Why did Carl and Ellie break the jar every time they needed money? Wouldn't they just have to buy a new jar?
It's symbolic in the montage that their savings keeps getting wiped out.
What is the deal with Russell's dad? He's not even at the badging ceremony at the end. I get that Russell's parents are probably divorced, but Russell told Carl all the Dad's would be there.
His dad isn't around much. That's kind of the whole point.
Where did Muntz get the voice samples for the dog's collars? Unless he's scary good, those voices are even better synthed than the best real-world voice synthesizers (Alpha aside)—but even those need preexisting voice clips from which to work.
Once you accept that he created collars that can convert a dog's brainwaves into any human language, using 1940s technology as a baseline, everything else is small potatoes.
I always assumed that, once Muntz made those collars, that the dog's voices would be what the dog would sound like if they could talk. If that makes sense.
Obviously, Muntz built them with 1940's pulp science. Have you seen the gizmos characters used in pulp sci-fi back then?
I guess he could use the voices of the people who stumbled into his little valley.
That makes him even creepier than he used to be.
Maybe he built the dog collars back in America, or maybe he used old gramophone records for voice samples.
And moreover, where are all the girl dogs? If that pack's been self-sustaining since the 1940s, there must be females somewhere. Or do they just all use male voice samples?
Perhaps they're all off in a separate room and only used for breeding purposes? It sounds harsh, but Muntz seemed the sort who would think "oh, female dogs aren't as aggressive as males."
If Muntz was half as smart as he'd seemed, he'd know that that's bunk.
Or when each of the dogs died, Muntz found other pups and raised them over again. Like we saw in the opening, he was a dog lover his whole life. Also, I think there used to be some kind of 'Fountain of Youth' subplot associated with Muntz that Pixar abandoned, and they simply thought anything he did would be justifiable in that he was a great inventor as well as an explorer. Didn't quite happen.
Well, Ellie did mention that it is "a land lost in time". Most people don't really remember that part. Heck, I didn't even remember it until someone reminded me of it (I believe it was the scene in which she sneaks into Carl's bedroom... and don't read too much into that sentence.)
"A land lost in time" is just an expression to say it's been untainted by progress, it doesn't mean it's literally out of time
I kinda guessed that he only used male voices for all the dogs, regardless of their gender, so we ''did' see a mix of male and female. They're dogs. What are they gonna care?
I assumed Alpha was female, even after the voice change.
Because Muntz thinks that bitches ain't shit.
I always figured Muntz recorded his own voice for samples (because who else is he going to get to do it?) and tweaked the range to try and make the dogs' voices more individualized, but all attempts to make a female voice for female dogs ended in hilarious failure.
Hmm, I actually wondered the same thing while watching the film, and I came to the conclusion that there are female dogs, but we just never hear them speak. I mean, plenty of the dogs who we never hear speak could have been female - there's nothing to suggest they're not, at any rate. But the idea of Muntz being unable to make female voices for the female dogs never occurred to me. That may make a bit more sense.
How is Muntz so well preserved? It looks like he was in his mid-20s when Carl was barely even ten. Muntz should be at least twice as old as Carl, and yet they appear to be about the same age. Muntz as the villain also bugs me, as he's clearly after the bird but he doesn't show any sign of wanting to do her any harm until it became necessary to the plot.
He is, however, willing to murder anyone that he consider an obstacle to getting his bird (even if they aren't) - including a child. That's not villainous in your book?
Muntz was twice Carl's age when Carl was 10. The gap's not going to increase as they get older.
If Carl is 78, and Muntz was 20 when Carl was 10, he'd be 88. Some people age pretty well, especially if they take good care of themselves, as Muntz no doubt did all his life.
88 is still too young for him to have hung out with Teddy Roosevelt.
Who said it was Teddy? Might as well have been pre-war Franklin D. Roosevelt.
As for the bird, well.... a dead specimen's still a specimen, right?
Also, he himself implies that he killed people who came into the jungle because he was so paranoid about other people finding "his" bird. Regardless of how he wanted to use Kevin, he was clearly out of his frickin' gourd.
He also tries to kill Carl and Russell a few times. He's the villain more because he's homicidally insane than because he wants to capture/kill a mama bird. (See also the Moral Event Horizon area of the main page.)
I think he was just so damned determined that it kept him spry. I think we're also supposed to assume a guy who can make dogs talk can also figure out how to slow aging or something.
The reason Muntz is the villain-figure is because he was so focused on rectifying something in the past that he grew insane. He's actually a nice guy, as long as you don't try to steal "his" bird, just how Carl is overprotective of his treasures of Ellie. The difference, of course, is that Carl moved on, and Muntz didn't.
It'd be wrong to take the bird because she has babies, and do you think he'd bring her back once he was done with her? And her species seems to be rare.
How, exactly, is it wrong to take a Mama Bird? It wouldn't be good for the little birdlets, but that does not automatically make it Wrong. Birds aren't people.
You're a monster, and you're going straight to hell.
It's a * very* rare species, killing one would be extremely frowned upon, or even might constitute a crime. On the other hand, he was so obsessed with capturing it, he was willing to murder other people. Even children.
According to The Art of Up, Muntz's age is calculated to be in his late 90s or early 100s. They were originally going to have some kind of Fountain of Youth storyline, where he would eat Kevin's eggs to stay young but that idea was scrapped.
The IMDB answers this one. It was said Muntz was also working on an elixir that slowed the aging process. Kinda lame, but just go with it.
Ellie said that Paradise Falls was "a land lost in time". It has some kind of magical influence, which is how Muntz aged slowly and maintained good health. Just look at Carl in the beginning of the film: he has difficulty getting out of bed, getting down stairs, even just walking and running. As he spends more time in Paradise Falls, he gradually gets stronger and more fit. I mean, he sleeps on a * rock* and doesn't suffer any pain from it like he got from sleeping in a normal bed back home; he abandons his cane and seems to get along fine without it; he was running and climbing all over that zeppelin, even hanging off a ladder by one hand when he couldn't even get down stairs before! Clearly, there's something going on in Paradise Falls.
I'd dispute the validity of that statement, but your statements about his dramatic increase in health can't really be explained any other way.
Carl's about 10 in the intro, right? Muntz looks fairly young in that film reel, so let's say he's mid-20's. Presuming that intro was in the 40's and the rest of the film takes place in the 2000s, that makes Carl 70 and Muntz about 85. Old, but not incredibly old.
So, how was Carl planning to get back from Paradise Falls when his balloons ran out (unless he was staying there full-time, in which case how would he have food?)
Who said he was? Someone theorized on the WMG page that he intended to die there, that after what happened with the Corrupt Corporate Executive there was nothing left for him so he wanted to finally have his adventure, then join Ellie. Makes sense to me.
Why didn't Carl and Ellie go to Paradise Falls on their honeymoon? Where else would they possibly have chosen?
It's possible they didn't have the money for it at the time, as seen later on with the jar.
Apparently their honeymoon consisted of repairing their then-uninhabitable house (as they were still wearing their tux and dress in the first Hard Work Montage with the house). No wonder it was so important to Carl...
Given that they both had to work, and were using loose change to save up for Paradise Falls, and they had to keep breaking into their Paradise Falls fund to pay for stuff, it seems that they were very probably dirt poor. Thus, as the above troper noted, their honeymoon was repairing the house. Actually (although maybe it was because I had seen this the day before), it reminded me of It's a Wonderful Life more than anything, because the exact same thing happens.
Fridge Brilliance : Carl's job isn't exactly high-paying and there's no indication that Ellie had a job other than "occupation : housewife". They were able to buy the house because it had been long-abandoned, and keep it up, save money and have a middle-class lifestyle on Carl's income because there were never any kids.
She had a job! She worked in the zoo in the South American Exhibit at the zoo! Carl sold his balloons in front of it! Watch the Married Life Montage again.
It was strongly implied that Ellie was an ornithologist. They probably spent all of their money putting her through college and repairing their house.
All of the dogs have been living in South America for generations, so how do any of them know what a squirrel is or why they would chase them?
Maybe chasing/hating squirrels is just hardwired into their doggy brains. It could be that they call any small animal SQUIRREL! like Kasper Hauser initially called all animals "horse".
For what it's worth, I interpreted it as SQUIRRELS being one of those hardwired dog things that all dogs know and do if they want to be called dogs at all. Just like they should know how to POINT!, run after tennis balls and that anyone with a cap on their head is a mailman (though I'm puzzled as to why, having established this, the dogs didn't try to bite him or the seat of his pants, since that's what dogs have done to mailmen since times immemorial).
Translation Convention. What they're actually thinking is more along the lines of INSERT SMALL SOUTH AMERICAN RODENT HERE!
There's a new short on the DVD where Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Dug are talking, and Alpha suddenly says, "Squirrel!" and they all look in different directions... suddenly, I'm lead to think the dogs shouting squirrel is a way for them to have a free moment to do whatever...
