When Cars 2 hits theaters this week, viewers will find yet another fake Pixar brand popping up onscreen: Allinol. We don't really know anything about it yet, but it's not exactly news that Pixar tends to create their own pet brands in their movies and sometimes, they even become little inside jokes (or Easter Eggs if you want to be proper) in all their flicks. Of course, they're so good at thinking these things up, that I find myself wishing most of them could be found somewhere in our universe instead of just on a movie screen. In honor of the latest addition to the Pixar family hitting theaters this weekend, we've put together a little list of our favorite brands, restaurant chains, and companies created solely for the animation giant's little world.
This is by far my personal favorite of the fake Pixar brands. Not only was it born out of one the best movies of all time, Toy Story (don’t cross me on this one, anti-Disney folks), but it’s this magical chain restaurant that marries two of the best things this world has to offer: alien video games and cheesy, delicious pizza. Sure, Disneyland has this weird “Pizza Port” rip-off in Tomorrow Land, but it’s severely lacking alien-themed slushie dispensers and airlock doors with automated alien guards. Besides the chain’s appearance in the Toy Story movies, the original Toyota delivery truck that Buzz and Woody hitch a ride on in Toy Story actually makes appearances in almost every Pixar movie – even in the far background on a Parisian bridge in Ratatouille.
This, like so many Pixar brands, is also born out of Toy Story when Buzz and Woody fall out of Andy’s mom’s car and are left a “huge refueling station of some sort.” Of course the name was reused and repurposed a bit (with a new t-rex logo instead of the original brontosaurus) for Cars, wherein Dinoco is the company sponsoring the Piston Cup and the company most coveted as a sponsor. Of course, as any Pixar trademark would, this logo makes appearances in other films, including on a lighter in WALL-E.
Al’s Toy Barn
There are more than a few things I absolutely love about Al’s Toy Barn. From the utterly unenthusiastic recitation of “Al’s Toy Barn” in its commercials, to the fact that the store itself looks like it was ripped out of Disneyland’s Toon Town District, to final clincher that it’s owned by the man who STEALS Woody from Andy’s house in Toy Story 2 turning it into some sort of evil corporation/lair, it’s kind of the perfect fictional toy outlet.
Okay, so this technically doesn’t work as a fictional brand because it stems from the lamps in Pixar’s first short in 1986, Luxo Jr. It’s named after an actual brand of lamps, but it spawned the most recognizable Easter egg in all Pixar movies, the Luxo ball. Even though this is more like an actual brand name repurposed as a nickname for a toy and inside joke, it’s so quintessentially Pixar that I couldn’t bear to leave it out.
Buy in Large (BnL)
This brand is one of the most thoroughly thought-out brands in the Pixar universe. The company made its debut in WALL-E as the large corporation that is responsible for manufacturing WALL-E. Not only was BnL a representation of how our own consumerism could potentially destroy our planet, but it was also a huge chunk of the marketing attempt by Disney. They set up a viral marketing website for the fake company (it now sends you directly to the WALL-E official website), so it’s not only an effective story-telling tool and a cute play on “by and large,” but a fully integrated marketing tool. It’s things like this that make me think Pixar is made up of invincible geniuses.
This will forever be one of my favorite fake Pixar brands – but as you can tell from the amount of gushing I’m doing here, I love pretty much everything about Pixar. Of course, this one first pops up in Cars as the brand of tires on Lightning McQueen. It’s another cute play on an existing brand, Goodyear tires, married with the coolest non-toy ever, Buzz Lightyear. Win, win.
Like Pizza Planet, Harryhausen's is another fictional restaurant of the Pixar universe, and yes, I want to go to there too. This is where Googlybear (a.k.a. Mike Wazowski) takes his Smootzypoo in Monsters Inc and it’s a super-exclusive sushi restaurant that serves hand-rolls filled with eye-balls, dished out by an octopus-esque chef, and an exterior adorned by a giant pair of chopsticks holding an eyeball. Seriously, why would you go to Nobu if you could go to Harryhausen’s?
Okay, this one’s only on here because the cute play on revolting and volts makes me giggle. It’s not a prominent brand like BnL or Pizza Planet, but it shows up wherever batteries are found (with a few small exceptions) throughout Pixar’s catalog.
Sea Meister Cameras
Again, we’ve got another brand that literally has a place on here because it makes me giggle. In Finding Nemo, the diver that finds Nemo uses a camera to take a picture of him (and stun the poor little guy) and that camera is a Sea Meister. It’s just the kind of cheesy, adorable Disney element that a Mouseketeer like myself can’t help but get a little chuckle out of.
Yes, I know this is the name of the movie. It's also the company where Mike and Sully work in said movie, so hold your fire for the moment. You can’t have a list of fictional Pixar brands without including Monsters Inc. The whole idea that there’s an energy company working tirelessly to send monsters into the world to scare children, collect their screams and subsequently power an entire monster city is pure genius. GENIUS, I tell you.