Toy Story

Have you ever noticed how often the character string “A113” pops up in television shows and movies? You might not have before, but now that you’ve been made aware of it, you’ll almost certainly see it everywhere. The Simpsons, The Avengers, and The Hunger Games, not to mention all the Pixar movies. But what does it mean? Is it a code? An incantation? Is it the key to unlocking the killing potential of a thousand unknowing super soldiers embedded throughout the country?

No, sadly. It turns out it’s just the number of a classroom at the California Institute Of The Arts, which a bunch of alumni of the school’s animation program—like Brad Bird and John Lassiter—like to insert into their various projects. Christine Nguyen’s video for Vulture breaks it all down for you.

So, there you have it. The Strange Case Of The Mysterious A113 has been solved with a minimum number of innocent fatalities. What we still don’t know is why CalArts decided to number that particular room as A113. It might not seem like much unless you consider that if A equals 24 (the standard frame rate for a sound film), then A times 113 is 2,712, which is practically the temperature that jet fuel would have to burn at to make steel beams bend. Jet fuel—like the stuff that would theoretically Buzz Lightyear’s jet pack?

[via Laughing Squid]