UP (2009)

Up (2009) – IMDb

Available on: Disney +, Prime Video, Apple TV, YouTube TV

Disney’s Up is an animated movie that tells the story of a 78-year-old man named Carl Fredricksen who, after the death of his beloved wife Ellie, embarks on a journey to fulfill their lifelong dream of traveling to South America. Carl is a grumpy and reclusive man who is initially resistant to change, but when he accidentally takes a young stowaway named Russell with him, he begins to open up and form a deep friendship with the boy. The movie explores themes of aging, loss, and intergenerational friendship. Carl’s journey serves as a metaphor for the human experience of growing old and facing the end of one’s life. The relationship between Carl and Russell, which develops despite their age difference, emphasizes the importance of intergenerational friendships and the value of connecting with people of all ages. Throughout the movie, Carl and Russell encounter a cast of colorful characters, including a talking dog named Dug and a rare bird named Kevin. The group faces many challenges, including dangerous weather and a villainous explorer, but they ultimately succeed in their quest to reach South America and fulfill Carl and Ellie’s dream.

US2 Watchers Guide:

The following questions can be used as you watch through the movie to reflect on where your own personal biases about age can influence decisions made in your classroom or community and what you can do to prevent those biases from becoming explicit and impacting others.

• How does the movie Up challenge stereotypes about aging? What are some examples of elderly characters in the movie who defy expectations or challenge common assumptions about aging?

  • What role does intergenerational friendship play in the movie Up? How do Carl and Russell’s friendship challenge age-based stereotypes and promote respect for people of all ages?

  • How does the movie Up explore the theme of loss and its’ impact on the aging process? In what ways does Carl’s grief over the loss of his wife Ellie influence his behavior and outlook on life?

  • How does the movie Up promote the idea of “growing old gracefully”? In what ways does Carl’s journey inspire you to think about how you want to live your own life as you age?

  • In what ways does the villainous explorer in the movie Up represent age-based stereotypes and discrimination? How do the other characters challenge his assumptions and promote respect for people of all ages?

  • The movie Up also addresses the idea of legacy and the importance of leaving a positive impact on the world. How does Carl’s journey to South America help him come to terms with his own mortality and think about his legacy?

  • The character of Dug the dog provides comic relief in the movie Up, but he also serves as an example of how animals and humans can form meaningful connections regardless of age. How does Dug’s relationship with Carl and Russell challenge age- based stereotypes and promote understanding and respect?

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