My Favorite Scene: Up (2009) “Carl & Ellie”

Trying to pick the best of the Pixar films is easy once you narrow it down to about six.  After that, good luck trying to rank one over the other.  The Pixar movie that most impacted me was Pete Docter’s Up (Best Film of 2009).  You’d think a movie about a crotchety old bugger who straps a bunch of balloons to his house would be silly (and I haven’t even mentioned Dug….SQUIRREL!) but it’s not.

Well, it is when it needs to be, and it needs to be sometimes because it is the most adult, heart-wringing and touching animated film I think I’ve ever seen.  It’s a bit of personal bias, really.  My wife and I always thought of ourselves as Carl and Ellie (she even bought us both Adventurer Pins when we went to Disneyland), and now that she’s gone I doubt I’ll ever be able to watch it again.  Primarily, because of the movie’s best scene: a several minute, silent montage of an entire marriage.  Highs and lows, the whole deal.  At the end of that bit, once you scrape yourself off the floor, Carl never seems silly again, because you KNOW him.  Pete Docter and his team did more character development in three minutes using no words at all than some TV series do over an entire run.  It’s sad; it’s wonderful; it’s brilliant; it’s marriage.

UP, Carl Fredrickson

4 thoughts on “My Favorite Scene: Up (2009) “Carl & Ellie””

  1. This is the best sequence in the history of animated films. On the strength of this one sequence, Up probably has the edge over Incredibles, Wall-E and Toy Story 3. If only more people in Hollywood aspired to take animation to these places. If Pixar really has undergone a shift in management, if Brave and all the sequels are a result of someone at the top demanding more juvenile, easily-marketed films, all I can say to that person is: do you understand what you had? Grown men were crying after this sequence. This is Jim Henson, this is Charlie Chaplin. This is genius. Please don’t throw this away.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To that I would say, bring on Inside Out!…..and hopefully more will follow, but I couldn’t agree more. Three minutes and everyone in the theater was destroyed, but not in a way that ruined the film or traumatized the kids in the audience. Phenomenal.


    1. This montage kills me. It’s a perfect example of how the best Pixar films work for all ages. There’s a lifetime in just a few minutes including a miscarriage, a terminal diagnosis, and death, and that would be enough to derail a normal animated film. Jeez, it would make a dismal live action one, but this film still bursts with joy and HOW they manage that is beyond me. This was the best film of 2009.


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