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What the disney movie UP really means.

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"TL;DR: Carl Fredricksen died in his sleep the night after he returns from court with the order that he vacate to a retirement home (as a result of the incident with the construction worker and the mailbox). Everything that happened afterwards represents Carl's journey through the Afterlife.
The first thing we need to do is disprove the whole floating house thing as that sets the stage for the rest of the characters. We already know that the amount of balloons Carl used to rip his house off its foundation and sail to South America was far smaller than it needed to be in order to accomplish that goal. So right away the idea of balloon-floating a house becomes unlikely.
We also know that other constraints would have made the effort impossible. Based on the information in the above article he would have needed at least 100,000 balloons, each three feet across. That's hardly something that a senior citizen on a fixed income could have afforded to locate, purchase, and have delivered in a few hours. Then there's the matter of the 1.5 million cubic feet of helium needed to fill those balloons; again, not enough time or money to locate, purchase, and deliver. And he certainly didn't have it on hand. At best, he could have raided the welding supply shed in the adjacent construction site for a fraction of the helium he'd need, but even so there's no way he would be able to haul all of those canisters into his house by himself. Also, there were only a few helium canisters outside the house, certainly far less than he would have needed, so where did it all come from?
But let's assume for a moment that he could have somehow gotten the balloons and the helium (and the string) into his house with nobody noticing. He gets his court order and decides to take action. He's got 24 hours at best — 86,400 seconds — to inflate and tie off his 100,000 balloons. Can't be done. The world's fastest balloon inflater couldn't do it, let alone a probably-arthritic 78-year-old man. And since all of his neighbors are long gone he doesn't have anyone to help him out, so how did that get done? Plus, we saw in the movie that he had all of the balloons covered in a tarp. How could he have secured the tarp down so well that all those balloons — theoretically enough to rip a house off its foundation — didn't also pull the tarp out of its moorings?
So all combined, the raising of the house represents Carl's initial transition from the physical world to the spiritual world. He "rises up" in the same way as people who have near-death experiences relate the feeling of floating above their body and watching as the doctors resuscitate it.
Russell represents Carl's guardian angel, or perhaps more accurately a 'spiritual guide' of sorts who is trying to 'earn his wings' by helping Carl with his transition. Russell has earned many badges and is very close to getting his final badge, thus "earning his wings". His final badge requires him to help a senior citizen. This makes sense; Russell's other badges were preparing him in various ways for the final test, which is to help a senior citizen into the afterlife. Once Russell earns that badge his 'training' is complete and he becomes a true guardian angel. Russell's innocence and devotion shows his purity, and the example he sets through that purity helps Carl see the error in his ways of thinking. Several times in the movie you see Carl change his actions in direct response to Russell's response/actions.
Kevin (the bird) represents a Higher Calling — a Muse, perhaps, or maybe even God itself. Something that Carl can aspire to that's beyond his own desires and wishes. Russell would be fully aware of what Kevin is. At first Carl couldn't care less about Kevin and wants to leave it behind, but Russell eventually shows Carl some of the better aspects of Kevin. Kevin's love of chocolate is a metaphor for the small rewards that are earned along the way of pursuing a higher calling. The fact that Kevin is rarely around when Carl needs him and often around when Carl doesn't want him to be is also indicative of a higher calling. A Muse-like inspiration rarely strikes when we want it to. By the end of the movie Carl has come to accept and protect Kevin, and thereby accepting his own higher purpose in life (and afterwards) even if he doesn't fully understand it.
We know that Dug's "translation collar" is impossible even in the context of the movie's reality so there's another clue that what's happening on screen isn't really happening in the movie's reality. It's just another part of Carl's transition. But Dug (the dog) himself represents a metaphor for Transition, the change from one state to the other. Dug was Muntz's dog but switched to Carl/Russell's side. Dug was the bottom ranking dog but became Alpha. And through the translation collar Dug bridged the gap between animal and human — in the same way that Dug is helping Carl to bridge the gap between life and afterlife.
Muntz is Evil, of course, resplendent upon a story of lies at first and commanding the Hounds of Hell. Muntz wants to destroy Kevin for his own glory and personal satisfaction in much the same way that Lucifer wants to destroy all that is good (biblically speaking). Carl's soul is the prize here; if Muntz destroys the Higher Calling then Carl falls into despair, and Muntz wins.
The house itself represents Carl's attachment to the physical world with Paradise Falls being Carl's perceived representation of Heaven. And with the house finally landing at Paradise Falls, Carl has finally finishing his transition and completed his greatest adventure, presumably reuniting with Ellie in Heaven."
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by on Dec. 29, 2012 at 1:15 AM
Replies (111-120):
melisca
by on Dec. 30, 2012 at 4:47 PM

I read the whole thing and some replies where you call people lazy when they say you are over analayzing a movie and I agree with them. I think its just a movie and there is no deep meaning behind it but if you enjoy it then have fun since it's your time and how you spend it is up to you. I enjoy reading the stories behind lifetime movies myself.  

