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Carl's & Ellie's Family: What Do You Think?

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Carl's & Ellie's Family: What Do You Think?

Postby cirquedunedwol » Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:35 pm

Carl's & Ellie's Family: What Do You Think?

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I just wondered what you guys thought about Carl's and Ellie's families and what they were like growing up. Despite the film itself, the only evidence and support I have to my own personal theories is the picture above of Ellie and Carl as children, and how each family responds to their wedding day.

Also this is what's said in the screenplay:

INT. CHURCH - DAY
FLASH! A photo is taken of the wedding couple: Carl and
Ellie, now 19
. She jumps at him and gives him a big kiss.
Ellie’s side of the church erupts like wild frontiersmen. A
gun shot is fired in the air.
Carl’s side, rigid puritans in black, clap politely.


Being English, and only twenty years old, I haven't much a feel of the American world in the 1940's/50's apart from what I've read but I have to admit, how the hell did Carl get out of his families clutches?

I personally think Ellie had some indication there like had a go at them for not letting Carl out and let him do what he wanted with his life, and supposedly girls had a tough time in terms of being forced into marriage really early on.

I'd really like to hear what you guys think about this! It just intrigues me!
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Postby lizardgirl » Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:26 pm

This is a very interesting discussion, cirquedunedwol. It's amazing just how contrasting their families are, but as they say, opposite attracts! As for how Carl managed to escape the clutches of his family, well maybe at some point he and Ellie made a stand against them. I don't think they're necessarily horrible people but they're obviously just very reserved, and I don't know much about Puritans so I don't know quite how serious they are, but though they may not have approved of Ellie and her family, they can't control what Carl wanted to do in his life.

Still, there's plenty of food for thought with this. I too am intrigued as to what anyone else thinks.
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Postby karly05 » Wed Jun 16, 2010 2:11 am

Good topic, and I've always liked that illustration from the "Art of Up" book - including the suggestion that Carl was probably an only child, while Ellie had a bunch of siblings.

I don't think Carl's family was that bad, or that he had to escape them - I think they're just very proper and reserved. (Even if they were thrilled about the wedding, they're not going to show it.) If Carl was an only child, I could see him growing up around a lot of adults, being expected to sit quietly in Great-Aunt Bertha's parlor on a Sunday afternoon while the grown-ups visit, etc. He's free enough as a boy that he's going to the movies by himself and running around the neighborhood, so I don't suppose his parents were overly strict, although I could see his mother fussing over him, especially if he's an only. They probably expected him to go into some line of work more serious than selling balloons, and they probably never really did know quite what to make of Ellie.

I like the image of Ellie's mother in that drawing. She looks a bit shabby and worn out, but sweet and loving, even with her hands full of kids. Ellie's boisterous nature would make sense in a big family, especially one with a bunch of kids all needing/wanting Mom's attention. There are probably no strangers in Ellie's parents' house; whoever turns up is welcomed with open arms. I could see them not knowing what to make of Carl, but if Ellie likes him, that's good enough for them.

I think 19 was not an uncommon age for marriage in those days - as you noted in the nursery story, most young people didn't go to college back then; you finished high school and got a job and went to work. Carl & Ellie had probably known for some time that they wanted to get married someday, so there's no reason they would have waited into their 20s. They're done with school, they're ready, let's go! :wink:

Anyway, chucking in my 2 cents. :)
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Postby lizardgirl » Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:10 am

Good points there, karly05. What you've said about Carl's family being fussy and reserved but not that bad in reality does make sense. He certainly doesn't seem to harbour any bad feelings towards them- after all, a lot of them are invited to his wedding!

Plus with Ellie having so many siblings, and with her seeming to be the eldest, it wouldn't surprise me if Ellie had a fair bit of responsibility in her own household and hence liked to get away from all the screaming kids from time to time for a bit of peace and quiet (and fun!) with Carl out in the neighbourhood.
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Postby thedriveintheatre » Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:24 am

I saw this artpiece in the book and wondered the same thing, too! Great observation, cirquedunedwol!
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Postby cirquedunedwol » Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:50 pm

Yay! My topic has been successful! It's really nice to see your views, and I agree entirely, but it still makes me wonder about how their families effect their dynamic as a couple? I've been doing a lot of research into the 50's, and Ellie being a girl would have probably as karly05 mentioned had a lot of chores and responsibility in the household and was able to get away with Carl to be herself.

The more I think about It does seem, as a marriage goes a match made in heaven and slight more...modern than the 50's were used to.

Women in them days weren't given as much rights, so for Ellie to be this dashing and daring ball of love and enjoyment is such a fun thing for Pixar to play with as a character in that time period as she's not a work at home parents (for sad reasons) so considering the dynamic for the relationship is so lovely she gets to work and be with Carl all the time.