They also shouldn't know what a mailman is. If a mailman did show up in their little lair, Muntz would have killed him. Maybe one of the pilot hats belongs to some unfortunate South American airmail bush pilot?
I figured they were saying, "Male man." Or maybe, the closest thought to "man" in a dog's brain comes out as "mailman?" Could even be a bug in Muntz's translators.
Muntz is a westerner, and a pioneer in the translation of dog-thought-to-English. I'd wager he was tinkering with the technology as the days go on, and perhaps thought that the thought as originally expressed should be more concise. Also, Rule of Funny.
I thought it could have been 'male man', but the subtitles list it as 'mailman'.
Something that bugged me in the opening scene, just after Ellie and Carl decide they're ready for children - did Ellie have a miscarriage or was she simply unable to have children? The scene with them setting up a nursery seems to imply that she was pregnant - you don't usually build the nursery when you're just trying. On the other hand, miscarriages usually happen in a hospital and the bad news was delivered in the doctor's office. Plus she never * looked* pregnant. Hence why it bugs me - it could be read either way. Is there a director's note or something to clarify?
A miscarriage isn't the same as a stillbirth. When my mom miscarried when I was 10, she was never hospitalized, and it happened before she was showing. I'm pretty sure Ellie miscarried, possibly from some condition that made it medically dangerous for them to try having kids again.
On the other hand, I had two "hospital" miscarriages and three "home" miscarriages, it depends on the length of time of fetal development.
Well, technically speaking there is nothing to stop them from decorating a nursery while just trying. The idea of failing might simply not have occurred to them.
There could be any number of reasons why they couldn't try again, like a mistake by the doctor, Ellie being unable to give live birth, etc. It doesn't matter, all that does is that they couldn't.
While for plot purposes, it doesn't really matter, it does, for me, affect my interpretation of the level of tragedy of the scene in question and just how significant Carl's reaction to this is for Ellie. It's not a problem I have with the movie - simply something I'm kinda curious about.
A close friend had a miscarriage due to an ectopic prenancy, which is when the fertilized egg attaches itself to the fallopian tube. This meant that she also lost her left ovary. She still can be preganant in the other one, only harder, but if she had any issue, previous or otherwise, with the other ovary, she would not be able to get pregnant at all. Plus, my sister had to try 7 years and a great number of miscarriages due to a number of issues between her and her husband. If it wasn't for very expensive treatments and in vitro fertilizations, both which were not accessible to Ellie and Carl, she would not be able to have children at all.
A pregnancy can be confirmed pretty early on and there are regular check-ups/scans on mothers to be. Someone can be pregnant enough to know that they are going to have a baby but it doesn't show physically (apart from them being very hormonal and missed periods) then go for a check-up or scan to discover that the embryo is dead. It is very sad, because some couples start preparing as soon as the doctor confirms that they are expecting. Or it is also a dangerous pregnancy (ectopic pregnancy etc) and that means they can't/shouldn't conceive again.
Having a mom who worked in a hospital and a doctors office (at different times) I can tell you it looked like a hospital, sparsely decorated walls, the look of the hallway and the equipment in the room, the lighting all of it has that cold feeling that try as they might a hospital staff can't get rid of. Time of day is harder to pin down but the slightly dimmed hallway lights and the lack of anyone (that I recall) walking by during the scene says graveyard shift to me so not a routine visit.
Submarines will switch to red light when it is supposed to be night. They would probably dim the lights a bit in deference to the employee's circadian rhythm (and power bills).
As for "not looking pregnant" - Well, I'm 25 weeks pregnant at the time of writing, and I STILL don't look pregnant! (To put it in perspective for those who don't know, an average pregnancy is 40 weeks)
Having had four miscarriages, I can attest that one generally wouldn't go to the hospital for them, and they often happen long before you would "look pregnant" (mine were all between 7-13 weeks along and I never did). That scene as a depiction of a miscarriage, therefore, works pretty well. At the same time I can see why Pixar would want it to be a bit ambiguous, so that parents could simply tell young children 'they couldn't have a baby'.
Sadly, this scene invokes Occam's Razor. First, the entirety of the scene uses nonverbal cues to clue the viewer in on what is going on. They never show Ellie with a pregnancy bump, and in order to assume she is pregnant, you'd have to also assume that for some reason, they have abandoned the non-verbal cues concept, specifically for that 6 seconds. You would then have to make the logical leap to her being pregnant, in order to think she had lost the baby. Comparatively, if you go with the concept of only taking what the scene actually shows, it makes far more sense that she was informed of being barren. As many who have commented on this already have attested, you don't stop trying to have a baby after one miscarriage.
Unless that miscarriage leaves you unable to have children afterwards.
Actually, I find the whole team of writers and animators managed to make an amazing job on this scene. It's left to us to interpret what happened there. If they had mentioned "miscarriage", "sterile", "abortion" or any other big word, children would be upset, and parents would be upset (rightly so) for having to explain such a concept to a young one (specially if they had mentioned it wasn't their first try). Now, while we adults can understand the sort of thing that happened and why is such a touching scene, it's not the same for children, whose parent will need to address what happened there.
Everyone keeps saying she didn't have another one for medical reasons, but it could have been just because she didn't WANT to. I mean, see this from her perspective; you got pregnant on your first try, you made up the nursery, you got everything ready, and it died. I think Ellie would have not wanted to try anymore because she would be afraid it'd die again.
That's horribly out-of-character for Ellie. She's shown to have a sort of eternal optimism. She wouldn't just give up like that, not unless she absolutely had to. Her final message to Carl is basically telling him to go out and enjoy life instead of wallowing in grief. In short, Ellie isn't the type to let one failure, no matter how crushing it is, keep her down.
This isn't like failing to build or create something right the first time, and that she just needs practice or something. This was a baby, a life that she wanted to bring into the world, raise, love, ect. And she lost it. Even the most confident people can have world-shaking and confidence-breaking moments.
Actually, This tropette has something to say in the regards to Ellie's pregnancy and possible miscarriage, if one considers the fact that she died while in her seventies, at the time she had conceived (which had to have been in the fifties and sixties, as their clothing style may suggest) it wasn't that uncommon to miscarry and be diagnosed as infertile and they didn't really have the technology at that point to really say if that is what it was and who's to really say they haven't tried more than once? Given how health care was starting to improve at this time it could be likely or it could be that they were preparing the nursery before hand (as some often do before they have said child, just as they would with naming, you know, planning ahead) and then discovered that she was infertile, neither of those are outside of that realm of possibility or it could be both, given the fact that if the miscarriage was traumatic enough it could destroy any other chances of conception as it wasn't unheard of at the time, being that obsterics were pretty far from perfect.
The balloon physics in the movie really annoyed me. First off, when they are in flight in the beginning, the house seems to hover rather than just go straight up. And when they are in flight, none of the balloons seem to be at all affected by the high altitude pressure.
The balloons? What about Carl or Russel? They weren't affected either. Plus, when you get that high into the sky, doesn't it get a little cold? You never see Carl or Russel shivering, from what I remember.
Also, how can Carl control the ascent and descent of the house in the final battle? With the Rudders?
The most egregious physics of the movie was not actually that balloons can lift a house- for animation purposes, the balloons were made about twice Carl's size (larger diameter= exponentially greater lifting force= fewer balloons needed to lift it), it was that an unpowered balloon can catch up with a moving Zeppelin. It's not like boats, in which a sailboat can catch up to a motorboat- there is no keel or tacking ability, they are suspended entirely in the air and are 100% dependent on wind currents. Without a headwind or tailwind, a Zeppelin cruises at 75 mph and can hit 85. With the same headwind or tailwind affecting both of them, it is impossible for a balloon to catch up to a Zeppelin.
It's Pixar, so they did do the research. They just realized there was no way the real physics would work and decided to let it go for the sake of the plot.
One of the DVD extras directly addresses this. They did the math and found out that it would take more than 12 million balloons and be totally unrenderable. Director Peter Doctor said, "Ok, then just make it look like a whole lot of balloons." (There were just over 20,000 in the final renders.)
The real problem is where he got all the balloons, and why they didn't lift the house until he "released" them (If the whole house doesn't weigh them down, a tarp or something definitely wouldn't either). As far as lifting the house using a large (but still terribly undersized) amount of balloons, it works for me, at least. Not like anyone would actually be able to accurately count the balloons. I don't have a lot of physics knowledge, but just the fact that the cluster of balloons is so much bigger than the house does it for me. And even if I did notice the blatant impossibility, I am a fan of animation and it's quite obvious that 90% of every animated work ever created has some degree of "cartooniness" to it. I see it as "large amounts of balloons could eventually lift up anything," not "there's about 11,980,000 too few balloons." If that doesn't do it, then MST3K Mantra.
He's a balloon salesman he might know how to buy them in bulk, and my best explanation for the second question would be either he blew up the balloons quickly or he was anchored down.
What about the tensile strength of the strings holding the balloons to the house? If the line is strong enough to lift a HOUSE, how does a damn house key cut through it?
