Starring Ryan Reynolds, Octavia Spencer, Tracy Morgan, and king of Christmas classics Will Ferrell, the Christmastime musical comedy Spirited is a new take on A Christmas Carol when the man whose life is in question turns the table on his Ghost of Christmas Present and winds up giving him some much-needed motivation.
With a star-studded cast and crew taking on an iconic Charles Dickens story, the film leaves room for plenty of unexpected Easter eggs involving the original story, some familiar characters, and a hard-to-miss cameo from a Christmastime legend.
At the end of the film, when the Ghost of Christmas Present and his wife Kimberly are seen at their new house with their two kids, they live at house number 15, while a plaque is shown that has the number 1843 to indicate the year the house was built.
As random as the number may seem, it was used as an Easter egg for the film’s inspiration,A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, published in 1843.
Dame Judi Dench
During the fan-favorite number “Good Afternoon,” Reynolds’ Clint and Ferrell’s Present sing about how the greeting “good afternoon” was equal to an F-you back in Ebenezer Scrooge’s day. But it’s not until mid-song when the lyric, “Deplore them with decorum like you’re Judi bloody Dench,” is sung by Dame Judi Dench herself.
Clint and Reynolds both stop the song to remark, “Was that Judi Dench?!” to further elaborate on the British actress’ unexpected cameo as she disappears off-screen.
Ferrell, Anders, and Morris Reunite
Spirited not only stars Will Ferrell as another memorable Christmas character but film duo Sean Anders and John Morris created it. But what some may not know is that this isn’t the first collaboration between the three notable names.
The film kicks off with a woman facing the Ghost of Christmas Future as she sinks into her own grave before waking up on Christmas morning as a brand-new person, willing to play with the neighborhood kids in the show rather than stealing their balls.
The audience finds out later in the scene that this woman referred to as Ms. Blan, is actually named Karen, revealing she is indeed a “Karen.”
The Bus Lyrics
The second to last musical number of the movie is “Do A Little Good,” during which Clint and Present perform together in the middle of a New York City street in front of a paused bus and surrounded by bustling New Yorkers who join them in singing and dancing.
If you look closely behind Clint and Present as they perform in front of the bus, rather than the digital sign on the front of the bus reading its location, as the number progresses, it begins reading lyrics to the song they’re singing.
Patrick Page’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ Return
In Spirited, actor Patrick Page plays the head of the ghost performers, Jacob Marley. But Page’s appearance in this film may just be an Easter egg of its own.
In 2020, Page played Mr. Merdle in Estella Scrooge: A Christmas Carol with a Twist, making Spirited the second A Christmas Carol adaption for the actor to star in.
Tracy Morgan’s Reveal
Throughout the film, rather than putting a face to the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, it’s Tracy Morgan who gives the character a voice while his face remains hidden under his dark hood, portrayed by Loren G. Woods.
It’s not until the very end of the film, during the end credits’ musical number “That Christmas Morning Feelin’,” that Morgan’s face is finally seen, alongside the one of Woods, both dressed in Yet To Come’s ominous garb.
Roberto C. Fishman Pratt
When Present accidentally reveals his ghostly self to Clint’s co-worker Kimberly, and she asks his name, he rattles off that it’s Roberto C. Fishman Pratt.
Not only is the name Roberto C. Fishman Pratt an Easter egg from Sean Anders’ film Instant Family, but the actor who plays Roberto in that film, Jonathan Kobs, plays the cab driver in Spirited.
Not only do the characters come across the fictional Wickfield Plaza Hotel in New York City during the film, but they also run amuck in another fictional hotel called The Copperfield.
Calling the hotel “The Copperfield” was a clear nod to David Copperfield, another notable novel by A Christmas Carol author Charles Dickens.
Buddy The Elf’s Cameo
Possibly the best Easter egg in the entire film is when Clint and Present arrive at Clint’s Christmas costume party full of people dressed as various Christmastime characters like Heat Miser, Rudolph, and pink bunny pajamas like in A Christmas Story.
But the winning costume goes to the guy dressed as Buddy from Elf, who was memorably played by Present’s portrayer Will Ferrell. In the scene, Present accidentally bumps into Buddy, apologizing before saying he looks stupid.