20th Century Fox
Just like certain experiences can make us experience déjà vu, watching certain movie scenes can give us that same uncanny feeling of having seen them before. Watching a film for the very first time and coming across a certain sequence or character that feels overwhelmingly familiar is almost like struggling to remember a word that's right at the tip of your tongue. But if you have an awesome memory and you've seen your fair share of popular classics, then you already know that many of these scenes were actually inspired by other films.
A few of these recreated scenes are easy to miss if you're not familiar with the movies that inspired them. And when most fans do recognize the connection, they tend to label the films as "rip-offs" of the original. They may seem like ideas that were copied at first glance, but not every similar scene is a "stolen" idea and not every director is just looking for a shortcut. For one, some filmmakers have openly shared how other movies inspired their films, and others have included their recreations to pay homage to another movie. Also, when it comes to similar animation in multiple films, production companies can definitely recycle their own work as they see fit (especially if it saves them extra time and money!). Check out which memorable scenes were recreated in other films:
Columbia Pictures/20th Century Fox
One of the most memorable scenes in Star Wars was when Luke had to rescue Princess Leia from the Stormtroopers. At one point, both of them were stuck at the edge of the gulf, but fortunately, they had a rope to swing over the chasm. What most fans probably don't know is that the scene was inspired by the fantasy adventure, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad. In it, Sinbad and Princess Parisa try to escape from the cave, but before they can get to the bridge, Sokurah uses magic to completely destroy it. As a result, they're trapped at the edge with hot lava flowing below them. The genie, however, comes to their rescue and provides them with a rope, which they use to swing across to the other side - just as we saw in Star Wars.
Warner Bros. Pictures
It's no secret that Superman's origin parallels to the original story of Jesus, so fans may not have been too surprised to see the religious connection when Superman floated back towards Earth in Man of Steel. Superman's body was in the form of a perfect T, as if on a cross, as he floated in space. But it wasn't the first time we saw this imagery. In Superman Returns, there was also a scene where Brandon Routh's Clark Kent floated backwards to the Earth with the exact same posture. Warner Bros. did an awesome job of creating a whole new film, but it looks like they didn't ditch every idea from the old one.
Buena Vista Distribution
Disney has recycled their own animations quite a few times, but the thing is, we rarely ever notice them. For instance, The Jungle Book included a scene where Mowgli walks around the jungle, stops at the edge of a cliff, and starts throwing stones. Disney reused that exact animation to create the ending for The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, except, of course, Mowgli was replaced with Christopher Robin. Only fans with awesome memory and attention to detail might've caught on to this one.
Though Beauty and the Beast was made over three decades after the release of Sleeping Beauty, it wound up reusing one of the most memorable scenes. In the end, after Princess Aurora is saved by true love's kiss, she and Prince Phillip happily waltz across the ballroom floor. That ending couldn't have been any dreamier, so we can see why Disney decided to recycle the same scene for Belle and her Prince when they lived happily ever after. Almost everything is pretty similar, down to the onlooking crowd and the floor pattern.
Warner Bros. Pictures/Columbia Pictures
Little Man follows the story of a little person and criminal, Calvin, who pretends to be an abandoned baby so he can retrieve a valuable diamond. Since the premise sounds so similar to Baby Buggy Bunny, several people have claimed that the writers simply plagiarized the idea. It also seemed like certain scenes were copied and pasted, including one obvious example when Calvin shaved on a stool in the bathroom while smoking. This was clearly inspired by the tiny ex-con, Finster, who could also be seen smoking a cigar and shaving while he was hiding out in the animated film. It may feel like a rip-off, but just to be clear, the concept of a tiny-sized criminal was created way before Baby Buggy Bunny got released.
Buena Vista Distribution/RKO Radio Pictures
If there's one thing that Disney knows how to do, it's save time and money. In yet another childhood favorite, they were able to cleverly recycle the movements of Snow White as she danced with her friends in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. If you carefully observe Maid Marian's dance moves in Robin Hood and compare it to Snow White's, you'll notice that their movements are exactly the same. You'll also notice a few of the other dancing animations were reused at Robin's party.
