Unbelievably, Up turns 10 years old at the end of the month. There’s nothing like one of your favourite movies reaching a monumental birthday to make you despair over the relentless passage of time. 10 years is a long time. Pete Docter, the director of Up, has since become the chief creative officer at Pixar, which just goes to show you how much a person can grow over the course of a decade.
This got us thinking: where would Carl, Russell, and the crew be 10 years after the events of Up? Obviously there’s not just one answer to this, so let’s explore the different possibilities for each character.
First of all, let’s get this out of the way: NO. CARL IS NOT DEAD. That option is not going to be considered. Carl Fredricksen is currently still enjoying the adventure of his life and you can’t convince me otherwise. During the main events of Up, Carl is 78, so now he’ll be at the grand age of 88. Charles Muntz was 92 and still a fully-functioning owner of a blimp full of talking dogs. Who knows what Carl could still be capable of?
We can see from the stills during the end credits that Carl fully embraces his new role as Dug’s master. I think because he understands so deeply the loneliness that elderly people can experience, Carl would find a lot of happiness in training up Dug’s pups to become loving companions to those in need.
Carl and Russell are no doubt looking forward to the next Star Wars movie too, and hopefully they’re enjoying all the spin-offs.
Russell was a sweet 9 year old Wilderness Explorer, so now he’ll be 19! I can imagine Russell still getting a lot of enjoyment from learning about the huge diversity of animals on the planet (“There are no tigers in South America. Zoology.”), and he’ll definitely want to explore the world one day. Finally earning his ‘Assisting the Elderly’ badge (and, of course, the Ellie badge), might have put things into perspective for him a little though. Maybe Russell is making the most of his time with Carl, maybe he’s volunteering in a care home, or maybe he’s become a Wilderness Explorer Leader, training up a whole new generation of helpful wildlife enthusiasts.
Whatever he’s up to now, he’ll be doing it out of kindness and curiosity because, wow, he’s a good kid.
Let’s assume Dug was a young dog during the events of Up, because no one likes to think about dogs not being alive any more. A decade later, Dug is probably enjoying a slower pace of life alongside his master, Carl (and possibly alongside some of his puppies). Hopefully that talking collar is still functioning! Dug had a hard start in life, so what he really deserves is a great long life just doing what normal dogs do: lounging in the garden, chasing squirrels, begging for food, and insisting on sleeping on the double bed at night.
Kevin, as ever, is a mystery. Who knows how long the mythical ‘Snipe’ lives? Bird can live for a pretty long time (ostriches can live up to 45 years), so let’s all agree that Kevin is alive and well and raising her 15th brood of chicks. The tropical ‘Snipe’ population in Paradise Falls will have had a boost through conservation efforts sparked by Carl and Russell’s awareness campaigns. Maybe Kevin still thinks about her human friends sometimes, or maybe she just misses chocolate.
Up did an amazing job of showing that all of life’s ventures are adventures in themselves. Yes, perhaps on paper – or on screen – Carl and Russell’s trip to Paradise Falls was the most exciting event of their lives, but I’m sure that experience has taught them that every memory is of value. It’s 10 years later, and their adventure has only continued.
Ellie would be proud! And I can imagine their house still sitting right beside Paradise Falls, slowly returning to nature with plants growing over the windows and birds nesting in the chimney. I don’t think Ellie would want it any other way.
This is just one post out of a series to celebrate Up‘s 1oth anniversary. We’d love to hear your memories and thoughts – leave us a comment, or tweet us and use #Up10th! Where do you see the cast of Up now?