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The Disney Reference You Missed In Home Improvement

Ah, the time-honored tradition of the television crossover. It's what happens when characters from one show appear on another one, thereby linking the shows' respective universes, temporarily at least; think of it like the end of Ghostbusters, when they crossed the streams, except the results are usually a bit funnier and most sitcoms don't feature Bill Murray covered in marshmallow — though we wish they did! Who can forget the time Scooby and the gang showed up in an animated episode of Supernatural? While the passengers of the Mystery Machine usually do a lot less killing than the Winchester brothers, the characters all swim in the same monster-inhabited waters. Perhaps a less natural team-up occurred when Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and Booth (David Boreanaz) from Bones showed up in the titular town of Sleepy Hollow to help Ichabod (Tom Mison) and Abbie (Nicole Beharie) solve a case during a decidedly Halloween-themed installment. Heck, even Home Improvement's Tim Taylor (Tim Allen) graced the set of Last Man Standing to help out Mike Baxter (also Tim Allen) with some repairs. Admittedly, that last one is a bit weird.

But staying on the topic of Home Improvement — and circling back to Halloween — the producers of the popular '90s sitcom did their darnedest to pull off a crossover with characters from two different Disney films. Keeping in mind that both Disney films were animated and CGI hadn't quite reached the point at which they could render a realistic looking live-action Space Ranger or lion cub, we'd say they did a pretty good job.

Home Improvement goes to Pride Rock and beyond!

Of course everyone remembers the time Simba and Buzz Lightyear showed up on the set of Home Improvement to help tackle the burgeoning candy surplus in suburban Detroit, right? Okay, admittedly, this is not exactly a crossover in the classic sense, since the episode didn't feature the proper characters, instead giving us two young trick-or-treaters dressed up as the Disney characters for Halloween. 

But recall, if you will, that the voice cast of the 1994 classic, The Lion King, featured a young Jonathan Taylor Thomas as Young Simba. And, at the same time, keep in mind that the Toy Story franchise features Tim Allen as everyone's favorite Space Ranger. So when the aforementioned candy-seekers show up at the Taylor residence and Randy Taylor (Thomas) turns over some sweet loot to the costumed Simba and Buzz, you're witnessing a clever wink and nod at two Home Improvement cast members' projects outside the show. It wasn't the only time Simba and Buzz showed up on Home Improvement, though the other instances are not nearly as fun as re-watching Toy Story and seeing Buzz on screen with a Binford tool box in Sid's room, a nod to the hardware brand for which Tim Taylor worked on Home Improvement. No, seriously, it's true!