Up - 2009

Up - 2009
Movie Info

Rating: PG


Age-appropriateness: some scary scenes


Overview: 78-year-old Carl Fredricksen travels to Paradise Falls in his house equipped with balloons, inadvertently taking a young stowaway. Carl tries to live out his lifelong dreams after the death of his wife. He learns how to let go and grieve his past while starting a new adventure, mentoring a young child who needs a role model.


Themes: intergenerational relationships, growing up, friendship, isolation, love, exploration, adventure, marriage, grief, vulnerability, dreams, death/grieving, expressing emotions

The Quick 3

Ask these quick questions to hit the major themes of the film.

1. Intergenerational relationships. How many friendships do you have with people who are much older? How might you make friends with even more people who are older than you?

  • Carl and Russell had a special friendship. The age difference between them allowed them to each bring something unique to their relationship. Carl had experience, wisdom, and skills. Russell brought curiosity, enthusiasm, and innocence.


2. Friendship. What do you think makes someone a good friend? Why is Jesus the best friend ever?

  • Russell explains that “an explorer is a friend to all, be it plans or fish or tiny mole”. Jesus is the best possible friend you'll ever have. John 12:12-13 shows just how good of a friend Jesus is: He said, "This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends."


3. Expressing emotions/grief. What do you think Carl should do so that he really expresses all of his emotions related to his sadness? What do you think he is feeling after his wife passed away, and who do you think he should talk to about it?

After The Movie Discussion Guide

Follow this 5-10 minute discussion guide to drive an in-depth conversation.

1. Parent self-evaluation: Carl eventually mentored Russell, a young boy who needed a leader to look up to. Is there anything you can do to intentionally pour into the life of a child who might not have a positive, Christ-like role model?


2. Carl would much rather travel alone. He seemed so happy and adventurous earlier in his life. Why do you think Carl is now grumpy and wants to be by himself? Why do you think he’s closed off to letting new people into his life?


3. After his wife passed away, Carl had to learn how to grieve her loss. She was the person he loved more than anyone in the world, and now his life feels a lot different. What do you think Carl should do so that he really expresses all of his emotions related to his wife dying? What do you think he is feeling and who do you think he should talk to about it?


4. Throughout his life, Carl looked up to Charles Muntz, the adventurous explorer. Charles was a role model for Carl, someone he looked up to and wanted to be just like. Jesus is the best role model any of us will ever have. 1 John 2:6 says that we should observe the way Jesus behaved and then try to do the same: "Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did." Who are some of your role models? How can you live your life more like Jesus?


5. If you could put a bunch of balloons on your house and take it anywhere in the world, where would you want to go? What would be the coolest part of floating high up in the air with your house?


6. Carl and Russell had a special friendship. The age difference between them allowed them to each bring something unique to their relationship. Carl had experience, wisdom, and skills. Russell brought curiosity, enthusiasm, and innocence. How many friendships do you have with people who are much older? How might you make friends with even more people who are older than you?


7. Carl eventually agrees to be Dug’s master. Throughout the movie, he rejects the chance to be Dug’s master because that would come with responsibilities to take care of the dog. The Bible tells us that God should be our only true master. In Matthew 6:24, we read that "No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money." Who, or what, is the master of your life? What is the most important thing in your life?


8. Dug is a talking dog. What animal would you like to give the ability to talk? What do you think they would say?

Minute By Minute Guide

Use this break down of the entire movie in addition to the “After the Movie” discussion guide. Great for repeat viewings.

:03 Charles Muntz coined the phrase: “Adventure is out there!”. How often do you go on adventures? What’s your favorite way to explore?


:11 Carl and Ellie love each other so much. They have many adventures and great memories as they grow older. But they realized that they never did the one thing that they always wanted to do together (go to Paradise Falls). What’s the one thing that you want to make sure you do during your lifetime? Something that you don’t want to look back and regret because you missed out?


:19 Carl and Ellie created an adventure book and had a "stuff I'm going to do" page, which included a list of all of their dreams and ambitions. If you created an adventure book, what would be some of the things you’d include on the “stuff I’m going to do” pages? What are your hopes and dreams of what you want to experience and accomplish in your life?


:34 Carl and Russell play games like the “quiet game” while they travel. What are your favorite games to play on road trips? Have you ever found the journey to be just as fun as the destination?


:39 Russell explains that “an explorer is a friend to all, be it plans or fish or tiny mole”. Jesus is the best possible friend you'll ever have. John 12:12-13 shows just how good of a friend Jesus is: He said, "This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends." What do you think makes someone a good friend? Why is Jesus the best friend ever?


:48 Russell talks about his mom and his dad. He says Phyllis isn’t his actual mom and his dad isn’t around much. He would really love someone to show him how to explore, but he doesn’t seem to get that from his dad. What are the things you’d really like from your mom and dad?


1:00 Charles Muntz has become obsessed over finding the big bird in order to fix his reputation. He won’t let anything or anyone stop him, and it’s caused him to live all alone by himself, without a lot of joy. Have you ever been obsessed over something that you started to care more about it than caring for other people?


1:05 Russell recalls that it’s the boring stuff he remembers the most about his dad. It wasn’t the big adventures, but rather the small moments when they were simply hanging out together. What are your favorite "small moments" that love doing with your parents?


1:10 Carl decided to save his house instead of saving Kevin. Russell doesn’t understand. Carl became obsessed about getting to Paradise Falls, and once he was there, he realized it wasn’t as satisfying as he thought. Why do you think Carl made this decision? Have you ever considered something to become more important than the people you love?


1:14 Carl decided that his stuff, even though he had great memories with it, isn’t as important as his friends. What do you think Carl was feeling as he had to throw away the things that gave him joyful memories and reminded him of his wife, Ellie?


1:25 Carl has to learn to let go and grieve the things that he’s lost. It's hard to let go of things that we love. And it's also really important that we process our emotions and talk about the big feelings that we have. What are some of the hardest or saddest moments in your life that you can remember? Were you able to talk through your feelings with someone during that time?