HomeChévere reports'Up' celebrates 25 years of its trip to South America with balloons

'Up' celebrates 25 years of its trip to South America with balloons

'Up', also known in Latin America as 'Up: A High Adventure', is one of the most emotional and outstanding films in the modern filmography of the Disney studios. Underrated compared to other more commercial productions, the film focused its adventure in South America on landscapes inspired by Venezuela.

Next May 29, the production will celebrate 25 years since its premiere in movie theaters (it debuted in 2009), the place where many saw for the first time the iconic image of the little house elevated by thousands of colored balloons, which already forms part of pop culture.

Directed by Pete Docter ('Inside Out'), “Up” is a study in sadness and tells the story of an old man named Carl Fredricksen and a young explorer named Russell, and how a series of events lead them to embark on a great trip to fulfill Carl's lifelong dream. On that journey, the story also explores themes of love, loss, friendship, and the importance of having adventures in life.

'Up' was the tenth film released by Pixar Animation, and the first Disney-Pixar film to be presented in 3D. Below, we present 25 interesting facts and curiosities about this moving and stylized feature film.

Towards South America

Carl Fredricksen (voiced by Ed Asner) is a retired balloon salesman. At 78 years old he is a little grumpy and not very sociable. Faced with the prospect of having to abandon what he and his late wife Ellie built together, he decides to take matters into his own hands. Thus, one day Carl ties thousands of balloons to the roof of his house, takes off and takes flight towards South America, fulfilling the promise he had made to his wife many years ago and to see the Paradise Falls. Unexpectedly, he soon discovers an unconsidered problem: he has an 8-year-old boy stowed away on board: the overly optimistic Russell.

Courtesy: Disney/Pixar

Angel Falls

The destination Carl longed for, Paradise Falls, is based on Angel Falls, in the Canaima National Park. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, it is the highest waterfall in the world, with a height of 979 m (807 m of uninterrupted fall). In the film, for artistic reasons, the jump has a height of 2956 m.

Ricky Nierva, the film's production designer, told the BBC that it took a team of 11 people, including director Pete Docter, more than seven hours to reach the top of Roraima, in the Guiana Shield, a site many explorers visit. They call it “The Lost World.”

The group climbed a straight mile (just over 1600 meters) to the top of Mount Roraima (the tallest and most famous of the 115 mesas), and were then transported by helicopter to the Kukenan tepui. According to what they said, they encountered “deadly ants, poisonous snakes, scorpions and miniature frogs” during the trip.

Courtesy: Disney/Pixar

“We wanted it to look otherworldly, but still be believable,” Nierva explained to the British network about why they chose this tepui as Carl's dream place. “Initially, we thought of an island or something in the clouds, but when we saw a documentary about this area of ​​Venezuela that another designer suggested to us, we all agreed that we could finally realize our vision,” he explained.

Pete Docter, in fact, said that it was a Pixar colleague, Ralph Eggleston, design producer of 'Wall-E', who showed him a video of the Venezuelan Gran Sabana.

Courtesy: Disney/Pixar

10.297 balloons

Almost 70 animators worked on 'Up' during the most intense phase of production. A team of nearly 375 people at Pixar, in total, participated in the creation of the film. Supervising technical director Steve May and his team created a canopy of 10.297 balloons to float over Carl's house for much of the film. That number doubles to 20.622 for the dramatic scene in which the house lifts off its foundation for the first time. May and his team calculated that it would take about 26,5 million balloons to build a real house, the DVDDizzy website highlighted.

Carl and Ellie's house exists

A replica of the protagonists' house was built in Herriman, Utah, United States and has a value of 400 thousand dollars. The house is 100% habitable and has become the great tourist attraction of that Salt Lake town.

The house has more than 8000 plastic spheres that appear to be balloons on the roof, which took the staff in charge of the house about two weeks to finish inflating. Even the homeowner Carl's signature glasses were recreated, sitting on his nightstand next to his pill boxes and Tiffany-style lamp.

Venezuelan talent

A Venezuelan also worked on the making of 'Up': Esdras Varagnolo, who was lighting director.

Carl and Russell

Carl is the most complex human character ever created by Pixar, as Pixar highlights in data on its website. His design is symbolically and literally square: three heads high. Russell, for his part, highlights egg and round shapes. Likewise, Russell has more layers of clothing than any other Pixar character: a shirt, a sash covered with insignia, a bandana, and a backpack.

Courtesy. Disney/Pixar

An older adult as a hero

'Up' was the first Disney-Pixar film to feature “a geriatric hero.” “We talked about characters that had never been done, and there stood out a group of underrepresented people in society, and in movies in general: older people,” said Bob Peterson, co-writer of the film. “We knew Carl's character would be original, but it also relied on a lot of emotional things that old people do. Old people make great comic characters because they have truly earned the right to speak their minds. It's funny to even think about it,” he said, as highlighted by the D23.com portal.

The most complicated design

Kevin, a supposedly extinct bird with long legs and iridescent feathers, was the most difficult character to design for character supervisor Thomas Jordan and his team. To create it, the producers brought real ostriches to the animation studio. On top of that, this 3.9m flightless bird required the group to treat its feathers like facial hair, which was time-consuming.

Courtesy: Disney/Pixar

Soundtrack of emotions

This is the third Pixar film with music by famous Italian composer Michael Giacchino, after 'The Incredibles' and 'Ratatouille'. Highlighted as “superb” by critics, the soundtrack especially highlights the emotionality of the story. Likewise, it is through music that Elie's character remains present throughout the plot. Giacchino's work was awarded the Oscar for Best Score in 2010.

Box office

The film was a commercial success at the box office for Disney and Pixar, despite offering an unconventional story and protagonist. In total, 'Up' grossed more than $700 million in the global market.

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