The reason for so many failures at ornithology in the following WMG
It's actualy a defense mechanism by Kevin's species; in order to remain elusive, it sends psychic waves to disrupt brain functions and force people to say outdated facts about birds.
The police job is what he did pre-retirement; Cosgrove was a cover name he used in a bust and it became a nickname for him.
Cosgrove: Hey, Freakazoid, wanna go see a colorful bird and a talking dog?
Freakazoid: Do I!
- Then why not just tell Muntz/Doug/Bird/Annoying Kid/Developers to "Cut it out,"? Elder gods can't resist Cosgrove's abilities!
- Grief over Ellie's death robbed him of his powers. He probably got them back after the events of the movie, though. It explains how he got to keep the Zeppelin.
Russell was a child from WALL•E
who time-traveled backwards to the present.
Okay, this WMG was mainly built on the fact that Russell was kind of chubby. But still, a WMG's an WMG.
The real reason he doesn't see his dad much is because he went back to the future.
- That would explain why his father encouraged him in things like camping and exploring the pre-garbage world despite not being able to tell the boy anything concrete on how to go about it.
If there's a sequel, It will be called Down
Get it, because...directions? The plot would be about russel going underground to find carl's corpse.
Time doesn't pass normally in Paradise Falls.
Several evidences for this. A few times in the film, characters (Young!Ellie for one) says that it's a "land lost in time". Muntz states that he's been chasing Kevin "for years". This, coupled with Muntz's 'youth' and Carl's gradual increase in strength (straightening up, becoming more athletic
and the 'swordfight', and that Kevin
is not extinct, time is screwey. Not backwards, not stopped, but different
- One early story idea was that Kevin's eggs functioned as the fountain of youth.
- Perhaps the idea of Paradise Falls being a Land Lost in Time could be related to a labyrinthine map. The only way out of the screwy timeline or what year/day/hour it is in Paradise Falls is up. This could also explain why being away from home for three days wouldn't have worried people as much as it would have, and how they could have gotten back on the same day as the badge ceremony for Russel. This is a good theory. Headcanon forever.
- You make a rather good case; it could very well be true.
And Muntz has minor superpowers that allow him to still be fairly physically capable at 90-something. Possibly Carl, as well.
- Muntz has really good genes and Carl was running on adrenaline.
- That explains how the opening black-and-white footage in the opening resembles the one from The Incredibles, and the similar "secret wilderness adventure" setup.
- Perhaps Helen Parr was part of Ellie's extended family somewhere. Definite resemblance between the two.
- Alternatively, Muntz has some sort of brain-power based power, which would explain how he was able to build mind reading talking dog collars out of 1940's tech, and possibly also why he's gone round the bend...
- Ellie looked like the babysitter.
- And, during the "Through the City" montage, the family of three looking at reflections in a skyscraper window resemble Violet Parr (with brown hair) and the dude she had a crush on. Violet's hair seemed like an unnatural colour even for the Incredible's style, and it's plausible it was dyed, because that's what shy teenage girls do. It's also entirely possible that she grew up, married Dude (I don't remember his name, it was Dan or something) and had a kid.
- You mean Tony?
There are no female talking dogs because Muntz couldn't program a female speaking voice
The best he could do with his ~60-70-year-old technology is to pitch a male voice ridiculously high. Alternatively (and more horrifyingly)—
The female dogs are (shudder) being puppy milled in another part of the blimp.
Muntz keeps the female dogs almost constantly pregnant because he wants to breed smarter and more aggressive animals.
Or, alternatively, the female dog voices sound exactly like the male voices.
We never know what dog "Voices" would really sound like, so isn't that logical?
Muntz found (or created) a kind of Fountain of Youth
Hence why he's so vigorous for a guy who's at least ~10-15 years older then Carl and his original dogs are still alive.
- This was actually a story idea that Pixar abandoned.
- Hmmm... Disney/Pixar presents Pirates of the Caribbean: Fountain of Fair Fortune
- Seconded. Somebody send them a script!
- They don't need one! Just put a bunch of other scripts into a shotgun! It's the same thing!
Everything that happened immediately after the Shady Oaks truck came to pick him up are all within Carl's imagination.