That bit is fairly realistic. Tensile strength is not at all the same as resistance to cutting. A rope that can hold hundreds or thousands of pounds might be easily parted by a sharp edge, especially when under load. (And FWIW it looked to me like he was using a razor blade to cut the strings.)
Where the hell are Russell's parents? I mean, so what if they're separated, why didn't they seem to notice or even care that Russel was missing for such a long time? All we get to see of his parents is a bit of his mom enthusiastically clapping when he graduates to Senior Wilderness Explorer and that's right after he and Carl land. She's not even a bit concerned.
Well, obviously his dad doesn't really care what happens to him, and judging from the lines "Let's play a game: who can stay quiet the longest." "Oh, my mom loves that game!" his mom would have been happy not having her little boy hassling her for a while. Though that doesn't explain why she doesn't seem too worried after at least three days...then again, we don't get to see what happens back in the city. Maybe she called 911. And we don't get to see the police because seriously, I doubt they'd think he'd be in South America.
"...we don't get to see what happens back in the city." Call this Canon Discontinuity, but Pixar did make this: 
Even still, you'd think she'd be a bit furious at Carl for not returning him sooner or contacting her.
She was initially angry, but then got hypnotized by Dug's adorable-ness.
Well, it really wasn't Carl's fault. He did try and return Russell immediately after he realized he was in the house, but the storm screwed things up. They could have told her the truth and used the ginormous dirigible and pack of talking dogs to back up their story.
If we work on the assumption that Russell's Mom is a divorcee, she's probably also a working mom, and wouldn't even know Russell was missing until she got home that evening and noticed he wasn't there — and by that time, he was halfway to South America already.
Maybe she thought he had gone to his Dad's for something, but she didn't want to talk to her ex-husband about it because he's a f*** tard.
Russell's family situation is intentionally left vague, Phyllis could be his older sister for all we know, Carl is not the type to pry so we never find out and it is ultimately not important. And as for why she is not mad, she probably was at first but figured he made it out alive and got a surrogate father so let it slide on the condition it never happens again.
After thinking about it for a bit, this is what I've come up with: Russell's parents are divorced because his father cheated on his mother. In the divorce his mom got custody, but Russell goes to live with his dad on the weekends. The time spent in South America was when he was supposed to be with his father, but his father didn't even notice he left to get a Wilderness Explores badge and never came back.//
Which would make his a terrible father.
For an old man with a bad back, Carl sure is spry, he can climb an horizontal ladder from below, he's capable of holding up Kevin, Dug and Russel and the length of a full garden hose and its steel wheel (which must not be too light either).
Muntz for that matter too (although it's more plausible in his case).
Carl and Muntz's old age is only played up when it's semi-relevant to the Rule of Funny.
How did Russel get on the house's front porch? When the house is taking off, and the retirement home orderlies turn to face it, you can clearly see there's no one on the front porch. When the house is seen flying later (before Russel's let into the house), the porch is still clearly empty.
I'm pretty sure he mentioned crawling under the porch, so I guess he had to crawl up it again when the house took off.
Russell explicitly says he tracked the snipe under Carl's house.
Rule Of Story and Rule of Funny. The audience isn't supposed to know that Russell is with him, and to see him actually under the porch would be a dead giveaway.
That raises the question of why he didn't let go when the house started rising. In fact, why would he be clinging to it like that in the first place? Was his reaction to the house rising off the ground to grab onto it?
Sadly, there have been a few tragedies where even trained crewman grab on to landing lines for aircraft and are whisked up into the air by accident- the instinct to hold on is so strong, you're at a fatal height before you even realize what's happening. This happened to the USS Akron before.
The title is too short to look up on this website's search engine. That bugs me.
Rare instance where that doesn't work, "Pixar Up Tv Tropes" doesn't work as well as additional redundant attempts to narrow down, finding the Pixar article and linking from there is pretty much the only way an average joe could be expected to find these pages
As of December, I found it as the second entry using the website's search engine...
Wanna know how I found it? Just edit the Wiki Sandbox, put in the title, click on it from the preview window, and cancel edit. Tadaa!
If you're going to go to that much trouble, you might as well just go to the Home Page, and replace the "HomePage" part of the URL with "Up".
It got better, now.
What happened to the dog pilots after they parachuted to earth? The airship (if my memory is correct) never seemed to land and the rest of the dogs got taken home in it. Did they leave the pilots to starve or something?
Being the doggy lover that I am, I just assumed they were adopted by some very nice people once they landed.
Adopted by some very nice people? In the middle of an uninhabited bit of South America?
Ok failing that, they were able to find small animals to hunt and lived out their life happy and fed, and that is final!
Muntz found them and now they live happily ever after in Carl's old house.
The dogs have radios. It wouldn't have been hard for them to call the airship and have Carl pick them up. Why wouldn't he?
Tracking devices, as well.
Alpha, Beta and Gamma were evidentally found and picked up by Carl before he returned home. They can be seen at Russell's award ceremony, and in one of the pictures at the end. Alpha retains the 'Cone Of Shame'.
Where does Carl live now? In The Spirit of Adventure?
That's what it said in the novelization...does that count as canon or not?
Wasn't a big part of Carl's Character Arc him realizing that his physical house wasn't home, the people he loved was home - what with him choosing Russel before his house in the climax? I assumed that he willingly moved into the Nursing Home he was being forcibly put into at the beginning of the story - proven by the fact that one of the still pictures from the end credits was him with a bunch of old people in a nursing home being entertained by the dogs.
But in the short Pixar did of the Shady Oaks employees, it's shown that the residents (along with many other old people) have tried to do the same thing Carl did. So there may not be a Shady Oaks anymore.
Why didn't Carl get in trouble with the FAA or the police throughout the film? I mean, he launched a house attached with balloons unregulated into the sky and landed a blimp on top of an ice cream parlor.
"Hello, is this the FAA? Yeah, there's this guy flying in a house. Yes, he's attached his house to a million balloons and he's just flying it down the... hello? Hello?"
Somehow, I imagine any calls to the cops or the FAA would be dismissed as Cassandra Truths.
So in this sense, the blimp at the end of the film as it hovers over Fenton's was simply viewed as a promotional thing?
Minor, but towards the end when you see Russell graduating with the other scouts, is it me or does Russell look...out of place for lack of a better word? It's hard to explain, but the other kids seem to have more fleshed out faces (re: more noticeable noses and chins) while Russell's is like...not. I know, genes and all, and Russell's design implies he's a bit on the chubby side, but still.
Perhaps it's more of a way to show that Russell has changed or is different because of his adventure?
Why do so many people refuse to believe Russell is Asian-American? Because he has realistic eyes with epicanthic folds instead of being modeled like a racist caricature?
Considering he looks more like an anthropomorphic egg than anything else...
Honestly, the idea didn't even cross my mind. Where'd you get the idea that he is Asian-American? He certainly doesn't look it. You have somewhat of an argument with the eyes, but his skin looks pretty white to me.
His blatantly Asian mother, perhaps?
Maybe he's half Asian?
Wait wait wait....people believe that Russel isn't Asian-american?? how?!
While there may be some golden undertones to Asian skin, the lighter shades are very often not noticeably different from a cacausian person's. He has Asian features, not just with the eyes but also the shape of his face, straight black hair, and an Asian-American voice actor. Characters aren't always the same race as their voice actors, but Disney ones are more often than not.
I am Asian-American, and I didn't wig on Russell's "asian-ness" until halfway through the movie. Not that it affects the movie one way or another, which is fine by me.
Perhaps because his design and character are based on Pixar animator Peter Sohn◊?
I tend to go with 'if they look asian and sound asian, they're asian'. Asian skintones are very variable. Really, I'd have thought people would be all over what I believe is the first major non-white Pixar character- he is, right? True, we aren't hit over the head with 'evidence', but there doesn't need to be a reason for a character to be asian.
First major non-white Pixar character? Frozone would like to speak to you. Also, over half of the Pixar movies have been quite lax in the human department as far as characters go.
Frozone wasn't exactly a major character.
Flik was blue, Sully was blue, Mike was green, Remy was grey, WALL-E was brown, Lightning McQueen was red, and Nemo and Marlon were orange with white stripes. How much more diverse can you get?
It's only said in passing, but the DVD Commentary blatantly says he's Asian.
Tiger Woods is part Asian yet my mother refuses to acknowledge that (and my family is asian). * shrugs* People will associate what they are with what they've seen - spend your life growing up around black British and you may very well be weirded out by white British.
