An Animated Dissection: Easter Eggs and References within Star vs the Forces of Evil

Why do you do this to me, Disney? Just when I had signed myself over to being a full-time fan of your new series, you go and leave me and thousands more hanging for a month!

And so, I’ve had no choice but to come up with odd postings and topics such as this one…then again, the series is so new, that this might be one of the first rundowns regarding some of these things. I may be on the ground floor of a new animation phenomenon (doot-doo-do-do-doo!).

*Warning: the following post contains spoilers and episodic story information from the series. If you are wanting to view the show without knowing some of what is coming up, you might want to turn back now.*

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When we first encounter Star Butterfly, we see that she has blush-marks on her cheeks, in the form of hearts. While I and many assumed they were some form of make-up, it seems they are moreso an emotional extension of her character. We’ve seen them turn into hourglasses when she gets bored, and in worrying over her wand dying, they fracture, and turn to skulls.

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When I first watched the show, I didn’t realize an interesting artistic touch regarding the dimensional portals: each one is themed around its destination! For example, The Bounce Lounge dimension’s portal, has a blobby light ring, very similar to the cloud-like atmosphere. Regarding the Quest Buy store’s light ring, it looks like a shield, which is similar to the shield-like logo on one of their shopping carts.

My favorite though, is the one that goes to The Amethyst Arcade, with its phasing, cube light ring.

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We seem to be living in an era where there are all sorts of hidden secrets in some of the shows we watch. 5 episodes into SvtFoE, I have grown curious regarding a certain, little blue creature. We first see him hovering near Star’s parents as they see how she “can’t handle” her wand responsibilities on Mewni.


The next time we see him is in Monster Arm, when he quickly appears from between some pages of the wand’s instruction manual.


Just who he is, I haven’t the faintest clue…but he also figures into the pause screen (below) for the DisneyXD app’s game, Star vs The Dungeon of Evil. However, even here, there’s no name or ID.

Is he Star’s guardian angel, a magically-transformed Grandfather, or maybe like Aladdin’s Genie is to his lamp, this guy is tied to the wand in some way? I did pose this question to Daron Nefcy on Twitter, and got the following response:

starrefs6

So as it stands, I’m hoping as the season gets further along, we’ll learn more.

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A fun-yet-crazy moment came in the segment titled Brittney’s Party. One girl at school is such a fan of Star, that she wallpapered her locker with pictures of her (including one of Star in her nightgown!).


It seems weird…until it’s revealed that Star has done the same for her fangirl (who happens to be voiced by Star’s creator, Daron Nefcy).


Take note of the little unicorn-monster doll in that locker. Does it look familiar? Well, it’s the same one we saw in Star’s flashback to her youth, in the School Spirit episode.


Though by the looks of it, the stuffed toy had some repair work after its neck was ‘snapped’ by this lug of a royal guard.

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It seems the Echo Creek area is most likely being plagued by a few more missing persons reports than they’ve had in awhile. So far, Star’s presence has caused the disappearance of one student at Echo Creek Academy, 3+ football players from Silver Hill Prep, and a car load of persons (number: unknown) getting sent to another dimension, courtesy of Ludo’s goons.

Where did they go? Was the one student horribly savaged by the butterfly-monster-thingy Star created? In truth…we may never know.

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Being an ‘old person’ (well, considering I was born in 1980, I’m considered ‘old’ by the target demographic of the show), I was somewhat surprised that not many people got the references when Star accidentally turned their teacher Ms Skullnick into a troll. Some questioned the wild hair, let alone the gem in her belly-button.

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Unknown to some, this is a direct nod to one of the big marketing trends in the last 50 years: The Troll Doll! There was a time when these things were everywhere (even the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ‘mutated’ into them in one iteration of their action-figure line!). Word is, Dreamworks is currently working on a film based around the toys. And if you think I’m old…some sleuthing around the internet, tells that the Troll Doll craze first started in 1959!

