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Pirates of the Caribbean Easter eggs you totally missed

With all their swashbuckling swordplay and high-seas adventure, the Pirates of the Caribbean films move so fast you'd be forgiven for missing the little details hidden in the frames. But between the movies themselves and the DVD and Blu-ray extras, the series is filled with more hidden gold than a chest full of pirate booty. Easter eggs, ahoy!

Mickey in the Moon

This Easter egg in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl can be found toward the end of the movie, after Will Turner breaks the Aztec curse. The pirates fighting on the Dauntless realize that they don't look like skeletons and look up into the sky to see if the moon is still out. The camera tracks up into the sky, and for a second, the clouds roll past the Moon. If you look closely you can spot a clear Mickey Mouse in the Moon's craters. It's what's known as a Hidden Mickey, a common Disney gimmick where they stick a likeness of their flagship character in unlikely places — in both films and real locations, like Disneyland.

Another alleged Hidden Mickey in The Curse of the Black Pearl shows up at the beginning of the film when Sparrow's cellmates escape from prison during the Black Pearl's siege on Port Royal. After the prisoners climb out of their cell, the camera shows a cannon fire, and the smoke from the cannon apparently forms the shape of Mickey's head. That one's kind of up for debate, but neither of these examples come close to the Hidden Mickey in At World's End.

Mouse Kun Map

One of the key plot points in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End is the Mao Kun Map, an ancient pirate navigational chart which shows the location of the Fountain of Youth and helps the crew of the Black Pearl escape Davy Jones' Locker (that place where Jack Sparrow was marooned with the rock crabs). The map used in the film is a richly detailed prop peppered with inked images of fantastic beasts, but one of those beasts is a little magical than others. In the lower right-hand corner of the circles is a full-fledged early concept Mickey Mouse. You can see it clearly in the concept art above, but it's also visible in the movie.

You have to pause the film to see it, but you can catch a glimpse of the Hidden Mickey after Jack Sparrow steals part of the map from Barbossa. When he's looking at the torn center section, Mickey's head is visible right above the torn shreds at the outer edge.

Disney in flames

And speaking of Disney's self-advertising policy, the studio also gave itself a nod in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. But this wasn't a Hidden Mickey. No, in this one Disney went so far as to burn their trademark font into one of the film's ships. When Elizabeth Swan pours out the word "Tortuga" in gasoline and then sets it ablaze, the lettering is the same as that used in Disney's trademark logo. Pretty impressive penmanship for an ex-governess pirate.

Keith Richards interview

Johnny Depp famously gave the Disney reps a few second thoughts when he first showed up in character on the set of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. His vacuous, borderline homosexual take on Captain Jack Sparrow definitely wasn't what the producers had in mind when they cast him for the part, but thankfully he stuck to his guns and the result is, well, Jack Sparrow, star of five films and a million Halloween parties. You really can't have it any other way, at this point.

So where did Depp get the idea to play it loose like that? From none other than rock icon and Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards. And in a hidden menu on The Curse of the Black Pearl DVD, you can catch an interview with Richards himself talking about the inspiration. On the Special Features disc, choose the option for the "Moonlight Serenade" Scene Progression. Keep pressing the down arrow until the skull's tooth turns gold, and select the tooth (press "Enter" or "OK") to watch the short interview.

Hidden content in The Curse of the Black Pearl

Keith Richards isn't the only thing hiding in your DVD menu. The Pirates of the Caribbean films love to lock away extras in their Special Edition DVDs. All four currently released DVDs have at least a few tricks inside their plastic sleeves. So starting with The Curse of the Black Pearl, let's check them out. In addition to the Keith Richards interview mentioned above, the second DVD of the 2-disc collector's edition has at least two eggs to find.

You can find the first one by going to the option for "Below Deck" and then scrolling down to "Set Sail." With the remote, press left twice. The skull on the cursed pirate coin will light up, and you can enjoy an animated storyboard laying out some of the pivotal scenes, like the battle between the Black Pearl and the Interceptor.

The next one is roughly the same process: Go to "Fly on the Set," and then on "Play All," press right twice. One of the skull's teeth will turn yellow, and clicking it will open up a time-lapse video of the construction of the cave on Isla de Muerta. It's definitely a must-see for film buffs.

