Beauty, the classic 1959 Disney movie. If you haven't caught this one before, though, don't feel bad — Oh My Disney says this detail is one of a handful of things "you only notice when you watch Tangled for the 100th time."

Rapunzel's tower has items that relate to other Disney princess movies, too — an apple (Snow White), a seashell (Ariel), a wardrobe and a rose (Belle), and a slipper (Cinderella).

WALL-E — Toy Story, cont'd

WALL-E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-class) is a 2008 movie about a lonely little robot left behind on Earth to collect junk after the human race abandons the ruined planet in search of a new home. At the beginning of the movie, as viewers are being introduced to WALL-E and his daily life, the robot comes home after work and the camera shows several items he's collected. If you look closely, you might see a familiar face peeking out from behind a couple of bowling pins — it's Rex, the lovable and anxious dinosaur from the 1995 hit Toy Story.

The scene is honestly a little sad. After all, WALL-E is the last robot left on earth. The planet is a pretty empty, lonely place. Did Rex just get thrown away to die alone? It seems like an injustice to the poor dinosaur. But at least he has WALL-E. As they say, one man's trash is another robot's treasure.

Pocahontas — swan dive

Pocahontas, released in 1995, tells the loosely fact-based story of Pocahontas, a Native American, and Captain John Smith, a settler. When the two fall in love, Pocahontas's father Chief Powhatan doesn't approve — and to further complicate matters, the other settlers are plotting to steal gold from the Native Americans.

At the beginning of the movie, there's a scene during which Pocahontas leaps off of a waterfall in a majestic swan dive, entering the water with only a small splash (she falls for over nine seconds, according to one viewer, and probably wouldn't have survived if she wasn't a Disney princess). Although not entirely realistic, her swan dive is beautiful. As a kid, it's fun to hit the pause button and see if you can catch Pocahontas right in the middle of her leap. Just don't try to recreate this scene at home.

Peter Pan — Come sail away

Disney's Peter Pan is a fairly old movie by now — the film came out in 1953. But the classic story never gets old. In the movie, Wendy and her brothers meet Peter Pan, a boy who comes from a place called Neverland where children never grow up. They visit the magical land with him and fight Captain Hook along the way.

One of the best scenes in Peter Pan includes the moment when the golden ship rises into the sky, whisking its guests away to Neverland. "How often do you see a ship flying in the air?" Oh My Disney asks rhetorically. The answer: only in Neverland. The royal blue velvet of the sky, the craggy mountains, and the magical ship with a trail of fairy dust streaming behind it make for a beautiful color palette and a lovely picture.

It's a pretty scene to hit pause and enjoy. We're betting the view is even better, though, from inside the ship itself.

Cinderella — Prime real estate

Disney's Cinderella came out in 1950 and has been delighting audiences of all ages ever since. The tale of a girl trying to escape her stepmother's thumb and then attending the royal ball with Prince Charming is a classic. But Cinderella has a second claim to fame, too — the castle featured in the movie is the same castle that forms the basis for Walt Disney Pictures' logo.

"Walt Disney Studios is one of the most iconic film production companies in the modern age," says Inkbot Design. And that acclaim is due largely to Disney's branding. Cinderella's castle was first introduced as part of Disney's logo around 1995; it was a simple two-dimensional graphic made of white lines. Over time, the logo evolved into what we see today.

Next time you watch Cinderella, it's worth hitting the pause button during the scene when we first see the castle to see how familiar it seems.