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Watching cartoons growing up, it was sometimes fun to see extra little things the animators or artists did to push character emotions. On the US Acres segment of the Garfield and Friends cartoon, Wade Duck wore an inner-tube, with a little duck-head on it. The funny thing was, the head’s eye expressions almost always copied Wade’s! One assumes this was a fun little gag added by the series creator, Jim Davis. Even the comic strip versions of Wade had this feature.

A similar series of “attire expressions” happens in Cheer Up, Star. Star wears one of her standard outfits, an aquamarine dress, with a little “squid ghost” on the front. However, instead of the neutral look on the squid’s face as always, the animators have some fun with it, mimicking Star’s reactions. When Oskar Greeson finally calls her, it reflects her happiness… StarRefs23

…but, when Ludo’s Bearicorn minion interrupts her call, her anger comes out…and the little guy also gets a little cross.

These are some fun blink-or-you’ll miss them expressions, and a few more of them pop up during the episode.

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To someone who’s a little obsessed with California, some of the strange names in the show can be deciphered into their real-world meanings from The Golden State.

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Take this sign. These are obviously nods to three known Boulevards around the more famous parts of Los Angeles: Cahooga is a reference to Caheunga (pronounced kah-wang-ah) Blvd, Holliwood to the famous Hollywood Blvd, and Setsun,to Sunset Blvd.

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Cities often put signs in certain areas for a reason. Star really should have read this one to the right.

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In the episode Cheer Up, Star, Marco attempts to do a crazy stunt to cheer her up…but largely just causes a giant mess…which included the sound of breaking glass, and a small waterfall of water pooling down around Star’s bed.

Some might find this a little strange, and maybe seem odd that water would be pouring down into the main floor of Star’s room…but it actually does make sense!

Here’s a screen-shot from part of the interior shot of Star’s 3-story room, from the first episode, Star Comes to Earth:

As we can see, she actually has a large aquarium! Which would explain the water…though what happened to the puffer-fish and other creatures?…I have no clue.

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In Match Maker, we get to see Star’s test-taking results…which shows that she doesn’t quite understand human mathematics. Her F- paper just largely consists of scribblings.

Along with a happy dragon, it looks like she attempted to try and solve two problems…though it looks like “Love+Hugs=Bandaids.”

This isn’t the last time we see this paper, as it shows up in Star’s room in the episode Cheer Up, Star (see screencap below).

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Speaking of test-taking, Match Maker also gives us another bit of blink-and-you’ll-miss-it information about Marco Diaz. When he shows Star his A+ (with a smiley-face) test paper, we get to see that he has a middle name: Ubaldo!

So his full name is Marco Ubaldo Diaz…or, M.U.D. if you want to talk acronyms.

One thing that’s noted is when Ms Skullnick hands back the tests, Marco’s is the only one in the front row to get a positive grade…so I assume he’s at the top of his class.

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In Cheer Up, Star, Marco Diaz recounted one of his worst days ever. When someone makes fun of his Karate-Con shirt (“You kissed a ninja!”), Marco angrily grabs a newspaper to cover himself with.

Thanks to the magic of frame-by-frame viewing, I was able to see a little more of what was on that paper. Most interesting, is the name of it: Las Cebollas Times, which translates into, “The Onion Times.” Which makes one wonder…is this a little inside-joke towards the humor newspaper, The Onion?

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More fun with words! Guess the “mew” in Mewni, is a lot like the use of the word “Smurf” in The Smurfs. Given her age, I guess it’s a no-brainer that Star would have a book like this.

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Unlike standard license plates, the one on Brittney Wong’s party bus just has an emoticon smiley face. I guess we can assume her rich parents paid enough to make the thing possible.

However, the license plate does change to actual words for a few seconds.

When Brittney gets the driver to pull over and kick Star and Marco off, one can see the words “WOOHOO!” on the front plate.

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For the majority of the segment, the smiley face hangs on through thick-and-thin during the night…until the bus meets a crumpled end.

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When it comes to Ludo and his army of monsters, he seems to gain and lose them every other episode.

Case in point:

– Green pig guy: last seen picked up by a purple bull-thingy in Quest Buy.