Sounds like Not Being Racist Is The New Racismnote I'm sad that that didn't make it past the YKTTW, we need it... for examples in fiction, mostly. If you notice that he "looks Asian", you're noticing physiological stereotypes. If you don't, and don't think it matters (I thought the woman at the end looked like Mirage from The Incredibles with black hair and no tan), you're racially insensitive (which I find personally insulting, since I didn't notice he was supposed to look even vaguely Asian, or anything more specific than a probably-pudgy kid, until well after everyone else was arguing online about it. For that matter, I didn't even remember that Muntz was a German name until they started playing up the pre-war propaganda style in the documentary, though it probably helps that he has a rather thick North American English accent). If you associate Russell's unique stylization, naivete, and whatever-shaped eyes with Down's Syndrome, you think all Asians (not even bothering with specific ethnicities) are somehow related to Down's Syndrome sufferers (see also the above comment on people associating other people and things with what they're used to seeing, especially since Pixar went for their stylized look which makes everyone Ambiguously Human). Since Word of God says Russell's Asian, I'll go with that, but it would be nice if people would stop picking on everyone with stateless-tinted vision.
Down's Syndrome used to be called "mongolism" (at least in Britain) until people of Mongolian descent pointed out how racist this was.
I, an Asian, not only thought he was asian, but specifically Korean. The fact that so many people don't see Russell as asian makes me think that they expect asian people to look more like stereotypes presented in media. Russell's race has nothing to do with the plot or his character, but to many racial minorities, excepting racial differences is much less harmful than not seeing them at all, because then it just sounds like you expect everyone is white.
Or, you know, we don't bother categorizing people like that in the first place, because it makes absolutely no difference. A facial detail doesn't have to be anything more than that. Don't get me wrong, after someone pointed it out, I saw him as Asian, but before that I saw him as having a face..... and if you think that being white is the same thing as not having any racial identity, or that white people assume that white is the "default," or whatever you're trying to say with that, that's you being racist.
Yes, it does make a difference. Representation matters. Asians have very little media representation all over the world, and trying to change that isn't 'racism against white people'.
Not at all what I meant. Some people simply DO NOT CARE ABOUT RACE. I didn't see him as white before I noticed he was Asian, I didn't see any race at all; that's not even remotely similar. To me, he looked like a child, because the stereotypical "Asian eyes" also appear in children of all ethnicities. If he had had tan skin, I wouldn't have assumed he was Mexican, or black, or white but outdoorsy. I would have noticed he was tan, and moved on, because there's a talking dog, and I want to see what happens next.
I don't think you need racism or stereotypic expectations to explain this. Obvious hair and epicanthic folds or not, he's still a character in a very stylized cartoon modelled to look like a human ball for funnyness value - The more stylized an art style gets, the less 3D facial detail it renders, and the more you will fill in the blanks with what your brain considers the "default" (The vast majority of the people in whatever country you grew up with) If he doesn't look Asian to you, it's probably for the same reason that a random minimalistic smiley doesn't. It's the same phenomen that makes people thing Anime-characters look white. (When they do, in fact, look like something else that has fair skin and huge eyes: Cute Babies. The first thing an Asian would notice/find remarkable about an European, despite our own obsession with our particularly light shade of pinkish brown, is the huge nose, (unlike the near nonexistant noses of babies and anime-characters) thinner skull and deeper set eyes, to the point that some common chinese slur for westerners is "long nose". ) It's a similar effect at work here.
Why didn't Carl simply give Kevin over to Charles while on the Spirit of Adventure? He clearly cared nothing for the bird, and Charles seemed like a pretty reasonable man until he thought Carl was out to ruin him. Even if he was concerned for Kevin's safety, Charles needs Kevin alive for it all to work, if he killed Kevin he'd be right back where he started, since everybody called him fake for presenting the dead specimen many years ago.
That's part of Carl's character development. At first, he didn't cared about anyone but himself and his wife dream, once he managed to do that, he realized there were more important stuff, namely, his new friends safety and well being. While he might have not cared for Kevin, he cared for Russell, and losing Kevin (and her babies) would be devastating to him. Also, he was called a fake for bringing a skeleton. He wanted Kevin alive, or at the very least, her fresh corpse.
And he crossed-his-heart promised that he would take care of Kevin and not leave her. Those promises are a big deal to him.
Also, his wife was an ornithologist who specialized in the preservation of endangered bird species, so he probably wouldn't want to do something that would betray her life's work.
There's a much simpler reason. He doesn't realize immediately the connection between Kevin and the skeleton, since it's hard to remember ALL the details of a story you knew from years and years ago. And by the time that he has noticed, just about the same time that Russell recognized the shape of the skeleton, it's more than obvious that Muntz might not be the friendly person he seemed like when dinner began. Really, Carl didn't want to mention the bird because he realized that Muntz's paranoia was too dangerous to risk making him suspicious.
When Carl spots Kevin on the roof of his house, before she calls out, he realises what an awkward situation he's in. Muntz thinks that Carl was really a 'bandit' coming to steal the bird. Think what Muntz would think if he saw Kevin standing on Carl's house.
We've been given evidence that the guy killed off innocent people because he was paranoid. Carl saying he had the bird, even if he followed that by saying he could take it, would just be asking him to kill him.
Why did Russell need so many more badges than all the other kids to graduate to Senior Wilderness Explorer? At the beginning he shows Carl all his badges and tells him he needs one more in order to graduate, and he has a ridiculously large amount of badges. At the end of the movie, all the other kids graduating have, like, five or ten badges. Why show favoritism to everybody but Russell, Scout Master? Oh, let's pick on the fat kid. To hell with you! Russell's awesome. All those other kids can bite me! ... It Just Bugs Me!.
Maybe the "helping Senior Citizens" badge was Serious Business for the Master Scout. Notice the other two receive different badges
Maybe Russell need a badge signifying an activity rather than research work and "Helping Senior Citizens" was easier to obtain as he wouldn't need to go into the wood to obtain it.
I don't remember (no DVD release yet!), but maybe the badge ceremony was just for awarding all the badges earned that month? Russell could've completed his collection while the other kids were still working on theirs...
Nope, having just gotten back from seeing this, that scene is fresh in my mind, and it was definitely a ceremony for graduating to Senior Wilderness Scouts.
Having had a moment to think about this, perhaps Russell's badge was the last one he needed out of a set of badges to be promoted, and the other kids were getting different badges from that set?
If this was anything like the actual Boy Scouts organization, then badges might work in a similar fashion. In BSA, to become an Eagle Scout, you have to have a minimum of 21 badges. 12 of these are specifically listed badges, and the other 9 are whichever ones you choose. Therefore, for Russell, the "helping Senior Citizens" badge was the last of the specified 12 that are required, rather than fitting into the category of the miscellaneous 9. Therefore, it is possible he had 11 (or however many were required for him) of the specific badges, and a whole boatload of other badges (far more than the required amount).
Now that the DVD is available. it can be seen that the other Scouts at the ceremony also appear to have an entire sash of badges; Russell's were just more visible.
Miscellaneous jungle animals, just like real hot dogs are.
They do have convenience stores in other parts of South America these days, you know. Muntz never went back to the US but he could easily have resupplied in cities in South America, airships as big as his had ranges of thousands of miles. And he'd have to resupply, dirigibles need shitloads of lifting gas and fuel refills.
Muntz was considered lost. Admittedly South America is a long way away, but * someone* would have told the story of the crazy gringo flying his zeppelin into Caracas.
How often do North Americans hear about what goes on in South America? It's possible that Muntz simply passed out of the public consciousness. It's not as if his supplier must spread news about the man in the dirigible.
It's probably just my morbid mind, but this is the first question I thought of when it was revealed that Muntz had been killing people.
My suspension of disbelief is pretty schizo- I can dismiss the flying houses and talking dogs and all of that stuff, but there's just one tiny thing that bothered me: when Carl was looking through the "Stuff I Want To Do" in Ellie's adventure book and seeing all the pictures from his life with Ellie... who took all those photos.
Stuff like the wedding photos would have been taken by other people. Others could have simply been taken with a timer. But I totally understand the idea of random things impeding one's suspension of disbelief
They'd have friends and family to take pictures
This could be the standard answer. Carl and Ellie DID have other relatives, after all. To me, it adds further meaning to many things in the film. The presence of photos taken by other people only when Carl had Ellie, and after he befriends Russell suggests that after Ellie died, Carl isolated himself from society; but the adventure and Russell made him reconnect with people again. I'd bet the "new adventure book" photos were taken by Russell's mom, other Wilderness Explorers staff, and by friends at the retirement center.
This troper thought they were paintings, and that Ellie was a painter.
Really? Carl only ever looked through their Adventure book up until that one page, until the day he happens to take his house out ballooning, to the Amazon? And THEN, then he notices the other stuff after that page? It's explicit that Ellie put that all in there before she died. Did he never see her doing her scrapbooking?
Given how absolutely berserk Carl went when his letterbox got damaged, it's fair to assume he didn't want to 'soil' the Adventure book by thumbing through it after Ellie's death. He didn't strike me as being a nosy chap, at any rate.
Ellie is seen with the book in her hospital room before Carl arrives for a visit. Judging from the message she wrote in it and the fact that, if I remember correctly, some of the photos were out of chronological order maybe it actually had been empty for most of their life and she stuck the photos in as a memorial to the happiness they'd had together just before she passed away.