Dimension Films /Pathé Exchange
Jackie Chan has mentioned quite a few times that stunt performer and actor Harold Lloyd had a huge influence on his work. But one of Jackie's most memorable homages to the late actor was included in his film, Project A. He recreated the famous clock tower stunt from Harold's silent classic, Safety Last!. But though Harold simply hung from the tower, Jackie went the extra mile and actually fell 60 feet from it. Thankfully he survived the fall, but the stunt did leave him with a neck injury.
Media Asia Group/Warner Bros.
In Tango & Cash, the scene where Detective Ray Tango faces off with an approaching truck that's transporting cocaine is by far one of the most intense scenes in that film. He stands there confidently with his revolver and shoots, and when the truck comes to a halt, mere feet in front of him, the driver and passenger both come crashing out of the windshield. The opening scene is an almost perfect replica of Jackie Chan's face off in Police Story. In that film, he played Inspector Chan Ka-Kui, who stops a crime lord trying to escape in a bus.
AVCO Embasssy Pictures/Miramax
Since both scenes were done by the same actor, it's safe to say that this one was intentional. The late actor, David Carradine, played the flute in a scene from the martial arts fantasy, Circle of Iron. And 26 years later, he was able to recreate that exact scene as Bill, who shared the story of Pai Mei using his flute in Kill Bill: Volume 2. If you're curious to know, David actually used the same flute in both films.
Manga Entertainment/Warner Bros.
The Matrix is often praised because of its refreshing and original concept, but what many don't know is that the writers actually took inspiration from Ghost in the Shell, an anime cyberpunk film. That cool looking Matrix digital rain, or Matrix code, was really an upgraded version of the random green digits used in the Japanese anime. While they used flashing numbers and letters, The Matrix used numbers and what appears to be Japanese characters, which roll down the screen. The creators must've been huge fans of anime.
This is only the second of many examples throughout the film, but another that seems quite obvious is the scene where fired bullets hit a bunch of watermelons. In the anime film, Batou weaves through a crowded market and chases after a suspect. After making it out of the crowd, he pulls out his gun and shoots, but he misses and the bullets hit watermelons. In The Matrix, it's like watching the exact same scene unfold, except in live-action and with different characters. In the sci-fi film, we see that Neo is the one being chased down by an agent, and when they pull out their gun to shoot at him, they hit watermelons instead.
Rex Entertainment/Artisan Entertainment
Darren Aronofsky purchased the rights to Satoshi Kon's anime film Perfect Blue because he wanted to do a live-action remake of it. This project unfortunately never happened. But on the bright side, Darren was able to pay tribute by recreating this bathtub scene for his psychological drama, Requiem for a Dream. His film focuses on forms of drug addiction while Perfect Blue follows the story of an aspiring actress who becomes a victim of stalking. We're not sure if Darren is still up for doing a full remake of the anime film, but if anyone can do the story justice, it's him.
Dimension Films /Focus Features
This one happens in the blink of an eye since the fight is so fast-paced. But Bradley James Allan, who choreographed this fight in The World's End, used to be a member of Jackie Chan's Stunt Team. It looks like he reused some of the same techniques after he went on to be an independent action choreographer because these fights are pretty much identical. Some fans argue that it was intentionally included to pay homage to the true Drunken Master, while others suspect that the fight was just recycled.
Loew's Inc./New Line Cinema
In Lord of the Rings, there's a scene where Gollum, Frodo, and Sam spy on a group of orcs entering Mordor through The Black Gate. As they look from the top of a ledge, they contemplate how to get inside. But if you look closely at the group on the ledge, you'll notice there's a striking resemblance to a scene from The Wizard of Oz. Remember when The Scarecrow, the Lion, and the Tin Man went to rescue Dorothy from the Wicked Witch's Castle? Well, there was a scene where the three of them gathered to peer at the Witch's army as they marched into the castle, much like the Black Gate scene. Some Lord of the Rings fans have pointed out that there are several influences in the movie, so this was most likely included to pay homage to the classic.
When the Bride got surrounded by more than a dozen fighters in Kill Bill, it looked a lot like when Bruce Lee's Cheng Chao-an was surrounded in Fists of Fury . What's even more fascinating, though, is that their fighting techniques were also very similar. After they were circled in by their foes, they immediately got down on the floor and started attacking their opponents' legs. This of course, wasn't the only film that inspired Kill Bill, but it was definitely one of the strongest and more obvious connections.