Disney (Wednes)Day: Up

I’ve been pretty excited about watching Up which was released in 2009 ever since I started this project. During the 82nd Academy Awards, Tina Fey read a part of the script for one of the categories this movie was nominated in and you bet your sweet little ass that I squeed like a manic when I saw the scene in the movie, finally. So let’s get started.

We see a kid with glasses wearing flying glasses in top of his head watching a black and white movie about explores, such as Charles F. Muntz. The little boy is a mighty fan of the explorer. Muntz went to South America to find some beast at the foot of Paradise Falls. Also, he has a thing for dogs, apparently. He says the iconic sentence from this movie “Adventure is out there!”.

As the kid goes home he pretends to be Muntz and has a voice over going while he walks with his balloon. On his way he passes an abandoned house where he finds a girl who looks like a Muntz fanatic as well. She is forward, wordy and a bit pushy, it’s cute. She invites the boy into her club.

The boy has lost his balloon at some point and while the girl, Ellie, pushes him to grab it, he falls through the ceiling and we see later, breaks his arm.

Cut to the boy, Carl, lying in his bed with a cast on his arm when Ellie pops into his window.  Ellie shows Carl her adventure book where she has collected pictures and articles of Muntz and has left space for her own adventures. She wants to go to Paradise Falls even though at this point, she has no idea how to get there. When she leaves, she comments on Carl not talking very much and he is so in love with Ellie, it’s adorable.


Fast forward to their wedding day and moving into the old house, fixing it up and basically a montage of their entire domestic life throughout the years. They are stinking adorable is what they are.


At some point, Ellie wants a kid and I don’t quite grasp what happens but U think she loses it or can’t have kids and she’s really sad but Carl puts her adventure book in her lap and that helps. They try saving to finally go to Paradise Falls but there is always something happening which requires them to break into their funds. I think this is such an accurate representation of common life it hurts.

Then they are old. Carl comes upon a kid picture of Ellie again, buys tickets for South America and wants to surprise her but Ellie has to go to the hospital. Oh god, don’t make her die, there is still so much movie to go.
Oh for crying out loud I’m sobbing. Shortly before Ellie passes, she hands over her adventure book to Carl.

Now Carl is home alone, going about his routine that was their routine and I’m still sobbing. We can see that his house is actually the only one still standing in a giant construction site. Carl is not planning on selling, I guess because this was his and Ellie’s house, you don’t just give that up after a lifetime together. Still sobbing.

Then a boy scout, Russell appears at his door, rattling off some passage from his scout book. He wants to help the old chap cross something but Carl isn’t having any of it. After a second try, Carl sends the boy on an errand because he isn’t going to get rid of him any other way. I think somewhere around here I stopped crying. Holy shit this movie is worse than Bambi.

Some time later, a big contraction machine touches his mailbox; the one he and Ellie painted and graced with their handprints so many years ago and Carl loses his shit, he hurts the driver. At court, Carl is declared a risk for society and sent to a retirement home. Ugh, fuck society.

While packing, he comes upon Ellie’s adventure book again an the next morning, when the guys from the retirement home come, a billionty balloons pop free above his house and sweep it off the ground, taking the whole house and Carl flying into the sky. This is awesome! He has even come up with a way to steer the house, it is utterly amazing and I want to heart this old man so much.

A while after he has set his course to South America, Carl hears a knock on his door which can’t be happening because he is in a house fling through the sky but lo an behold, there is Russell clinging to the porch rail. The boy was stuck under the house looking for whatever Carl hat sent him looking for, when the house started flying. Of course Russell has to come in and soon after he has learned his way around, lightning strikes which is of course even more dangerous when you’re floating through the air by balloon.

Carl tries to fasten his belongings together as the house gets rocked from side to side by the winds.

I expected them to die but they are alive and thanks to Russell’s GPS thingy, they are apparently over South America. Carl won’t believe it. They are in South America but land on the wrong side of the falls and also can’t get inside the house again so they, or mostly Carl, decides to pull the house to the other side.

There is something in the jungle, an animal on the run and it’s pretty fast. Lol what, it’s followed by dogs? How is that possible? There must be a master for them around, now I’m curious.

Meanwhile Russell has to go to the toilet, he is such a stereotypical kid, I like seeing him portrayed like this. In the jungle he finds tracks and being the boy scout that he is, follows them until he finds some sort of bird which loves his chocolate. Okay.

Russell, bird in tow, rejoins Carl who is less than pleased with the newest addition to their team but they walk on until they hear a human voice. Startles they go looking for the origin and find a god with a collar that turns their bark into a human voice.

Then it turns out the other dogs can also talk in human voices and IDK what is going on with them.

At night it rains and Russell and Carl take shelter under the house. After a while, Russell opens up about his father and ugh, my poor heart. I want to give that little idiot a big hug.

Then a LOT of dogs are surrounding them and what even? It turns out, Muntz is still living at the foot of Paradise Falls and he is the owner of all the dogs. I don’t know how the timeline works here, Muntz is at least 15 years older, probably even more than Carl and you can’t tell that from looking at them. Muntz invites them into his home and I don’t trust this guy one bit but okay.

When Russell mentions he has seen the bird and knows where it is, Muntz goes pretty crazy and Carl tries to manoeuvre the boy and himself out of the room but doesn’t succeed. From there, the dogs are loose again and Carl and Russell are trying to bring themselves to safety with the bird who actually makes the big jump over something the dogs can’t follow but the bird is beat after it and also got bitten. There it hears sounds of it’s kids and wants to go back. Russell tries to persuade Carl to help him reunite bird with its family.

Just when the bird is in safety, it gets captured by Muntz! Oh this arse. To distract Carl, Muntz sets fire to Carl’s house which makes the old mane stop freeing the bird which in return makes Russell really mad.

Carl and Russell make it to the falls but Russell isn’t happy at all and Carl realises that now he has a sad destroyed house alone by the falls. He looks again at the adventure book and it turns out he never actually flipped past the “Things I am going to do” page thinking Ellie left those blank when, in fact, she filled them with pictures of their lives together. Stop giving me hay fever, movie! At the end, there is a note from Ellie handing her book over to Carl for his last adventures. *sobs*

Carl realises a house is just a house but not necessarily a home.

Russell stole some balloons to go help the bird, so Carl has to throw everything out of the house to get it floating again and follow Russell. And he first saves Russell and then frees the bird. In the process, the house falls away and to the ground.

After all, the bird is reunited with its kids and our two adventurous take the zeppelin back home with them to tell the tale.

Cut to Russell being awarded another boy scout badge for helping the elderly. All he kids are standing there with their dads but Russell but fear not as Carl is fast approaching to fill that position and it’s super sweet. He also gives him the badge Ellie gave him all those years ago and I might start crying again just typing this.

The end.

Take all your Toy Stories and whatever Disney movies, I’m happy with this one being my favourite. I know there are still some to come but Up was exceptionally lovely. It didn’t feel so much like a kid’s movie but featured a lot of mature stuff. As sad as it made me, it also featured a lot of great and true things. The relationship between Ellie and Carl was one of the sweetest I have ever seen. They are one of the greatest love stories, screw Romeo and Julia and it makes me sad that I will never have that.

I don’t remember the last time I sobbed this much over a movie an dI’m pretty sure it beat out Bambi.

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  • UGH I’m crying just reading the recap. ELLIE! CARL! BOY SCOUT KID! And what about DUG????? The best dog ever!

    • It is all so sad but it’s still such a great movie!! Sorry I made you cry.