Easter is upon us, which makes it a perfect time to search for hidden “Easter eggs” — and you can do so on your DVDs and Blu-ray Discs.
An “Easter egg” can best be described as a hidden extra planted on many discs in your movie or TV show box set collection. Generally speaking, these are found by pressing the correct sequence of buttons on the remote while in the menu screens, and usually not during the film itself.
Not listed on the back of the box, Easter eggs can be an alternate ending to a film, secret game, blooper reel, celebrity interview or music video.
Many movie studios believe these eggs are a treat for fans of the film who take the time to find them. And of course, these hidden goodies also help to generate word-of-mouth buzz for the disc.
Chances are, you have hundreds of DVDs or Blu-ray Discs in your collection, so consider eggs a fun excuse to go back to them.
The following are some of our favorite Easter eggs on today’s (and yesterday’s) DVDs and Blu-ray Discs.
Monsters vs. Aliens (DreamWorks Animation)
Pop the disc into your DVD or Blu-ray Disc player and then select the “Ginormous Extras” section.
Once inside, simply tap the Up arrow on your remote and you’ll see the words “Do Not Press!” illuminated. You know what to do — press it.
By doing so, you’ll access an all-new menu screen that leads you to Dreamworks-related movie trailers (How to Train Your Dragon), TV show and DVD ads (Shrek the Halls, Secrets of the Furious Five, The Penguins of Madagascar), video games (Monsters vs. Aliens and Kung Fu Panda World) and a backstage view of Broadway’s Shrek: The Musical.
Self-serving, sure, but fun nonetheless.
Iron Man: Ultimate 2-Disc Edition (Paramount Home Video)
From the main menu on the first DVD, select Special Features. Now highlight the words Main Menu at the bottom of the screen, but don’t press the enter (or select) button just yet. Instead, tap the left arrow button on the remote and a circle in the middle of the tuxedo jacket will become illuminated.
Press enter and enjoy a humorous interview with Marvel’s Stan Lee and Iron Man actor Robert Downey Jr. having a good time on the red carpet.
Family Guy: Blue Harvest (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment)
A couple of Easter eggs can be found on disc one of this cartoon parody of the iconic sci-fi flick, Star Wars IV: A New Hope.
Our favorite is a nearly three-minute cast and crew table reading of the second Family Guy parody of the Star Wars films (Something, Something Dark Side).
From the main menu, select Options and then highlight the entry “Resume Episode,” but don’t press enter just yet. Instead, tap the left button on your remote and some electrical charges will illuminate. Now press enter to be treated to the entertaining clip.
The Godfather Collection: The Coppola Restoration (Paramount Home Video)
Pop in the fourth DVD from this collection, and from the main menu, highlight the words Set Up, but don’t press enter just yet. Instead, press the up arrow button on the remote, and a Godfather icon will illuminate on the right. Press enter and you’ll see a clip of legendary director Francis Ford Coppola discussing his research on the mafia.
But it’s the fifth disc in this set that has most Easter eggs:
Enter Set Up from the main menu and press the right button on the remote. A globe will be highlighted, so press enter to view a series of clips from various language version of the film, including Italian and German.
Now, go to Galleries from the main menu and select DVD Credits. Once inside, keep pressing the next arrow at the bottom until you get to the end. You’ll be treated to a secret clip of the Sopranos trying to watch an “advance bootleg” version of The Godfather on DVD.
Go to Family Tree and select Sonny. Select Sonny again on the next screen which takes you to the family tree of Santino Corleone. Press the Left button on the remote to highlight the image of actor James Caan. Press Enter to read Caan’s bio. Press the left button again and then enter to watch Caan’s screen test for his role as Sonny!
Finally, enter the Filmmakers section from the main menu and select Mario Puzo’s biography. Once inside, press the left button on the remote twice and a dollar sign will appear. Press enter and you’ll see a short clip, in which Coppola asks Puzo why he wrote The Godfather.
Star Trek: The Original Series – Season 1 (Paramount Home Entertainment)
Star Trek: The Original Series has a few little goodies for Trekkies to uncover. They might not be hidden as well as the Easter eggs found on many other DVDs and Blu-ray Discs, but they still serve as a treat for fans of the groundbreaking show.
Insert the second disc of the set and wait for the main menu to appear. Now use your remote to highlight the red button at the bottom of the screen and then press Enter and you’ll be treated to a three-minute special effects highlights reel from the remastered version of the show.
Now insert the fifth disc in the set and wait for the main menu to appear. Use your remote to highlight the red button at the bottom of the screen and then press the Enter button. Now you can watch a humorous minute-long spot for Star Trek Remastered.
Lost: The Complete Second Season (Disney/ABC)
The mystery that has made this television show a water-cooler favorite also houses a few secrets on the second season box set on DVD and Blu-ray Disc.
Many eggs are buried here, but one of the best is on the seventh disc. From the main menu, select Phase Two, and then move the cursor down to highlight Sneak Peeks. Tap the left arrow button twice on the remote and a blue dot will appear on the screen. Press enter to watch a lengthy interview sequence with Evangeline Lilly on her involvement in the show, how she relates to her character, Kate, why she believes Lost is so successful, and what she likes most from fans.
There are also hidden eggs on Lost: The Complete Fourth Season – can you find them on the fifth disc?
The Ring (DreamWorks)
Arguably the scariest horror movie over the past decade, The Ring is about a deadly video tape that kills whoever watches it in seven days. OK, so the premise is silly, but good luck getting in a good night’s rest after watching this flick.
The Ring features a scary Easter egg, too: Pop in the disc and from the main menu, press the up arrow on the remote and the cursor will disappear. Now press Enter to be treated to the disturbing (and deadly) video tape from the film.
Even scarier is that a phone will ring a few seconds after being taken back to the main menu – just like in the movie.