Why I Love the Movie “Up”

If you haven’t seen the animated movie “Up,” yet, then I suggest powering down the laptop, slamming the case shut and hightailing it to the nearest theatre. Be forewarned that the following article may contain some plot spoilers, but more importantly, I urge you to see this movie! (Of course now I’m creating undue expectations and you’ll see it and then go, “what the heck was she talking about?” and then I’ll ruin my credibility forever – BUT, I’m willing to take that risk.) 

“Up” is the story of love between two oddball kids who grow up and get married. It’s the story of delayed dreams and taking action in unpredictable ways. “Up” concerns 78 year old Carl Fredricksen, who after losing the love of his life and being literally hemmed in by modern society, takes off and takes his house with him on an incredible, long-delayed adventure to South America. An 8 year old wilderness boy scout is an unexpected stowaway. And off they go, up into the clouds together.

For me, one of the most wonderful scenes in the movie takes place when the helium balloons that are transporting the house start to lose their juice. As the house sinks lower and lower, and the ability to travel and achieve important tasks diminishes, Carl has to figure out something. And what he does is metaphorically just beautiful – he gets rid of all his possessions, lightening the house so it can float again and travel to his ultimate destination. As the house floats away, we see what he left behind – not only clutter but things that were so important to him – at one time. The easy chairs he and his late wife sat in; the books and paintings they cherished; all left behind so he could continue his journey. 

Now, I’m not advocating getting rid of stuff that is truly meaningful and important and useful. But I thought it was very interesting that for Carl to move onto the next phase of his life, he had to jettison his past. Which reminds me of the Empty Your Nest tag line: “We help you clear out your past to make room for your future.” Hey. Now I can just say “Up,” and that should do it, for those of you in the know. 

Another thing I just loved about this movie were the dogs. Dogs and squirrels. Dogs and their dysfunctional relationship with balls. Dogs and cone heads. Too much fun. 

Just see “Up.” It is a true delight. And it may get you thinking about the role that possessions play in your life – are they slowing down your journey?

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