Hidden content in Dead Man's Chest

Continuing the Easter egg format they created in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Disney stuck a few hidden features into the Dead Man's Chest 2-disc special edition, too. Use Disc 2 for all of these: On "According to Plan," hit left twice and then click on the leaf that appears on the top left side of the screen to see a short featurette about the film's catering. (It's more interesting than it sounds, trust us.) To see a hidden Easter egg about Davy Jones, go to "Creating the Kraken" and press left, up, up. The grass at the bottom of the menu will light up. Click it to watch.

Highlighting "Jerry Bruckheimer: A Producer's Photo Gallery" in turn lets you press left twice to see a featurette on a guy called the "Coconut Safety Man," and highlighting "Fly on the Set: The Bone Cage" lets you hit left, up, left to see a hidden feature about the prop department. In a prop-heavy film like Dead Man's Chest, that one's an extra treat.

Hidden content in At World's End

And we can't wrap this up without looking at some of the best Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End DVD Easter eggs. There are some extra special ones in the third Pirates film. Using the second disc of the 2-disc special edition, put the cursor on "The Tale of The Many Jacks," then hit left, down, down. Click the circle that pops up on screen to see how the filmmakers went about selecting the perfectly photogenic peanut for Captain Sparrow to eat in Davy Jones' Locker. Similarly, go to the second page, then Masters of Design, then put the cursor on "Rick Heinrich's: Singapore." Hit left and then down, click the circle that pops up, and you'll get a time-lapse video of the building of the massive Singapore set. It's pretty mind-blowing what went into making just that one part of the movie.

Finally, still in "Masters of Design," put the cursor on "James Byrkit: Sao Feng's Map." Hitting up two times unlocks a small feature about filming on the Bonneville Salt Flats, where the crab-rock scene in Davy Jones' Locker was filmed.

Nods to the original ride

Considering that the Pirates of the Caribbean films are based on a ride at Disneyland, the script writers had to pretty much come up with the entire story on their own. Some of the basics are there — it's about pirates, there are some undead skeleton pirate things, a bunch of caves, and that's pretty much it. But even though the characters and story we saw in the films are completely new, the writers didn't forsake their source material completely, and plenty of tidbits from the ride made it into the movies.

The first familiar sight is the dog holding the keys when Jack Sparrow is in jail in Port Royal. In the ride, guests pass by a pirate holding a bone out to an identical dog holding a ring of keys. Then, in On Stranger Tides, the scene in Blackbeard's bedroom is set up exactly like a part of the ride, all the way to the skull and crossbones hanging over the bed. According to Disney lore, the skull mounted on the wall there is the only real human skull in the ride. During another part of the ride, the boats float past a scene of pirate skeletons in a room full of treasure, and the Aztec chest from the first film can be seen in the back corner of the room.

And finally, At World's End features a fun nod to the ride when the Hai Peng reaches World's End and goes over the waterfall into Davy Jones' Locker. As the screen goes black, the sounds from the ride play in the darkness.

Following the success of the films, Disney began incorporating some of the film material into the ride, so it's difficult to pick out which pieces are truly Easter eggs and which were added from the film. Among other changes, the ride now features the Pirates theme song, Captain Barbossa, Jack Sparrow, and Blackbeard from On Stranger Tides.

Res ipsa loquitur

One of the best scenes in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End is when Jack Sparrow gives a rousing speech to the pirate council about why they need to "fight … to run away." Sometimes called the "Cuttlefish Speech," the monologue is poetically silly in the best Captain Jack fashion. But one line may have come from Johnny Depp, rather than Jack Sparrow: "Res ipsa loquitur," a Latin legal phrase that means "the thing speaks for itself." While it made sense in Jack Sparrow's speech, the phrase was also a favorite saying of Hunter S. Thompson, who was a good friend of Johnny Depp's in real life.

While filming Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Johnny Depp struck up a lasting relationship with Thompson, who wrote Fear and Loathing based partially on his own experiences. Thompson sometimes stuck the phrase "Res ipsa loquitur. Let the good times roll" in his writings, and he once invited a group of journalists to an acid-laced golf match by sending out invitations that consisted of a picture of himself with the Latin phrase scrawled on top. Was Captain Jack channeling Raoul Duke right when things were about to get heavy? It certainly seems likely.