– Lobster guy: last seen falling into a black hole, in Quest Buy.

– Two-headed red guy: last seen in the passenger seat of this elderly man’s convertible, in Brittney’s Party.

The two-headed red guy has been a major part of Ludo’s gang since the start of the show, so it does make one wonder, if after the Brittney’s Party episode, he made it back to Ludo’s castle or not.

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And that’s all I have for now. Maybe in a few months (when the show starts giving us more episodes), I’ll have some more things to point out…and maybe, some of the questions posed in this post will be answered.

In the meantime, kudos to the staff and persons who have worked on this series. Word is that Season 2 is currently in production, and we can hope that the continued adventures of Star Butterfly and Marco Diaz, will yield further weird and wacky fun (both up-front, and hidden within).

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About MWH1980

Growing up in the state of Iowa, one would assume I'd be enamored with pigs and corn. Well, I wasn't. Instead, I grew fascinated by many things that were entertainment-related. Things like movies, animation, toys, books, and many more kept my attention. This blog I hope to use to express myself regarding my varied obsessions. (P.S. There's no Photoshop involved in that Gravatar-I really am holding an Oscar)

10 responses to “An Animated Dissection: Easter Eggs and References within Star vs the Forces of Evil”

  1. Emmi says :

    What no “steven universe” references come on “amythest arcade” and the belly button gem come on

    Like

    • MWH1980 says :

      I’m not that familiar with SU. I’m odd in what I choose to follow (plus I don’t have cable).

      Like

    • Animelover 776 says :

      I totally agree but they show real evidence of gravity falls in blood moon ball; the light the eternal bronum dance in the ball is shaped like the hand on the journal in which I believe that the wired devilness is where ford got the idea for the shape on the journal. A less sane note that the dimension bill cipher comes from is toms dimension

      Like

  2. weirdgirl225 says :

    I am pretty sure Marco’s middle name is Waldo not Ubaldo because when i looked at his middle name i saw a W not a Ub. I could be wrong and I don’t mean to sound rude.

    Like

  3. Animelover 776 says :

    Have you seen the gravity falls Easter egg at the blood of moon ball?πŸ˜—πŸ˜—πŸ˜—πŸ˜—there was a gravity falls Easter egg in Clarence and a couple in we bare bears #been keeping up on my cartoons but also anime

    Like

  4. Julianna says :

    This is an awesome post! There are so many little details that I didn’t even know existed. Knowing that the creators take the time to add these details in makes me like the series so much more

    Like

    • MWH1980 says :

      I mainly saw these little things associated with the first 5 episodes that Mercury Filmworks animated on. When the rest of the season went forward, it felt like a lot of these little things fell by the wayside, as they struggled to find another main animation house to handle the stuff (word was that after working on Star for a bit, Filmworks had taken on more projects than they could handle, and they let Star go). Its a pity, as Mercury Filmworks’ style in those first 5 episodes, made me want to see so much more.

      Like

      • Julianna says :

        I had not idea of the reasoning behind the switch in animation companies. I thought it mainly had to do with budget changes. It’s quite a shame that the style and care that came from Mercury isn’t as prominent in the other animation houses (I hear it’s split between two different ones). As as a Canadian, knowing that a company based in Ottawa was in charge of the animation for one of my favorite series is really exciting- even if it’s involvement was short-lived.

        Like

      • MWH1980 says :

        Yeah, I think it’s a split right now between Rough Draft Korea, and Sugarcube.

        Of the two, Sugarcube seems closer in style to what Mercury produced, but it just isn’t as ‘elastic’ in how the characters move. However, Sugarcube’s style feels very close to being well-handled in how Star is drawn or rendered.

        I think Rough Draft or another studio, has the habit of making her cheeks look huge, or like she’s chewing on the inside of her cheeks.

        I have wondered about doing a blog post, comparing studio styles. Mercury’s work, was definitely one factor that made me want to see more…and it’s a shame they aren’t doing more in the series.

        Liked by 1 person

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