Here's How the R-Rated Baby Driver Was Allowed to Use G-Rated Disney Footage

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Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver is in theaters now and hopefully you have, or are planning to, see it. We recommend that. And afterwards, maybe you’ll be curious to know the real story behind arguably the film’s biggest laugh. We’ve got you covered.

This is a bit of a spoiler, though, so only read if you’ve seen the film.


In Baby Driver, Doc (Kevin Spacey) and Baby (Ansel Elgort) have an tense exchange in the lobby of Baby’s apartment. Doc is worried Baby will bail on the next job and Baby says to him “You and I are a team. Nothing is more important than our friendship.”

The line appeases Doc and the scene is over. That much is clear. What maybe isn’t clear is we’ve already heard that quote in the movie. Earlier in the film, Baby and his foster father are watching TV and they flip by Pixar’s 2001 Oscar-winning film Monsters Inc. At that very moment, Mike says the same thing to Sully. (In fact, every movie Baby sees in this brief scene, such as the 1994 Little Rascals movie, Fight Club and It’s Complicated, get referenced later. A very Wright thing to do).


Whether we realize Baby is quoting a Pixar movie to Doc or not doesn’t matter. What does matter is that near the end, Baby tries to use the line again and it doesn’t go as well.

The payoff gets a huge laugh and then it’s over. But behind the scenes, there was much more to it. Using Pixar footage, and dialogue, in an R-rated movie is pretty rare. In fact, Disney (which owns Pixar) almost never lends their work to R-rated films, which is understandable for such a family-friendly brand. However, at a Q&A in Hollywood this weekend, Wright (who wrote and directed the movie) said it was Monsters Inc. director Pete Docter who thought the call back was so good, he personally asked Disney to allow it. And they did. He subsequently gets thanked in the credits.


We asked Wright for comment and he not only confirmed the story, but sent the following direct message while suffering from a “heavy post tour cold.”


So now we can all thank Pete Docter for just for the excitement of Monsters Inc., making us cry with Up, and the genius of Inside Out, we can thank him for letting Edgar Wright use Pixar footage in his movie.

Baby Driver is now in theaters.