AskDefine | Define knickknack

Dictionary Definition



1 a small inexpensive mass-produced article [syn: novelty]
2 miscellaneous curios [syn: bric-a-brac, nicknack, knickknackery, whatnot]

User Contributed Dictionary



Alternative spellings


  1. A small ornament of minor value.


Extensive Definition

This article is the Pixar short Knick Knack. For the James Bond henchman see: Nick Nack.
Knick Knack is a computer animated Pixar short film released in 1989. It was directed by John Lasseter.

Plot synopsis

A snowman stuck in a snow globe (named Knick, Frosty's cousin, according to the audio commentary) wants to reach a pretty "Sunny Miami" knick knack at the other end of the bookshelf. He tries many unsuccessful but funny methods to get out of his globe, but when he finally breaks out he falls into a fish bowl. He is sad only momentarily, as he sees an attractive mermaid knick knack and immediately tries to run to her. Suddenly, his globe falls on him and traps him inside once again.


The film has been released in two versions, and each of these have been shown in both 3-D and 2-D.
It was originally shown in 3-D at the 1988 SIGGRAPH Animation Show. The original edition (though in conventional 2-D) was on the Walt Disney VHS Tiny Toy Stories, and also on the Toy Story Deluxe CAV Laserdisc Edition, which are both now out of print.
The film was completely rebuilt and re-rendered for release in theatres preceding Finding Nemo. In this version the girl on the "Miami" knick knack and the mermaid in the fish bowl have undergone a breast reduction, and the mermaid is now wearing a bra rather than just pasties, presumably to make the short more family friendly. This version is available on the Finding Nemo DVD set, the Pixar Shorts volume 1 DVD, and through the iTunes Store. A 3-D version of the "small breasts" edition played to the public as a short attached to the 2006 Disney Digital 3D release of The Nightmare Before Christmas.

References to Knick Knack in other movies

  • One of the books on the bookshelf in the film Toy Story when the toys are having a 'staff meeting' is called Knick Knack.
  • The snowman can be seen (very briefly) in a snow globe in the film Cars during the scene where Lightning McQueen is patronizing Radiator Springs' curio shop. Also, during the big race at the beginning, the flamingos can be seen in a pool of some sort in front of one of the watching trailers.
  • In 2007, a series of adverts released in the UK for BUPA featured the Knick Knack theme tune as their soundtrack.
  • In Toy Story 2 the snowman could be spotted very subliminally while Hamm is flipping through the channels quickly
  • The short is referenced in the Simpsons Movie: the dome scene as well as the jackhammer scene are a parody of Knick Knacks snow globe chaos.


  • Whenever John and Nancy Lasseter go anywhere on vacation, she always makes a point of buying a snow globe from that particular place. It was from this practice that the initial idea for the film was born.
  • This is the second time a Pixar animated film features toys that are alive. The first time was in Tin Toy and more recently this theme has been seen in the Toy Stories.
  • Bobby McFerrin recorded his vocals to a rough draft of the short, which had the words "blah blah blah" in place of the end credits. McFerrin decided to sing the "blah-blah-blah"s, and it was included in the final recording.


knickknack in Spanish: Knick Knack
knickknack in Italian: Knick Knack
knickknack in Hungarian: Nippfelkelés
knickknack in Portuguese: Knick Knack
knickknack in Swedish: Knick Knack

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

a continental, a curse, a damn, a darn, a hoot, agate, bagatelle, ball, baseball bat, bat, battledore, bauble, bean, bibelot, bit, blocks, brass farthing, bric-a-brac, button, cent, checkerboard, chessboard, club, cockhorse, cosmetics, cricket bat, cue, curio, dido, doll, doll carriage, farce, farthing, feather, fig, fleabite, folderol, fribble, frippery, gaud, gewgaw, giftware, gimcrack, golf club, hair, halfpenny, hill of beans, hobbyhorse, jack-in-the-box, jacks, jackstones, jackstraws, jest, joke, kickshaw, knack, knickknackery, knickknacks, marble, marionette, mig, miniature, minikin, mockery, molehill, notion, notions, novelties, novelty, odds and ends, paper doll, peppercorn, picayune, pick-up sticks, pin, pinch of snuff, pinprick, pinwheel, plaything, pretty-pretty, puppet, racket, rag doll, rap, red cent, rocking horse, row of pins, rush, shit, snap, sneeshing, sou, souvenir, sport, steelie, straw, sundries, taw, teetotum, toilet goods, toiletries, top, toy, toy soldier, trifle, trinket, triviality, trumpery, tuppence, two cents, twopence, virtu, whatnot, whim-wham
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