Season 1: Deconstructing Disney (for Adults) Or… Rationalizing Disney Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – Alternative Themes Found in Disney Films That Provide Lessons and Parallels for Adults.
Ep 4 : Up
It is something we have been conditioned to desire. An indescribable feeling. Yet we somehow know the feeling. Though we may or may not be looking, love is always out there. It’s way out there in Disney Pixar’s Up. Just ask Carl Fredricksen. Poor Carl was honing his talents, the best way he could at his young age, before crossing paths with Ellie. They never conceived but they had a full life together. Carl understandably ages into a recluse of sorts. Shrouded in his veil of nostalgia, to a literal fault. As Carl realizes his life will change no matter what he does, a familiar energy crosses paths with him at a time he, once again, least expects. Over the course of their journey, Carl is reinvigorated through Wilderness Explorer, Russell, or as he would arguably describe, Ellie reincarnate. Live long enough, stay in any city, neighborhood, or stay in the same line of work and we too, can feel the familiar energies every now and then of times that were.
Once Carl and Ellie met, they were married off before they knew it. Immediately hitting it off in ways we have only heard about in R&B songs. We meet young Carl, who has firmly clung to his purpose in life, adventure. Not that we all find our life goals at such a young age but we can still relate to the pure excitement and deep imaginations of things we wished to be. It isn’t long until Carl is attracted to someone playing louder than him. Attracted to young Ellie’s high energy and level of enthusiasm for adventure like himself. How many times, “Wow, they’re into this same niche activity as me, HOT!” Don’t play. We are all guilty for falling based on simple premises. Usually we have to go through something with someone to start any form of relationship traction on any level. For Carl and Ellie, it wasn’t him stumbling on her or finding the same stuff he was into, it was Ellie being entirely too helpful. It’s the little things that lead to the biggest breakthroughs. The arm break led to the ultimate bonding experience with the pair that cemented their ties for years to come. All good things must come to an end; though Carl and Ellie are shining examples of pure love weathering any storm.
Everyone handles death differently, we can name the ways. I recently lost a very close friend and I wasn’t myself in ways that make for its own piece on mental health. On the contrary, Carl held tight and held down the house for Ellie. He was living a mostly sedentary lifestyle whilst fighting off aggressive contractors on the daily. But, Carl held it down like a soldier. Be that as it may; life is hard, and sometimes you lose. On this particular day, the good soldier raised his arms for the last time. We feel for Carl as any that have felt as if they had lost everything. However, Carl is full of shining examples for all generations. Often times we’re gonna be as ready as we’ll ever be before that taking the next step closer to our Paradise Falls.
When moving on, the past calls back to us in many forms. Favorite songs, old photos, special prayers or affirmations are just some of the memorabilia we possess to recall those we want to remember fondly. Additionally, the past may come to us in the form of another. Some would peg it, the spirit of the fallen. A more on the nose
dubbing, the spirit of adventure. For Carl, it was Ellie’s spirit in the form of Russell. Russell pried his way into Carl’s life with the same extremity as Ellie’s urge to get young Carl to his balloon. As much as Russell kept Carl on his toes, it was Carl that was the anchor of the pair. As was he with Ellie and the house. The balancing of Russell’s impulsiveness and Carl’s protective resurgence shows us shades of an adventure we wish to see, Carl and Ellie braving the elements together. Carl, who is able to reach Ellie’s penultimate goal of living in Paradise Falls and Russell’s always wanting to fill his Wilderness Explorer sash, becomes youthful once more thanks to Russell’s level of enthusiasm to assist the elderly.
Disney Pixar Up, is a lesson in equivalent exchange. Gaining and losing equal costs keep us at equilibrium as a people. What can happen when the universe wants to remind you of who you truly are beneath the layers of grit life has seasoned you with. It won’t always be as loud and intrusive as Russell. It may not even be as inviting as Ellie’s sound effects. If it’s as cathartic as Russell was for Carl then we may be in store for a true renaissance of our own.
**With the passing of veteran Pixar Animator, Adam Burke earlier this week, whose credits include: The Iron Giant, Robots, The Incredibles 1/2, Cars, Wall-E, Ratatouille, and Up. Thanking for helping us find our own spirit of adventure. Emcee would like to award Mr. Burke the Ellie badge for bringing some of our favorite films to life. Films we will be sharing with our families for years to come.