I Can’t Believe I Didn’t See it Before! This Disney Pixar UP! Theory Makes SO Much Sense!

There’s an UP theory that’s popping into our newsfeed and it changes everything we knew about the uplifting Disney-Pixar classic.

If you’re not familiar with UP, the story focuses on Mr Carl Fredricksen as he navigates life after his beloved wife Ellie passes away. Carl, along with a young boy scout named Russell, embarks on an epic journey to South America’s Paradise Falls, using Carl’s house and thousands of helium balloons to get there. It’s probably one of the most poignant Pixar tales and even though it’s 15 years old, it remains a firm family fave.

Dark UP theory
Carl’s journey upward. Source: Pixar

Dark fan theory is anything but UPlifting 

But could it be that the movie isn’t a movie about an old man floating away in a balloon house? Could it really be a story about an old man’s ascent into heaven?

The internet seems to think so, and it makes a lot of sense. 

A journey into Heaven

The theory goes that Carl actually passed away shortly after his wife, Ellie and that everything else that follows is actually Carl’s journey to heaven. According to Reddit, Carl died in his sleep shortly after striking the construction worker with his homemade tennis ball cane. 

Heaven is represented as Paradise Falls while Russell, the adorable scout with a love of chocolate and Snipes, is actually Carl’s guardian angel who needs one more badge to earn his angel wings. He needs to “assist the elderly” by “crossing the street, or the road” or perhaps crossing over to Heaven.

UP theory
Russell needs to help Carl “cross something.” MIND BLOWN. Source: Pixar

I’ve also read an UP theory that Russell is represented as a young boy to touch on the fact that Ellie and Carl could not have children. 

What about Charles Muntz? The UP theory suggests he’s a fallen angel on a mission to drag Carl to hell. Dark… And of course, there are the dogs, which guard Charles’ aircraft, just like the hound, Cerberus in Greek mythology. Minus the three heads. 

The theory also suggests that the house represents Carl’s attachment to the real world, which, at the end, he lets go of. He then remains at Paradise Falls, aka Heaven with the iconic chairs, and is reunited with Ellie. 

 Take a look at the UP theory below:


@zackattree Have you heard this dark theory about Pixar’s Up? #up #pixar #disney #pixarup #upmovie #theory #carlfredricksen ♬ Married Life (From “Up”) – Geek Music

Could it be true?

One of the most convincing things about this UP theory is that before Carl’s journey to Paradise Falls, he could barely walk or move around. But somehow he can go on this mega-trek through the jungle all the while carrying a balloon house. 

But, of course, this is Pixar and things don’t need to make sense. I mean, the movie is about a house that floats from North America to South America, fuelled by a bunch of balloons. This isn’t the most plausible of storylines. 

Fun side note: There’s actually an UP house on Airbnb that is a replica of the movie house AND it even floats. It doesn’t take holidaymakers to Paradise Falls, though I’m sticking by my previous statement. 

The next time you play Up! with your kids, consider this theory. I have to admit, it does make sense, but I prefer to see UP as simply a movie about an old guy, his talking dog and the unwavering spirit of adventure. What about you? 

If you’re a fan of fan theories, then check out some of these Bluey fan theories that have left us completely baffled. 

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Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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