Symbolism in other words? He's focused on the past and ruminating on memories rather than celebrating his life with Ellie and creating new memories in honor of her.
Perhaps, since she always told him that the book was for her adventures in South America, he always assumed that those pages were empty and didn't bother to look at them. If I remember correctly, he only went past that one page because it slipped a little and he saw the corner of a photo.
Exactly. When Carl reads it towards the beginning, he's thinking "we need to get to Paradise Falls and fill in the rest of the book!" It never occurs to him that the rest of the book has already been filled. Every time he flicks through, he closes it upon reaching the section where the stuff in Paradise Falls goes. Coincidentally, when he finally flicks through, he closes the Adventure Book on such an angle that the page slips and reveals the edge of the first photo.
Look closely at the hospital scene. Right next to Ellie is a tape dispenser, so she only put the book at the end of her life.
The only thing that bugs me about that is that a book filled with photos is usually easy to tell from an empty one.
There's another little bugging thing: assuming Ellie did the scrapbooking lovingly from her hospital bed, as the film hints at... where'd she get the photos ? And if she didn't and put the photos in over time throughout their lives, as her little secret that he'd only find out after she died: boy, was that girl morbid or what ?
Perhaps she asked Carl to bring her a box or two of mementos for her to look through because she knew she wasn't going to make it and he honored the request, then was too heartbroken to look at the box(es) afterward and notice what was missing. And I'd call it less "morbid" and more "wanting to leave something to remember her by, acknowledge they did have a long, happy life that was an adventure of its own, and tell him it was okay to move on".
It bugs me how there are several really obvious references to studio Ghibli films in this movie, yet nobody notices. If it were from any other animation studio, I would have passed it if as coincidental, but knowing Pixars relationship with Studio Ghibli, it is very logical to assume that:
The house looked a lot more like the end of Miyazaki's version that Miss Wynne-Jones's black, smoking, chimney-pot like structure (which was never more than a foot off the ground according to Word of God) so no, the first poster meant Miyazaki's version, although I sympathize with being annoyed by Adaptation Displacement.
The zeppelin Muntz rides in looks very reminiscent of the first zeppelin in Castle in the Sky, particularly during the chase scenes on its exterior.
I'm pretty sure * every* big airship looked at least a bit like Muntz's on the outside.
When Russel takes some balloons and uses them to ride the leaf blower, it bears a striking resemblance in animation movements to frames in Kiki's Delivery Service, particularly when near the zeppelin.
The biplane flying dogs are reminiscent of Porco Rosso.
Well, bugger me. I felt like a really lame Star Wars fan coming out and logging on to the page. Now I find there was all this to spot!
They would have been reminiscent if they were anthropomorphic dogs, like how Marco was human in everything but his head. The reference is very distant at best.
Someone's definetely mentioned at least once outright that Ghibli was an inspiration. I felt the end, between the music and the shot of the sky, with the mundane shot of two people just being normal, was very Ghibli.
Who is Phyllis meant to be? When I watched it, I got the impression she was a nanny hired by Russell's dad, yet when I talked to my mother, she had assumed that she was a secretary he was having an affair with.
I think she's just the woman that Russell's dad ran off with, that's all. I don't remember anything being said of how he met her.
I assumed that she was merely his secretary, and that Russell's dad was too busy to spend time with his son.
My first thought was that she was Russell's stepmom. In any case, the implication was that she was the woman his father took up, meaning that Russell's parents were no longer together.
Personally, I found Carl's reaction to Russell saying "Phyllis isn't my mom" to be rather telling. Once the information sinks in, he gets very quiet and avoids looking at Russell; there's a few moments of awkward silence before Russell moves the conversation along. It seems safe to assume that Phyllis is the new wife/lover of Russell's dad (whether or not she was having an affair with him can be left up to the viewer). Then again, you can argue that this was Carl's reaction to who he assumed Phyllis was; for all we know, she could just be a secretary.
I get that Carl is supposed to be presented as an older protagonist than normal, but it still seems kind of awkward that the montage of his life with Ellie completely skips over everything between their first meeting and their marriage. As a pair of lovestruck adventure seekers I'd have thought the early years of their friendship and growing romance could have provided some touching images that would make their life-story feel more complete, even if it only took up a few seconds of the montage.
A bonus feature on the Blu-ray is an alternate version of the montage, and includes more of their courting.
Now that would actually be a goodMidquel! I've read that the execs at Pixar didn't plan on turning this into a full-blown franchise like Toy Story, but, guys, please do that story for us!
Why does Russel think that it Carl's fault that the Muntz took Kevin, when he obviously didn't do anything? Carl just dropped the knife to save his house, and Russel just stood there and watched.
If Carl had kept cutting rather than stare at Muntz and then run off, Kevin would have reached the labyrinth.
He's a kid.
Why was Carl cutting the net anyway? He could have just, y'know, pulled it off the big rock.
I was myself wondering why Russel didn't at least try to pick up the knife and cut the rest of the ropes, since he was just standing there being useless while Carl was pulling his house out from over the fire and putting out what parts had caught. And I thought that the net couldn't just be pulled off the rock because Kevin had wrapped it around the bottom edge of the rock while pulling at it.
In a sense, you might say Carl actually saved their lives by putting out the house instead of freeing Kevin. With Carl distracted, Muntz just takes the bird and leaves, and Carl and Russell and Dug are alive to rescue her (which, eventually, they do). Without Carl distracted, Kevin gets freed and (hopefully, though I can't forget that broken leg) escapes, leaving Carl, Russell and Dug with a very angry Muntz and his team of attack dogs.
Here's one. Why didn't Carl and Ellie just adopt a kid? Really, if having children was that important that it seemed to be one of their greatest regrets, you think they would have just done the obvious.
They aren't really that well off, if they could never afford a South American trip over the course of their entire lives. Adoption agencies prefer parents with enough money to live comfortably. Also, some people just don't really consider that option. See also: People who spend astronomical amounts of money on fertility treatments.
Adopting even from within your own country is pretty damn expensive.
The montage from the movie seems to imply that they decide on the trip for Paradise Falls instead of considering adoption. It is not a far stretch to conclude that they had two choices with their finances - either adopt a child, or put the same money towards moving to Paradise Falls.
Wait, Kevin seems to be a Ratite, which are birds such as ostriches, emus, etc. Ratites have very powerful legs, and ostriches are known to kill lions with a single kick. Why doesn't Kevin just kill Muntz's dogs if they're ticking her off so much?
She might have done so offscreen. Muntz notes in passing that he's lost a lot of dogs in the labyrinth with the Snipe nest. But every time we see Kevin in the movie, she's being pursued by multiple dogs and so would do better to run away.
"Lost" doesn't mean "killed". Lost means "lost". They got lost in the labyrinth, never to return. Granted, they then died either of starvation or being kicked by Kevin, but they got lost first.
How would Muntz know if they were lost or if they had been killed? He might've just said lost because of Russell's age.
Kevin doesn't look so much like a ratite to me as she looks like a colourfull phorusrhacid, which would make sense considering it takes place in South America. Most likely she is omnivorous (as she eats pretty much anything she can find), so its not much of a stretch that most of the "lost" dogs were her meals...
Not a Headscratchers, but a mere continuity error — Russell calls Carl "Mr. Fredricksen", even though Carl never told him what his name was.
I think he'd vaguely known him before just from being around the neighborhood. At least I hope so, because little kids shouldn't just be going up to stranger's houses like that.
Someone with a copy of the DVD can fact-check me on this, but isn't it commonplace to put the last name on the mailbox? I don't remember if Carl does, but it wouldn't be unusual.
Alas no. It has Carl and Ellie's names handwritten, along with their hand prints.
This is probably one of those cases where everyone in the neighborhood has heard of the weird Grumpy Old Man Mr. Frederickson who sits on his porch all day grumbling at the construction workers
Word of God says that originally Russell was going to have been stalking Carl for two years prior to the film, trying to get his badge. Considering Carl's immediate frustration, it could be this is not his first encounter.
If Russell has been a Wilderness Explorer long enough to get all those badges, how come he doesn't realize there's no such animal as a snipe? What do they teach those kids at those meetings?
If it's anything like the Boy Scouts... not very much to be honest. Mostly just arts and crafts and how to tie knots. The 'real' stuff happens when you're a teen or older. The point is less about the stuff you learn and more about the values the organization instills.
I think you may be getting the Boy Scouts mixed up with the Cub Scouts (though granted Wilderness Explorers seem more of a Cub Scout Expy anyway). I actually was in the Boy Scouts when I was younger, and learning how to identify animals is one of the rank requirements fairly low down.
The whole idea of hunting for a 'snipe' is an old (but still practiced) Boy Scout tradition. As the below poster points out, sometimes its a fully ritualized activity. In other units (like the one I was the Scoutmaster of) it's a off-hand prank played by the older 15-18 year old scouts to get the younger boys out of the way for a couple of hours. A variant of equal fame is the 'smoke sifter', a non-existent camping gadget young scouts are sent to borrow from another troop camping at the same site.