Everything up to that point had a very believable plot where you never NEEDED to suspend your disbelief. Years of living with a one-track mind would definitely leave that person with some delusional ideas. The whole 2nd and 3rd acts were the product of what Carl wants to tell the audience about what kind of outlook you should have, instead of what really happened.
- ...You made me sad.
- This troper agrees. He could have died in the ambulance or maybe it is what Elli thinks might happen to him, heck it might even be what the kid wishes assisting the old man would end up as.
- Damn. That is sad...and possible. But if true, there is at least one light at the end of the tunnel: if Carl did indeed imagine the adventure, and then relate it to the audience/Russell, it would show that he did still let go of the house/his past, he did know what was important. Muntz would exist as a warning of what happens when you get too stuck in the past, what Carl could have become—he's that anyway, but him appearing in Carl's imagination would be justified as either his subconscious or Carl deliberately adding him in to make a point. And he was trying to pass that insight on. Not as awesome as a real adventure, but still heartwarming in its own way.
Carl is a multi-millionaire at the end of the film.
Carl managed to get the patent on the dog collar technology and made a fortune from the marketing bonanza with the dog owner market. How else could he afford to keep the dirigible, not be destitute with all the FAA fines he would have to pay for his trips and apparently prevent being shuffled off to an assisted living home?
- I thought he did go Shady Oaks in the end since he's homeless - one of the photos show the dogs visiting the residents.
- Maybe he paid them a visit, or donated a couple of dogs to a person who makes regular hospital visits with dogs.
- There's also all of Muntz' specimens. Sure they all got destroyed and dismantled in the fight, but it wouldn't be impossible for a museum to put them back together (a few missing bones notwithstanding).
- And let's not forget the dogs. They were obviously bred to be incredibly intelligent. You'd be surprised how much money can be made with serious dog breeding.
- The airship would be worth a good chunk o' change by itself; any aviation museum worth its salt would love to add it to their collection. Imagine the original Spirit of St. Louis, only bigger and still functional after all these years.
- He's got an airship full of talking dogs trained to kill. He's not going anywhere he doesn't want to go.
Muntz's mad quest was for nothing
Someone had already found another specimen of Kevin decades ago, and Muntz never found out because he's out of broadcast range and magazine delivery is right out. Carl had stopped reading National Geographic
a while ago and Russell never saw the exhibit on freaking huge South American birds at the Camping Museum.
- This is now my personal canon.
- And part of my personal canon is that it's actually called a snipe, thanks to the oddity of it (wouldn't be the first time a funny-looking critter was named after something mythical) and as a stand-in name that became widely accepted by the time they gave up sending people to look for Muntz so he could give it a proper name.
- Snipes... aren't mythical.
- Ok, so it's the Paradise Falls Greater Snipe. Scientific name: Aepyornis ellieae.
- Aepyornis is not a real snipe, it is actually more closely related to ostriches. Besides, it only lived in Madagascar.
- (Yes, I'm ignoring the fact that the first person to scientifically describe the species gets to give it it's scientific name. Just go with me here.)
Kevin is not a snipe.
He is actually a form of terror bird
. To survive competition by saber-toothed cats, it turned omnivorous. What Muntz discovered was a chimera between it, a dinosaur, Phorusrhachos, and Titanis. It was dismissed as a hoax, and no proof has been found since. Then the events of Up took place. Its genus is not of any known terror bird, since none are confirmed omnivores. He was nicknamed a snipe by Russell and Carl. Kevin probably doesn't have a common name.
Russell has Downs Syndrome
Epicanthic folds on the eyes, chubby, not terribly bright. He has all of the earmarks. It wasn't until the end where we see his mother that I realized that the eyes were supposed to indicate that he was Asian.
- ...That's a level of Unfortunate Implications I didn't even know EXISTED.
- This Troper has to agree. Maybe the comment was just meant to cross the line of couple of times?
- Part of it's the ambiguous nature of animated ethnicity. Russel doesn't have a skin tone significantly different from the other characters and of course, all facial features are stylized. The scary thing is that it makes sense with his obsession with the Wilderness Explorer badges (this is something which he can do, and more importantly, feels he can do on his own) and his father's neglect (who doesn't know how to handle a handicapped child).