PinkButterfly66
by Bronze Member on Dec. 30, 2012 at 4:48 PM

It was a cartoon woman!  Now could you please analyze the Road Runner and the Coyote; and Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck?

kbornman21
by on Dec. 30, 2012 at 4:52 PM
I surely hope you don't ruin this movie for kids.
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Basherte
by Silver Member on Dec. 30, 2012 at 5:04 PM

That's true. 

My son doesn't talk yet. Part of the autism. He doesn't even call me mommy. Yet he does give me hugs and kisses. He does listen to me(most of the time).

Thankfully, I am getting really good at telling what behavior is a meltdown and what behavior is a 3 year old's behavior. 

My son and I tend to communicate nonverbally a lot lately. Though we are also working on him talking. We are also working on potty training as well. 

I have a thread in the autism group about how proud I am of him with what happened the other day when the maintenance man came to look at something for us. He interacted with the man quite a bit and the man stayed for a bit longer than he needed to because he was helping my son with his step ladder (2 steps) and showing my son the power tool that he brought with him. I really like our maintenance man. 

Quoting AtillaTheHun:

My mom did the very same thing :D 

My youngest daughter will be 4 soon, too :) She cracks me up with her comments during a movie sometimes. 

I enjoy the conversation, too. Personal attacks seems to be the hobby of many women here. I don´t really get anything out of bashing and bitching at someone else. Then again, that makes a decent conversation even more enjoyable :) 

Quoting Basherte:

Yeah.

I won't do what my mom did (unless absolutely necessary) she would explain things as the movie would play. Making it almost impossible to actually enjoy the movie. Now, I understand why she did it. She didn't want us to be scared during scary movies. But it made it a little difficult to enjoy for the longest time, because all I would see is the stuff that my mom had explained. 

I don't wanna do that, unless my son gets too scared during a movie that I don't find scary. He's 3 now though, so I have plenty of time to worry about that.


Love the conversation, by the way. 

I've seen a lot of personal attacks lately. It's nice to know that there are some on here that don't do the personal attacks. :)

Quoting AtillaTheHun:

Oh, I certainly agree that you can use it as a teaching tool. No questions about that. Especially when kids are younger it is easier to explain certain things with some "visual aid" and they understand it a lot better. 

Quoting Basherte:

I don't mean interpret the movie yourself. I mean if the child would happen to ask a question about something that happens in this movie. or any movie really. 

I just watch it with my son because he enjoys it, right now too. But if he were to ever ask a question about something, maybe something that happens in that movie as well, then I can use it as a teaching tool. To help get the point across. Especially since my son who is almost 4 years old is non verbal right now, and is autistic, it would be easier to explain something if we have a visual representation of it. One that I find to be appropriate, not only to the subject, but to his age as well.

Quoting AtillaTheHun:

I think there are many different ways to interpret a movie. To do this in such depth can be interesting. Personally, I don´t have the time nor do I feel the need to do it. I simply want to enjoy a wonderful movie with my children. 

Quoting Basherte:


Quoting AtillaTheHun:

I´m not reading this. "UP" is a great movie, my kids and I enjoy watching it. That is all I need to know. 

There are a lot of things in that movie that can be used as learning/teaching tools... but the bottom line is that this is a deep movie for disney. It's also a very well done movie. I didn't read the whole post because quite simply this is a cartoon. If someone feels the need to get this far into a cartoon, maybe they need help.







AtillaTheHun
by Bronze Member on Dec. 30, 2012 at 5:11 PM

I don´t know a lot about autism. I know what you can read everywhere, yes, but I would like to think that is varies a lot. Do you use sign language with your son? I am trying to imagine how you do it when you say "nonverbal communication." Does he point out things to you that he wants? 

Isn't it nice to see that there are still people out there who feel that spending a few extra minutes with a child is not time wasted? The maintenance man probably doesn't even know what a big deal it was for your son to interact the way he did :) Everyone always seems to be in such a rush. 

Quoting Basherte:

That's true. 

