“Up” Themes: Relationships

What’s the first thing you thought of when you read the title? Intimate relationships? Well… yes, Up does include an intimate relationship in it’s plot that Carl Fredrickson had with his wife. In each of our lives we encounter numerous relationships, before you find your spouse (granted only if you marry once) you will probably even date more people than you can count on one hand. That’s just naturally how it works, as we go through life we go through different relationships. However, not all relationships in life are necessarily intimate. In Up Carl stumbles upon a different kind of relationship, one that just came knocking at his door… literally.

“We came up with this image of a floating house held aloft by balloons, and it just seemed to capture what we were after in terms of escaping the world. We quickly realized that the world is really about relationships, and that’s what Carl comes to discover.”

-Pete Docter, Director/Writer

You will have intimate relationships, relationships with your family, with your colleagues, with everyday people that you meet, even with your dog or cat. Nevertheless, I believe one of the most important relationships you can have with someone is a friendship. Dig deep past the adventure, the huge flourishing jungle, and the talking dogs. The whole point of the story is to show an unlikely friendship being formed and those series of events that lead to this friendship between Carl and Russell. Up is centered around Carl and Russell’s Friendship.

Carl has been mourning over the death of his late beloved wife for quite a while. Since Ellie’s passing Carl hasn’t opened himself up to another relationship with anyone in the world. It is apparent that Carl doesn’t consider finding another to replace Ellie, everything he does is in honor of Ellie. Because of his fear of replacing Ellie, Carl becomes extremely introverted. He closes himself up to the rest of the world, which is the reason of his cantankerous attitude towards the rest of the world in the beginning of the movie, he wants nothing to do with anyone at all, let alone nurture a new friendship. Despite Carl being resistant towards letting someone new in, he encounters a new friendship whether he likes it or not.

Pete Docter is one hundred percent right, just for a second imagine your life without any relationships of any kind. Every man is for their own, you don’t rely on anyone, you don’t communicate or interact with anyone (unless business matters of course). It can’t be done! Each an every human being right now is in some kind of relationship, intimate, friendship, or even an acquaintance you have with your next door neighbor.  Our lives are centered around all these relationships we have with one another, some last a lifetime… some last only a few days. Life is about creating new friendships and other relationships with one another, this is yet for Carl to discover… until he meets little Russell.

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