- Uh... Yeah, kids can feel neglected by their parents, and parents can completely fail at knowing how to be parents, without said child being in any way different from most children. Not saying it's 100% impossible, just that your theory seems highly unlikely in the face of other options.
- Hmm, I dunno; the obsession with the badges puts me more in mind of a kid with Aspergers Syndrome. Maybe it's just because I've known plenty of them - heck, I was one when I was a kid - but that's just what it made me think of. Hmm, for some reason, Russell with Asperger's Syndrome is a pleasantly plausible thought to me. Sort of.
- It doesn't seem unusually obsessive; This Troper has known Scouts (and was one) who were pretty hyped up to collecting badges... especially kids like Russel, who probably thought that becoming distinguished through the badge-ceremony would get his dad's attention.
- Exactly. No DS or AS. Just an innocent kid looking for approval. Why can't people be happy with the simple things?
- This Troper immediately grasped that Russel was Asian, but is baffled that many people did not.
- Does that make us bad people?
Notice how both Russell and the CEO appear to be Asian. His father would also be away so much from him due to working as a CEO. Russell also has a GPS which I would think only a rich dad would get. There's also the fact that his dad is a jerkass
enough to not attend his son's senior boy scout graduation.
- I thought so too, it just seemed so perfect. All Russell needed to do was pull out the family photo and bam we get something going there. Maybe it was cut out, like the Fountain of Youth thing...
- This also explains why Russell was at Carl's house to begin with. His dad had no choice but to deal with him for a day, so he took him to work.
- He might not like his son being around Carl for personal reasons.
- Or Russel's dad made Russell go to Carl just to annoy Carl for not selling the house.
They clearly mention Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Epsilon, so why skip Delta. The other dogs seem to look down upon the typically non-agressive Golden Retreiver. Did Muntz refer to Dug in the course of the film?
- Yes, when he realizes he can track Carl and co. via the tracker in Dug's collar.
- There are way too many dogs for all of them to be named after the greek alphabet. Dug might be one of the youngest.
- The dogs, being pack animals, call each other not by given names but by social hierarchy, and Dug doesn't have any (he might as well be called Omega). Once Dug defeats the alpha male, he inherits the title.
- Yeah, Omega makes sense. Dug seems like the sort of dog who would occupy the Omega possition.
- This is untrue. There is an Omega listed separately during the ending credits.
- Maybe Dug is in an even lesser position that Omega?
- When the three dogs were shooting at Russell in the biplanes, two of them were Beta and Gamma. I always assumed the other one was Delta.
The guy who wrote that is friggin' insane!!
This would actually be funny if it weren't so...un-funny, I suppose...
Muntz is obviously a Spark, and Carl has some Sparky tendencies. Also explains why the laws of physics bend a bit when it comes to them.
Dug actually belongs to one of the other people that Muntz bumped off
This is why he's so different from the other dogs, and why they look down on him so much (well, part of the reason).
- It would also explain why Dug had no loyalty to Muntz. Maybe his old owner looked/smelled like Carl.
- This also explains away another theory. He's not named after a greek letter because he already had a name.
- Not only that, it would explain why Dug is the only Golden Retriever among Doberman, Bulldogs, and mixes of the two.
- Agreed, makes sense to me.
The only logical explanation.
- It also explains one of the houses in the George and A.J. short. Wait, does that mean Simon finally settled down and lived in Carl's neighbor?
All of the people that Muntz killed were fans of his.
The one thing all these people had in common were pilot hats...very similar to the ones Carl and Elie wore in their childhood. This may be a bit a stretch, but those hats were all part of Muntz merchandising campaign. ("Wear the official explorer's hat, endorsed by Charles Muntz himself!") All of those people were inspired by Muntz and decided to follow his example and go to Paradise Falls for their own reasons. Heck, some of them might have gone down just to try and help him capture Kevin. Of course, one thing led to another...
- I think the hats were just Muntz's hats. He lets one of the head-shaped hat rests fall from his hands while talking about Carl's story, so they were probably just symbolic. Besides, Muntz makes a point of calling Carl old, implying that the other "thieves" were too young to know Muntz as anyone other than "that guy who faked a giant bird skeleton."