So much memories that brings up. I walked over to the next campsite and asked if anyone there was left-handed, explaining that they never said the smoke had to stay sifted.
That said, the whole 'snipe hunting' tradition has been falling by the wayside in the last decade or so as society gets more lawsuit-happy and Scoutmasters realize the risks of sending boys into the woods looking for imaginary animals.
Actually, when a Cub Scout gets to about the rank of Webelo, they're usually taken out by older scouts or adult leaders on a "Snipe Hunt." They're told the legend of the 'rare snipe bird' and are given paper bags or nets, then told to spread out in a line and walk a field just after the sun sets while the adult leaders or older scouts go to the other end of the field to try and 'flush out some snipes.' In reality, they're just rolling stones to make it look and sound like something is moving about in the grass. This could be a case of Shown Their Work.
How did Carl manage to injure the man in the beginning and get branded a public menace for hurting him pretty badly when it's what appears to be an aluminum cane with tennis balls on the bottom? Sure, if someone hits you with it it might hurt, but come on, he's like seventy years old. And while he was pretty upset over the mailbox, he hit Muntz with the cane in the same exact way later in the film, yet Muntz doesn't seem to be affected. And he's at least ninety. Rule of Drama?
I think they exaggerated what Carl had done in order to get him out of the house.
Carl was just batting at Muntz with the tennis-ball end, but he hit the guy in the beginning full-on with the "thick metal rod" part.
Hollywood Law. Also, Carl makes a comment about pouring sugar in the workers' gas tanks IIRC, suggesting that he may have been pulling pranks on them, which an Amoral Attorney could have spun into a campaign of sabotage.
Prune juice. But still.
Carl's cane accidentally rebounds off Muntz's head and hits Carl's head. You can see the bruising afterwards. Besides, both men are shown to be pretty sprightly and strong for their age in that fight scene.
Why are trained dogs distracted by a ball (or a squirrel)? Working dogs are taught not to be.
As crazy as Muntz was, he did loved the dogs, so he probably left the dogs play, or even played with them himself. On the other hand, it's also possible he trained the first ones, and then, seeing how smart the dogs really were, he left the raising to the parents.
Alternatively, if could be a control mechanism- bomb-sniffing dogs are trained to be freakin' OBSESSED with ball so that their handler knows they can get their attention with one. Dog finds bomb, handler shows ball, dog goes nuts for ball, dog doesn't go running off where they could trigger bomb. It could be a similar idea- perhaps Muntz wants the be sure he can call his dogs back from, say, running into the labyrinth. Or it's Ruleof Funny, which is probably more likely.
While Russell seems to be a bright kid - can survive camping away from home, knows how to bandage a bird's leg, etc. - how does he know how to start and use a weed-blower, but not know how to set up a tent? ...Since, presumably, you'd need a yard to use a blower in, and once you have that, there's backyard camping...
This editor assumed someone else built the tents for him.
Doesn't he confess to Carl that he never actually went camping? Given that those dome-tents (whatever you call them) can be pretty tricky to set up...yeah, most likely he'd never set one up himself.
Have you ever tried setting one of those things up? All those poles that keep hitting you in the head and elastics and the thing keeps falling over when you try to put the thing in it? And then there's those dealies on the bottom with the little holes in them that you're supposed to put those other doohickets into to hold the other stuff up and they never fit and then it starts raining and that thing that goes over the other thing keeps blowing away and ...
Also, having a yard does not necessarily indicate that Russel lived in a neighborhood safe enough that his parent(s) felt comfortable with letting him sleep outside at night.
How did Carl get so many balloons in one night? And if they're all in the house all along, how did he fill them all with helium so quickly? He's got serious back problems after all.
He's a determined man.
So the balloon company has no problem with delivering a massive number of balloons/helium tanks to a retired employee who is being sued for physical assault?
It is implied that he did all that in one night, but considering that a court decision would likely take weeks/months he probably prepared everything much earlier.
Which means that Russell's Snipe Hunt went on for weeks/months. Shall we call MST3K Mantra on this? Awesome movie, BTW.
He's very dedicated to getting that badge.
It bothers me that it was assumed Kevin was a female soon after she called back to her offspring. In many bird species, its the male that raises the young, and so Kevin can't possibly be a male if it has chicks to raise according to human perception? Double Standard much?
Also, that's some pretty colorful plumage for a female bird.
Unusual, yes, but not unheard of. Some bird species do have colourful females, sometimes ones that are more colourful than the males.
Russell is the only person in the movie to explicitly refer to Kevin as a girl and he's hardly an orthinological expert. Carl just went along with it because he didn't care (initially) one way or the other and just got used to calling Kevin a "she" by the end of the movie. Muntz was just too batshit crazy about the bird to care about its gender - he just wanted a bird.
Not so fast! In the scene with the gender reveal, Dug blatantly says, "The bird is calling to HER babies." Russell responds, "Her babies! ... Kevin's a GIRL?". Double Standard? No, just fact.
I would hesitate to rely on Dug as the sole origin of facts regarding Kevin. There's nothing saying he's right, particularly since he could only be going by what his family or Muntz raised him to believe; dogs wouldn't know any better, and Muntz had been so out of touch with scientific thinking he wouldn't know of animals/birds where the male raises the young. The outdated "females are the only ones good with children" idea would not have been discredited until after Muntz's time. And to be fair, more female animals do raise the young than male.
It Bugs Me that there were only three female characters and only two got to speak.
The movie had a tiny cast in general, because most of it takes place in a jungle, completely removed from society. There are only three important male characters, discounting the dogs, and even if you count the dogs, that makes five for Dug and Alpha. 5-3 isn't a bad ratio, by Hollywood's normal standards. Besides, the whole point was Carl's inability to get over Ellie. It's not hard to imagine Carl distancing himself from females in general, because Ellie was the only girl for him.
One of those characters is dead before the film proper starts, one is a nonsentient, nonspeaking bird whose gender isn't revealed until halfway through the movie, and one appears for thirty seconds at the end of the movie. Yes, that is a bad ratio.
So...you would rather Pixar spend time focusing on the gender ratio and making everything "super politically correct" and "fairly balanced" at the expense of making a good film the way it is? It's REALLY not as big a deal as you're making it out to be.
Of the male characters, one of them is an Ax-Crazy psychopath, another is a crotchety old guy who can't let go of his dead wife, and another is The Load who screws everything up for the first half of the film. Meanwhile, all of the female characters are portrayed as loving, decent people/animals, and it's the female characters that the male characters are obsessed with keeping promises to/capturing. Plus, this isn't a movie about gender roles.
It's not about them being good or bad, it's about which characters have agency. The female characters may be good, loving, etc., but the concern here is that they never get to do anything in the main plot, aside from motivating the males.
Ah, if the movie's not about gender roles, whatever that means exactly, it totally doesn't matter whether there are any living, human female characters in it. The rest of the time it's fine if they're all male. There is definitely an awesome woman in Up, and she's dead before the action starts. Why does she have to be the tragic motivation for her husband? Why can't she have the adventure she wanted? (If there were a large percentage of movies, especially kids' movies, where most or all of the protagonists were female, and Up just happened to not be one of them, that would be one thing, but, uh, that's not the universe we live in.)
I can't tell if Sarcasm Mode is agrees or disagrees with the post above. Regardless, Pixar films all have male protagonists often with a male supporting character. The only exception is The Incredibles.
That statement is partially incorrect. While yes, Pixar has only had male protagonists, they're just as likely to have female supporting characters (Dot, Dory, Eve, Bonnie, Jessie) as they are to have male supporting characters.
But Elly did have the adventure she wanted. True, she never got to fulfill her childhood dream but it's clear that she was very happy with her life all things considered. Seriously, the story is about an old man and a kid in the middle of nowhere. There's no conspiracy here.
Why couldn't she have the adventure she wanted? Because Up is not a movie about having the adventure you want. Up is a movie about wanting the adventure you have.
Even if Elly isn't present for most of the movie, the whole movie is set in motion because of HER. She is the most important character in the movie, she is Carl's entire motivation! The Double Standard is that if the roles had been reversed, people like you would STILL criticize the movie for it having a "woman who's only motivation is her 'man'".
*lifts a mug* Amen!
I second that!
Perfect example of the above: Many people's complaints about The Princess and the Frog is that Tiana wanted the restaurant because of her father, thus in their eyes she was just "motivated by a man." Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
Does it really even matter? The characters being mainly male doesn't imply anything wrong. It's simple circumstance. Unless there is male-superiority/female-superiority going on, it doesn't matter how characters are displayed. Whether all-male or all-female, a work of fiction is a work of fiction, there's no need to switch up scripts and rework scenes just to appeal to feminists. Anyone with common sense recognizes no general downplaying on women, the world is not as sexist as it once was and has no need to redeem women standards in something as simple as a Pixar film because women are already acknowledged as equal. Of course there are still a few sexist idiots around, but the general population acknowledge equality. There's no need to specialize female roles unless necessary, preferred, or otherwise beneficial to the actual fictional plot.
