It's not shocking that Disney would create yet another film that features a child without a mommy and daddy, but Pixar's 10th feature film, Up, still manages to play on strong themes of marriage and fatherhood. Released last Friday, it pairs a crotchety old man with an obnoxiously chatty child to create both a tear-jerking and laughter-inducing film that sister site CT Movies called "a delightful, perspective-changing ride."
The first half of the film uses very little dialogue to show a beautiful picture of a husband and wife, Carl and Ellie, who dream of living in South America. Ellie works as a zookeeper while Carl sells balloons, and we see them live a full life filled with love for each other. But it's not the same happily-ever-after ending we tend to associate with Disney. We see the couple face numerous challenges, and they are never able to fulfill their hope of moving to Paradise Falls.
As 78-year-old Carl mourns his wife's death, a chubby 8-year-old knocks on his door to earn an "assist the elderly" Wilderness Explorer badge. Eager to be left alone, Carl shoos Russell away, badgeless.
Facing a court order to move into a retirement home, Carl instead ties thousands of helium balloons to his house to fly to Paradise Falls. As he floats peacefully on his way, he finds Russell on the porch begging to be let in. We become genuinely annoyed with Russell as he presents Carl with several challenges, almost preventing him from fulfilling his dream.
Carolyn Arends writes for CT Movies about the parallels of the characters.
Along the way, Carl and Russell also make some interior (but no less monumental) discoveries. Despite their seventy-year age difference, they have much more in common than they first realize. Both of them have ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more