- Alternatively, since Muntz has been in that jungle for nearly 60 years all the men he murdered might have been born in or around the same year as Carl, but none of them waited so much time to go there.
The only real bone on that skeleton was the head
I.e., Charles' skeleton really was
fabricated. It's quite obvious, in fact, since the supposed "giant snipe" skeleton has claws
. Probably Charles Muntz didn't actually know that the bones were not of the same creature, but then you wonder... how did the bones match themselves so well... and what the heck those arms belonged to, anyway?
- Those were the wing bones.
- ...allow me to retort: This◊ is how bird's wing bones look like. They are like an arm, but with nothing resembling fingers. The arms on that thing clearly had fingers. I couldn't find any pictures of the movie, sadly...
- ...Some birds do have claws: Hoatzins for instance. I know that real snipes don't have claws, but Kevin wasn't very snipe-like.
- Even hoatzins have the wing bones shaped like those of regular birds. And many other birds have wing claws anyway. STOP FAILING ORNITHOLOGY!
- A little belated but, what if those were the bones of a male "giant snipe"?
- 1:08 and 1:13-14.
- Meet Titanis, a terror bird with "wing bones" that could have possibly functioned like claws◊. Following the evolution WMG above, it fits in perfectly.
Carl is a Staunen Navigator with two dots in Skafoi. Muntz is an unmada. Russel is either a Beholden or a particularly young Genius. The dogs aren't in fact made smart by the collars, but are Automata 4 constructs. So we come to the conclusion that Paradise Falls is a bardo.
- Can we set it in the Old World of Darkness? That would make Carl a Son of Ether instead, probably Awakened by contact with Ellie (who was so obviously an Adventurer-type Etherite), and he and Russel and Dug can explore a happy '50s sci-fi universe. You know, with a severely downplayed likelihood of psychosis.
- ...can Muntz be a dupe who got all his gear from Pentex? Paradise Falls looks like the kind of place they like to break up for parts and sell off.
- The Old World of Darkness, you say? Gather, childlings, and hear the tale of the great nocker Carl, the kinain Russel, and the chimeras Dug and Kevin, and how they did battle with Banality by venturing forth into the Dreaming and reclaiming the lost Mobile Freehold of Adventure's Soul. Our story begins with Carl loosing his house from the Earth's bonds with a cantrip and riding the winds of mortal disbelief out of this darkened world, but it should properly start with the tales of the then-Seelie eshu Muntz he followed as a childling...
- You see, in the time before the Resurgence, Charles Muntz was a pioneer of Imagination— But as time passed and the domain of Science grew, Muntz became obsessed with "proving" the Dreaming to a world that was losing interest. He vanished into the Far Dreaming while Carl was still a child; yet Carl found wonder in the True Dreamer Eleanor and her pure heart. But once his beloved was lost Carl sank quickly into a Grump's state of mind. Resolving to emulate his lost idol and bid farewell to a world nearing Endless Winter, Carl cast off from the Waking World in an explosion of mechanical Glamour... accidentally drawing young Russel, a kinain whose dreams were strong despite his mundane surroundings, along with him.
- In conjunction with the WMG of Russel being Short Round's grandson, this means that Short Round himself was either a Nocker or - more likely - he too was a kinain, under the guidance of Indiana Jones, Archeologist Eshu!
The dogs learned what mailmen are from their parents.
It's entirely likely that none of Muntz's dogs have ever seen a mailman before. How, then, do they know that Russell looks like one? Well, the first dogs that Muntz brought with them may have known what mailmen are. When they had puppies, they told their puppies what mailmen are in the form of stories or something, and when their puppies grew up and had puppies of their own, they told them the stories of mailmen that their parents had told them, and so on. The dogs passed on the knowledge of mailmen like a sort of legend or something, which is why they refer to Russell as a "small mailman". This would also go along with the novelization, which explains that the dogs think anyone in a uniform is a mailman. If their parents tell them that a mailman is just a guy in a uniform, then they'll think that someone wearing a uniform looks like a mailman.
- I had assumed the dogs were saying "small male man" not "small mailman."