My son doesn't talk yet. Part of the autism. He doesn't even call me mommy. Yet he does give me hugs and kisses. He does listen to me(most of the time).

Thankfully, I am getting really good at telling what behavior is a meltdown and what behavior is a 3 year old's behavior. 

My son and I tend to communicate nonverbally a lot lately. Though we are also working on him talking. We are also working on potty training as well. 

I have a thread in the autism group about how proud I am of him with what happened the other day when the maintenance man came to look at something for us. He interacted with the man quite a bit and the man stayed for a bit longer than he needed to because he was helping my son with his step ladder (2 steps) and showing my son the power tool that he brought with him. I really like our maintenance man. 

Quoting AtillaTheHun:

My mom did the very same thing :D 

My youngest daughter will be 4 soon, too :) She cracks me up with her comments during a movie sometimes. 

I enjoy the conversation, too. Personal attacks seems to be the hobby of many women here. I don´t really get anything out of bashing and bitching at someone else. Then again, that makes a decent conversation even more enjoyable :) 

Tennismom360
by on Dec. 30, 2012 at 5:19 PM

No because I feel strongy that Russel is a living character and Carl helps Russel as Russel helps Carl.  

PISCIS29
by Bronze Member on Dec. 30, 2012 at 5:25 PM
Aw shit ruin the movie for me will ya ?! That's dd's and mine fave movie. I find it very endearing. To hell with it I still love the movie.
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Basherte
by Silver Member on Dec. 30, 2012 at 5:28 PM

We tried sign language for a long time, he will use some signs, but mostly it's gestures or he will take my hand and gently urge me to either move my hand to my cup or urge me to stand up so he can show me what he wants.

He points at things or finds what he wants and brings it to me. 

Yes, it is wonderful that there are people out there that react and interact with my son the way that the maintenance man did. The guy knows that my son isn't all that social and that to interact with people is a big thing for him, but he doesn't know all that much about it. He does ask if something that he is going to do will scare my son, though, which is a huge thing in this house. It gives me a moment to get my son prepared if it is something that will scare him, and it tells me that the man cares. He does have a child or two of his own, but they are NT kids. (NT=neuroligically typical) Nothing wrong with NT kids either. I use that term to show that while my son may be different than those kids that my son isn't less than they are. I just know exactly what challenges lie ahead for my son. 

Speaking of which. My son already has over half of his personal pizza gone. The celeste pizza for one. He loves those things. 

There is a good list of things that he will eat, but for meat I have to get the frozen meal type meat. It's the only kind he will eat.

Quoting AtillaTheHun:

I don´t know a lot about autism. I know what you can read everywhere, yes, but I would like to think that is varies a lot. Do you use sign language with your son? I am trying to imagine how you do it when you say "nonverbal communication." Does he point out things to you that he wants? 

Isn't it nice to see that there are still people out there who feel that spending a few extra minutes with a child is not time wasted? The maintenance man probably doesn't even know what a big deal it was for your son to interact the way he did :) Everyone always seems to be in such a rush. 

Quoting Basherte:

That's true. 

My son doesn't talk yet. Part of the autism. He doesn't even call me mommy. Yet he does give me hugs and kisses. He does listen to me(most of the time).

Thankfully, I am getting really good at telling what behavior is a meltdown and what behavior is a 3 year old's behavior. 

My son and I tend to communicate nonverbally a lot lately. Though we are also working on him talking. We are also working on potty training as well. 

I have a thread in the autism group about how proud I am of him with what happened the other day when the maintenance man came to look at something for us. He interacted with the man quite a bit and the man stayed for a bit longer than he needed to because he was helping my son with his step ladder (2 steps) and showing my son the power tool that he brought with him. I really like our maintenance man. 

Quoting AtillaTheHun:

My mom did the very same thing :D 

My youngest daughter will be 4 soon, too :) She cracks me up with her comments during a movie sometimes. 

I enjoy the conversation, too. Personal attacks seems to be the hobby of many women here. I don´t really get anything out of bashing and bitching at someone else. Then again, that makes a decent conversation even more enjoyable :) 


SWasson
by on Dec. 30, 2012 at 5:32 PM

LOL, I was thinking something very similar to this.

Quoting morrigan914:

What the fuckity fuck?


ninipanini
by Ruby Member on Dec. 30, 2012 at 6:02 PM

 lol

actually up is just an opposite word, it holds no meaning by itself, so the title of the movie is just plain nonsense...

a lot like this 'disseration"

someone's been listening to the band Styx too much and has "too much time on their hands".

Quoting morrigan914:

What the fuckity fuck?

 

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