To say that "women are already aknowledged as equals" is naive fiction at best and an insulting lie at worst if you take one good look at this planet. We live in a world where people will reduce women to their appearance, disrespect them purely for beinfg female and complain about them wearing the same dress twice if they pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, aquired a doctor of physics, took over and modernized a catholic conservate party as a protestant women from the poorest regions of the country, and became a head of government, if not one of the single most powerful people on the earth. It's simply NOT true. Women aren't some random minority that "can't be squeezed into *every* damn movie", nor do roles need to be "specified" as female as if humans are male by default and anything else is an useless addition that needs to be justified. Women are half the bloody population. That said, I have no problem with the film itself, just the glaring untruth in this last paragraph - The movie just has an Omega Cast, and the smaller the cast is, the more likely it is that many of them will be the same gender. Carl just happens to be male/was probably inspired by/modeled after RL male people and isn't even a stereotypically manly dude, and Russel and Muntz are just male by extension, because they need to be parallels - Muntz as a figure Carl identified with an a person drived mad by similar flaws, and Russel to mirror Carl's younger self. It's like saying Portal is sexist against men because Ratman's the only man and doesn't personally appear. There's only Chell and Glad OS, and it makes dramaturgical sense for one to be female if the other is.
Don't put your feminist propaganda on TV Tropes, please. (I know you're not going to believe me, but I'm a woman and I'm tired of you feminists making us women look like fragile little china dolls whose every need should be met.)
It's not about thinking of women as fragile. Everyone with half a brain knows damn well that black people aren't all angry and violent or submissive, preternaturally wise designated White People Helpers. But if the only options for black characters in mainstream media were violent, submissive, or nonexistent, it would at the very LEAST be pretty insulting, and might lead to damaging assumptions on the part of people who were raised on those media. I don't have a problem with Up itself—as others have elaborated above, it's got a very small cast, and there are legitimate dramaturgical reasons Muntz and Russel need to be male—but the general trends as to the depiction of women deserve discussion and criticism.
More of a continuity error, but Dug wishes for a new master in the short. All right. He still refers to Muntz as his master, and says of Carl that he loves him like his master and calls him master at the same time. A change only really becomes apparent after the cone of shame, which Muntz had nothing to do with.
Maybe Dug respected Carl's decision to not be his master, and only accepted the change when Carl accepted him as his dog.
When Carl and Russell are following Muntz and the other dogs into the Spirit of Adventure, you can see Dug, prior to being put in the Cone of Shame, lagging behind and looking really depressed. Presumably, he's upset about the prospect of his newfound friendship coming to an end, and also feels guilt because it was he who inadvertently led the other dogs to them in the first place. When he calls Carl "Master" during the chase sequence, it's clear that he has now switched sides completely, but it had previously been foreshadowed that he would.
Why did Muntz bother to crop Alpha's ears?
Ear-cropping wasn't originally just an aesthetic practice; it had a practical root. Long or floppy ears on a working dog can be needlessly harmful: they can be caught on branches and other such snares and torn and bloody, which is very painful for the dog. People cropped their working dog's ears so they'd be out of the way. Seeing as how Alpha was always running around in the underbrush, having natural floppy ears would be an unnecessary hazard.
Something that my brother pointed out to me: after Carl and Russell were blown off-course by the storm cloud, and when they were trying to slow the house down before being suspended off the cliff edge, Carl dropped his cane somewhere in the fog, and left it behind to catch Russel and the house. How does he recover it?
Maybe he had another one elsewhere in the house.
This is probable; lots of people do.
The house was still out of reach at the time, though; as evidenced, neither Carl nor Russell were able to get up there.
Watch closely. The cane falls onto the ground not too far from where they stopped the house. Certainly not far enough away that they couldn't just walk and get it.
How exactly did Russell, a chubby preteen who can't even hold a GPS device without accidentally throwing it, get a good enough hold on the house's underside to stay there for a few minutes and then climb up to the front porch? The house didn't seem to have any large hole under it, and even someone who has never heard of snipe hunts would've had enough common sense to not start by looking in holes. Not to mention that he could've simply jumped down when the house was starting to ascend.
He panicked when the house was ascending. I didn't see him either. Maybe he was caught in one of the cross-slats at the edge? That always bothered me. But the point of why I was answering is that Carl didn't tell him what a snipe was, just that it had beady eyes and ate hydrangeas. Russel was chasing a large mouse or a small rat under the house in the belief that it was a snipe.
Offscreen Teleportation, used so that when Carl found out Russell was on his porch it would be a surprise for the audience, too. That's the out-universe explanation. In-universe? Maybe Russell went under the porch, came out at the back of the house, and climbed from window to window back to the porch and the front door?
Also: while it might seem hard to believe a boy who couldn't even climb the garden hose due to being out-of-shape and untrained could have climbed out from under the porch, adrenaline and fear are great motivators. Not to mention he later proves capable of it during his Heroic ResolveCrowning Moment Of Awesome.
Why did Russel think Kevin was a snipe? Carl hadn't told him snipes were birds back at the house, and more importantly, you wouldn't think that a relatively small creature that lives in populated North American areas would also live in the Venuzuelan jungle, or that a Kevinoid could be mistaken for a large mouse.
The first part (that he thought the same animal would be in Venuzuela) is definitely a bit of a stretch but to be fair to Russel on the second part, he implies that he thinks Kevin is a giant version of the 'Snipe' he was hunting in America.
He probably wondered himself if it was or not, seeing as he has to ask Carl if they're tall, very colourful and lovers of chocolate.
Did Carl ever find that the house had landed next to the waterfall? Or did he not bother to go back because the house was gone (as far as he knew), so there was for some reason no point in ever going back to Paradise Falls? My mum insisted (prior to the credits) that Carl had never gone back, but I didn't see anything aside from him bringing Russell back, attending the award ceremony, and visiting the ice cream shop, plus a bunch of photographs, many of which weren't particularly location-specific.
"It's just a house". The turning point in Carl's characterization is when he sees all the photographs of his marriage and the message from his late wife that she enjoyed their adventure and that he should now find a new one. So despite all the attachment he shows towards it prior to that point, there is no remorse when the house eventually flies away. Now considering that the credits involve many, many photographs with Russell, it seems pretty clear that Carl's new adventure is being a father figure for him.
The whole point of Muntz's lifelong trip was proving the scientists wrong, right? So why not earn millions or billions from the dog collars (most dog owners would pay through the nose to have a device to actually communicate with their dogs) and presumably, other inventions that he might come up with in his spare time and send a freaking army to find that bird?
As clearly established, Muntz is so paranoid another human will find that bird that he tries to kill everyone he meets. The best he can do is send as many dogs as possible after it, which he does.
Why does he give a rats ass who finds it? whoever finds it, it will prove him right. as stated before, he doesn't need the money (if there is any to be had from finding the bird), he can sell his inventions, or just keep living like hes been doing, which apparently doesn't take much if any money, since hes been doing it for ~60 years with no income.
Because he considers himself a great explorer. If someone else found it, and brought it back, they'd probably take a look at it, eventually admit maybe Muntz was right. But it wouldn't anywhere near the acclaim that he was used to and considered his right. You can't call yourself a great adventurer if you sit around pawning dog collars while someone else goes out and has your adventures.
This is a man who was on top of the world for at least a decade, and then he has to have the scientific community laugh in his face, call him a liar, and discredit all of his adventures. Talk about the ego popping of the century, even a not crazy person would become obsessed after taking that big a blow.
To follow along from these points, it's a common trope (particularly in adventure literature like Doyle's "Lost World" and H. Rider Haggard's Darkest Africa stories) for an explorer to be focused on winning the acclaim and scientific reputation himself. It wasn't just that he wanted to prove the existence of the bird to exonerate himself—he wanted to also be given the credit for finding it, thus earning his place in history/scientific achievement. Even if he assumed the one who found it would give proper credit to him as the initial discoverer (hardly guaranteed, since even aside from not knowing who he was or having an ulterior motive to discredit him, this person could be just as interested in hogging all the glory for the discovery as Muntz himself was), that still wouldn't feel as satisfying or vindicating as standing there himself, taking the credit and being lauded by the scientific community.
Muntz is clearly more concerned about the fact that they didn't believe him. He did announce that he would not return until he captured it. People might have thought that was a rhetorical flourish at the time. Perhaps Muntz is fixed into the trap that I Gave My Word and no amount of reason could make him do otherwise. Being isolated and paranoid for so long couldn't have improved his reasoning faculties.
Been a while since I've watched the movie, but in-universe, it would hardly be out-of-character for Muntz to simply not care about anything else. He's very old, very much mentally exhausted, and clearly insane; by this time, catching Kevin may have become a personal, irrational obsession, and his original intent of regaining his reputation and whatnot may no longer be the point, if there's even a point now besides "catching that damn bird at any cost".