- As had this troper (for example, had Carl been able to go with Ellie, it would have been male man and female man instead of male man and small male man).
- Nope, one of the songs on the official soundtrack is listed as "The Small Mailman Returns".
- The Italian dub comes to the rescue: they described Russel as a postino, AKA mailman. I don't think the official translation would get something like that wrong...
Elie's spirit possessed the house
That's why it can defy physics. And why Carl scrambles to save it instead of a living, breathing being. And why it lands on the spot Elie dreamed up for it from the beginning, on its own, in the end. Carl may or may not be aware of that, or maybe only at a subconscious level.
If above theory is correct, than the movie universe is the same as Monster House
Well, both films did have the wives of the old man of the house possessed by them. But, Elie seemed to like kids more then the Monster House wouman, and thus, why Rushell got to live, and why she let him grab the hose.
- Makes sense: Ellie wanted to have children but couldn't, Constance hated the fact that she regularly got teased by children, especially on Halloween.
The house instead crashed into the buildings that the Corrupt Corporate Executive
wanted to complete in the first place, than accidentally killed said Executive a la
Wicked Witch Of East. However, it ended with Russel severely injured, and Carl in a coma, thus dreaming up the rest of it...
... however, once he woke up from it, he discovered that the pages that filled the 'stuff I'm going to', Russel's daddy issues, and Mutz (who just happened to retrieved Kevin and come back around the same time Carl woke up from his coma) being insane, and his doggy army were all real, and the dream just happens to be a vision sent by the spirit of his dead wife. Expect, Kevin's a shape shifter who can disguise herself, mainly as a bird or human, as her true form is not to be seen by a human eye.
That black out at the end of the storm scene had me thinking.
- Me too, but in a different way. A relative of mine saw the film too and said that no-one would really survive a storm like that. That made me wonder if the rest of the movie past that point was a kind of afterlife, with Carl, Russell and Muntz all being dead. Ellie might have been in a different part, it would explain all the talking dogs and weird birds, and we never actually see what happened to Muntz after he plummets out of sight
The skeleton was cobbled together from the skeletal or even fossilized remains of a fledgeling Kevinoid and its parent, but Muntz' insanity went back all the way to then to where he couldn't even tell.
The scientific community laughed him off because the "monster of Paradise Falls" was (metaphorically) just another Brontosaurus
. He declared that it was real, and he could prove it by finding a live specimen. However, if he'd been in his right mind, it would have been possible for him to accept Kevin's kind as being a real example of a Lost World species, instead of killing them and letting his dogs eat them as soon as he realized that an individual specimen wasn't the same "species" as the monster, and thus 1. useless in proving the existence of the monster, and 2. a worthless freak of nature that we already have the bones of
), just a colorful emu that nobody will care about.
The skeleton in Muntz's airship is that of Kevin's mate.
- If Kevin's mate was a skeleton seventy years ago, and Kevin's babies are still roughly the size of a melon, then those birds must live an incredibly long time.
D(u)g is Dog Delta Gamma, fourth pup of Dog Delta.
Because seriously, Omega is the lowest ranking position in a pack (when it is a rank, and not just a statement of birth order), not just the 23rd lowest ranking. Other second-generation dogs that survived the eugenics and training include Aa, B(i)g, and Eo (Dog Epsilon Really Gets Around
), but Dug is just the only second-gen dog we've seen that's a full member of the "pack" instead of still in the minors' compound.
In Modern Warfare
, favela thugs, mercenaries and terrorists are able to access heavy-duty military hardware with great ease, which explains how Carl was able to acquire a bajillion balloons despite a recent lawsuit.
- He sold balloons for a living. He probably just still had them leftover from then.
Carl most likely assumed wrong
, under the premise of the guess.
- When I first saw the movie, I thought she was the dad's secretary.
- I just assumed she was the nanny, and Carl was upset that she spent more time with Russell than either of his parents did.
- I thought it was a combination of the two above theories: Phyllis is Russell's step-mom, and tries way too hard to make him like her. Thus, she isn't actually Russell's mom.
- I thought that Russell's parents divorced and Phyllis was his father's new wife. The real mom was the lady in badge ceremony scene.