Despite that Ellie does seem to be 'housewife' material as she gets older, but they always seem to take it in turns. (E.g when they're cleaning the house when they're 70 in comparison to building the house when they're just married)

Again, just some ramblings from a fangirl =)
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Postby lizardgirl » Thu Jun 17, 2010 4:23 pm

Sometimes I even forget that the film was set in the 50s, considering how modern Carl and Ellie's relationship seems. They're such forward-thinkers, and it's very refreshing to watch.

As for their families affecting their relationship dynamic, well I like to think that Carl and Ellie wouldn't let that happen too much. Obviously their family situations has affected who they are as people, but when they're together by themselves and without their families, I like to think that they're just completely honest with each other regardless of their backgrounds.
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Postby IncredigirlVirginia » Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:36 pm

I agree, and I have wondered about their families. But when you love someone, nothing else, even family, is really as important. I think your family's feelings toward your partner are irrelevant.
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Postby ellie-jessie-eve » Mon Jun 21, 2010 9:48 am

Hee heeh love the picture! And I learned something new today, that Ellie was 19 when she got married! Nice piece of trivia.

Anyway, I think that back in the 50s it was still common for the man to ask for the father for permission to marry his daughter. I think that back then that the men had more freedom to break away from their family moreso than the woman. So I don't know if it was socially a problem for a young man in post-WWII to leave his moma and marry a young gal.
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Postby ArtJoe » Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:34 pm

It is all there up on the screen. Reading the Art of Up only confirms that PIXAR distilled Ellie and Carl's love to its perfect essence. PIXAR really struggled on how to tell Ellie and Carl's story in a small part of act one. The result really is the most outstanding piece of filmmaking I have ever had the privilege to see. I really think the "married life" segment could heve bee released as a short and it would have no less impact. Having been married for seventeen years (it really does seem like yesterday, the difference is it now takes hours to recount it all instead of minutes!) and having a story reminiscent of thiers I think I can provide some perspective.

Ellie was what was called a "free spirit" in her prime. That phrase could be a simultaneous compliment and insult. Ellie likely was told many times to "act like a lady" and other silliness. She was a product of her time, and not afraid of honest, hard work. A woman of her time would have been indoctrinated that her worth was directly proportional to the neatness and beauty of the house "she" kept. Also obvious is Ellie's love of art, also a common trait of women born in the ninteen twenties. All people then did not have nearly the information inundation we are subjected to today, and spent a great deal more time appreciating the "mundane" beauty of the world outside thier door. All of this was reflected perfectly. Even the assisting Carl with his ties montage communicating the passage of time. How many husbands reading do thier own clothes shopping? ;) Her outfits throughout the film say so much that young 'uns likely will not get. As far as the problem having children goes, in the forties and fifties, up until about the mid eighties actually, the loss of a child was one of the "fates worse than death" for a woman in social circles. It still carries a stigma of "damaged goods" even today. Ellie had love to spare however. The previous analysis of the source of Ellie's outgoing personality coming from being one among many is spot on I think, My wife and her three sisters are extroverts in thier own way, but I certainly got the Ellie of the bunch!

Carl by contrast, was the classic proto-nerd. Not only introverted, but full of wrong ideas about the world as learned from classic adventure stories instead of the schoolyard, actively discouraged from adventure by an over protective mother but craving it as much or more than other boys. He too is a product of his time, but with a gentle soul that would never embrace the callousness expected of men toward women in his prime. Besides, Ellie would kick his butt! I feel for how hard it must have been for Carl to watch Ellie's spark that burned like the sun on most days dim on those days of helplessness where all he could do was watch, and finally go out. I have not experienced the latter yet, and hope to the Gods not to for many years, but like Buzz said; "It can't last forever." My only hope is that the end is without pain and that if someone needs to be alone for a bit, it is me. Men like to "fix" things. Men generally do not do well when all you can do is what Carl did supremely well - be there. Completely. It took me many years to learn such a simple thing that is actually harder than anything to do when the person you love is hurting.

Reading the comments about how the families of Ellie and Carl might percieve the other brings back memories of my own story again. Her family had macho, outgoing guys that frankly think of me as a "wuss," and my family is judgemental but courteous for the most part. Despite the speed with which we got married (ten weeks from met to married - eight of those I was in Boot Camp!) they got over it. I am confident that anyone who knew Ellie would have learned quickly that there would be no changing her mind, Just like my own dear wife!

cirquedunedwol, Like I said at the start of this ramble it is all up there on the screen. The "American Experience" distilled so that only the love and fierce bond remained. Life shows us all the distilled bad side of life every day, it is very seldom we get the other. Thanks PIXAR, We are eternally grateful...
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Postby Phileas » Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:47 am

I always saw Carl & Ellie's relationship of Pixar reflecting on one maxim they like to use: anything is possible. Just like how Gusteau's maxim is "Anyone can cook", in my humble opinion I thought Carl+Ellie was to bring that to Up.

Besides, Ellie is quite cute being all-so-outgoing to a very timid and shy young Carl! :P
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Re: Carl's & Ellie's Family: What Do You Think?

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