Muntz wanted at least one living specimen of Kevin's species. It would have been bad for Kevin to get caught by Muntz as-is, because she had chicklings to take care of. I do not recall Muntz ever acknowledging that the bird he is after has children. Since killing the birds is pretty much the last thing Muntz would ever want at this point, wouldn't it have been simpler for everyone involved to point out the babies to Muntz and give him the option to take the whole family back? Kevin and the chicks are put in a high-class zoo, ensuring their safety from predators and starvation. Kevin's species is officially recognized and categorized as "endangered;" further protecting any other relatives that pop up later. Muntz has his reputation cleared, and has a good chance to snap out of his goal-oriented psychosis. No one else gets killed. Everyone gets a puppy.
It would've been an option if Muntz didn't derail into a murderous, paranoid psychopath by then.
I've only seen this movie once and a few days ago, but i don't remember seeing a jungle on the path leading to the waterfall, unless they took some off-screen shortcut. Also, it may just be me but, that path did NOT look like it would take three days to cross. Granted, it's a very old man and a chubby kid carrying a giant house on their back, so what do I know?
If you look at their path when they start, you see a jungle. And Carl said they had three days before the house would fall due to helium leaks, not that it would take three days.
I'm going to guess that Dug is a Golden Retriever of some sort, or at least mixed. But as I look at all the other dogs, they all have features of Bulldogs and Pitbulls and Rottweilers. I didn't see a single fluffy, blonde dog in the pack, so where did Dug come from?
Maybe Dug belonged to someone Muntz killed? It might also explain why Dug isn't as deeply loyal to Muntz as the other dogs are.
I enjoyed the film immensely, but one tiny bit bothered me near the end. Carl and Russell are both seen with aviator's helmets on as they prepare to go home. Are these Carl's old helmet and Muntz's original one, or did they borrow a few from Muntz's "collection"?
All over little Ellie's bedroom walls there's newspaper clippings with headlines such as "MUNTZ CAPTURES YETI." So just because they thought Muntz was wrong about this one thing, suddenly all his other accomplishments don't matter?
It wasn't that they thought he was wrong, it's that they thought he was a fraud. If his latest discovery is fake, that casts doubt on anything else he does or has done.
Not about the movie itself, but... a Christian movie reviewing site claimed the movie was sexually immoral. Why? Because they read an Accidental Innuendo line towards the beginning of the movie as implying that Ellie took off her clothes during the part of the movie where Carl and Ellie were both kids. I'm not myself certain whether the line was Accidental Innuendo or Getting Crap Past the Radar, but in either case it's very clear that Ellie was actually referring to something else, and I see no reason why I should assume that the writers intended Getting Crap Past the Radar.
Which site, just out of curiosity? Either way, I, as a Christian, do not recommend Christian review sites. They are incredibly paranoid about issues like the above and tend to be less helpful on things like whether a film is good as film, fun to watch, etc.
Dug is presumably some form of Labrador or Golden Retriever. Why does he point? He's not a pointer.
He points because he was trained to point. Just because he's not the breed technically called "pointer" doesn't mean he's physically incapable of it.
Besides, he's obviously lousy at it. The first time we see him point, he's tracking Kevin and points at a bush. Kevin is on the roof of Carl's house.
I have a black lab and he points. I'm not sure about his lineage (I've never bothered to look at his papers), but as far as I know he's a purebred. And I maintain faith that he was never trained to point by his previous owners. They had to give him away because he was so ill-behaved.
I should also say that I realize that Labradors aren't pointers. You could just get lucky and get one that knows to point without training.
My dog's a Golden Retriever like Dug, and I can say with one hundred percent certainty he was never trained to point, but he does it anyway.
How could the scientists think that Muntz's skeleton was fabricated in the first place? Admittedly, Technology Marches On, but it can't be that hard to tell real bone apart from fakes, right?
Real bones could be put together in a fake way. Compare the first reconstructions of Iguanodons to more modern interpretations.
Don't forget the Piltdown Man. A simple modification of Human, Orangutan and Chimpanzee bones managed to keep the anthropological world fooled for a good forty years.
Also the possibility that it actually is a fake. Scenario: Mutz finds wild new bird, but can't catch it. Frustrated, he builds a replica of the skeleton. He is discovered.
I don't get why Muntz just out of the blue set Carl's house on fire. Muntz doesn't know how important it is to Carl, but he just sets it on fire just randomly. Explanation?
It's the man's house, which he brought all the way to Paradise Falls with him, and was carrying around on his back when Muntz found him. Why wouldn't Muntz think it was important?
Also, whether or not Muntz was aware of the house's sentimental value to Carl, he had to know Carl would want to protect it simply because it was his only way back to civilization and was also the only place he could live.
Okay, I'll forgive the first jar being of a glass sort that was intended to be broken for their vacation to Paradise Falls. But after the first emergency, that thing should've been replaced by something simpler and reusable. A coffee can, or a piggy bank with a corked hole in the bottom, or something. Glass jar after glass jar, glass shard pile after glass shard pile, that's just dangerous, especially as they grew older. You'll note I'm forgiving enough to not insist on a savings account at the bank.
I always saw it as more symbolic; you could say that their dream of going to Paradise Falls was "shattered" each time they had to delve into the savings.
The Spirit of Adventure is incredibly valuable. How was Carl allowed to keep it/live on board? It's a Zeppelin that was probably worth around $50-$70 million in today's money when it was brand new, and is in near-perfect flying condition(minus a few biplanes). It contains tens of tons of priceless, untold historical treasures, fossils, gemstones and artifacts. Not to mention the super-high-tech talking collars and the genetically enhanced dogs. The sheer historical and scientific value of the airship and its cargo is nigh-incalculable, and apparently Carl gets to own ALL OF IT because he not-so-accidentally killed the ship's rightful owner in combat? What is this, the law of the jungle? And how in the blue hell is he capable of piloting it?
Posession is nine/tenths of the law, Muntz was likely declared legally dead over 70 years ago, Russel is too young to own property, and Carl is the one who found the "Sprit of Adventure", plus the whole story would beggar belief. Plus Carl may have left out the part about killing Muntz, which would be a clear case of self defense anyways. Not that any prosecutor whould ever charge Carl with murder due to lack of evidence and figuring out what court had jurisdiction over a spot in the jungle would be a problem.
At the start when Carl knocks the man on his head with his walking stick, it draws blood. He does the same thing to his hero later in the film and no blood is drawn. Shouldn't it have done the same thing?
Why should it have? It's not some stock "attack" that Carl has that is always going to draw blood. Real life doesn't work that way. Sometimes when you hit people you draw blood, sometimes you don't.
The second time, he pretty clearly hits Muntz with the tennis balls affixed to the ends of the cane's feet for precisely the purpose of guarding sharp edges (though mostly for the sake of floors rather than heads). Hence the fact that it bounces back to hit him in the face after. The first time, it looked like he managed to hit with one of the angled bits just above the feet - unguarded metal. (Even if you're going to insist he made the exact same motion both times - unlikely - he was standing closer to Muntz.)
Why would they just build around someone's house? What were they planning to do, wait until Carl gave it up?
Also, Carl is 78 years old at the start of the film and, more importantly, seems to have given up on everything except for the house after Ellie died. The developers could have just decided to wait until he passed away (which, at that point, seemed like it would happen sooner rather than later), avoiding any legal disputes in the process.
One Headscratcher for the German dub (which I saw last night). Does anybody know why on Earth they decided to replace all mention of squirrels with cats? Is it a matter of cultural dissonance where the Germans don't know about the bad relationship between squirrels and dogs? Or did they just not care?
How did smacking someone on the head with his cane result in Carl losing his house/being sent to a retirement home?
The man in charge of the construction nearby used it to convince the jury that Carl was a menace and not fit to keep his home anymore, so that the exec could level his house and build there as he wanted.
If Muntz hadn't shown up and changed all the plans, what was going to happen to Russell? Carl seems very unconcerned with what he's going to do with him after the storm wrecks the first plan. There isn't really any way to get him home after they land that house.
Why exactly was Russell so mad at Carl for not helping save Kevin while Muntz was kidnapping her? I know that she was important to him, but meanwhile Carl was trying to save his house from burning down! That's not exactly a very petty excuse. And Russell quotes it as "You just let them take her..." as if Carl had just sat there drinking soda while he was given two hours to save Kevin. Except most people wouldn't be expecting a seventy-something year old man to be able to fight through a herd of angry dogs in the dark. And the house was filled with items of sentimental value. Isn't it a bit understandable why Carl would go to save the house first? I was finding it a bit tough to tolerate Russell at the beginning of the movie, but this scene just made me hate him.
Because angry people like to throw blame around, and angry kids even more so? It's easier to accuse someone of failure than to accept that there was nothing anyone could have done.