- You guys have a much more optimistic outlook on it than I do. My first thought was that Russell's dad was having an affair and cared about his family so little that he didn't even bother to hide it from Russell very well.
- I always thought that Phyllis was Russel's dad, who just had a feminine/odd name,which Carl assumed was the mother's name. Makes perfect sense.
- Not really, because why would Russell say that Phyllis said his dad was too busy to talk? Unless..Russell's dad has a Split Personality.
Alpha has a prototype collar originally made for communication efforts in the European War
. Dug has one of the most recent designs.
Alpha's grammar often slips into vaguely French or German character
syntax, has that loose wire which was never permanently fixed, and even his "regular" voice is poorly synthesized. Beta's seems to work consistently, and can convey more emotion, but still has a stronger "as heard via radio" sound than most of the other dogs (much less than Alpha's, though). Dug's works perfectly, with several accents and presumably jargon vocabularies as well as a Japanese vocabulary. Muntz didn't invent the collars himself prior to his adventure, he took the first collar (either bought, stole, or took off the corpse of an intruder male man), made more, and slowly refined the technology (possibly adapting them for canine use, if necessary, and if they were originally meant for humans).
Muntz is only ten years older than Carl
Muntz was in his early twenties when Carl and Elle were about, let's say- ten. This is why, when Carl and Mutz meet, they can both be old- but not too
old. If Carl is maybe 70 (I don't remember if they actually say
his age, so I'm sorry if that's wrong. XD) Than Muntz would only be 80.
- If that were true, it'd have been awfully hard for him to go on excursions with Teddy Roosevelt, who died in 1919, a full decade before Muntz would have been born to only be 80 in 2009. And something vaguely wheelchair-ish is telling me he wasn't talking about FDR.
The Jerk Ass
wanted Carl out so badly, so he ordered the construction workers to accidentally
hit something and then told them that if should they hit anything, they should be aggressively
nice, knowing that it would make Carl lose his temper and lash out. The CCE probably could have found other ways to have him evicted, but he decided to do this simply to get the message across that you don't mess with him.
- He likely took it personally when Carl got his house to float away. To him its like a big "up yours".
Dug's the only golden retreiver because...
Because Muntz was trying to breed a dog with extreme loyalty. Knowing that Golden Retrievers are traditionally very loyal, he decided to breed them into his dogs when he finally got his hands on one. Unfortunately, Golden Retrievers are also extremely
friendly, and though Muntz may have tried to breed the "friendly" out of them.... well, let's just say, it didn't work.
Carl originally went on his adventure to die.
Carl obviously planned the trip, so it's not really like he did it on the spur of the moment. He probably knew he wasn't capable of living out there all on his own. In his eyes, he did not have much left to live for, so he decided he was going to go out in style. After reading through Ellie's picture book, in addition to feeling responsible for inadvertently bringing Russel with him did he change his mind.
- I got that vibe from the movie as well when he sat in the chair just before Russel knocks on the door. Quietly sitting, eyes closed. He very well may not have planned on surviving the trip.
- Quite likely- he figured he didn't have long to live anyway, nor anything to live for with no family, so he decided to pursue the one thing he wanted in life that he could still achieve- going to Paradise Falls, even though it would be a one-way trip, and he likely wouldn't last long out there. He wanted to get there, and didn't care if it killed him, knowing full well it almost surely would.
- This seems less like Wild Mass Guessing and more like canon to me.
Russell is the reincarnation
of Carl and Ellie's miscarried child.
- Word of God says that both his look and personality was meant to evoke what their hypothetical child might have been like, and doesn't this theory just make the whole story even more heartwarming?
He's a short, adventure-loving Asian kid. Why not?
Kevin actually was a boy.
In Kevin's species, the father is the caretaker of the young. Russell was right in his assumption that Kevin was a male.
- This makes much more sense than Kevin being a female. Male birds are nearly always more colorful, as well as being larger than their female counterparts. In addition, in many bird species, both the mother and father care for the chicks. The only reason people tend to think he's a female is because Doug said so, and Doug is quite frankly- well...
- The females tend to be way better at camouflage. If Kevin is already so good at hiding, his mate could have been in the last few scenes in the canyon the entire time, and no one would be any the wiser.