The 10th anniversary of the classic film ‘UP’

Category: Movies

It is hard to believe that Carl, Ellie, Russell, Kevin, and Dug have been part of our lives for ten years. In 2009 the animated Disney film UP was released to rave reviews and the story touched the hearts of audiences of all ages.

Carl and Ellie

While we have seen so many royal animated love stories with the Disney princesses, the love story of Ellie and Carl is perhaps the most heartwarming of them all. To think that animated characters can bring tears to our eyes and deeply touch our hearts is a tribute to the storytelling and this beautiful movie about love and family.

Carl and Ellie are, for many of us, the most iconic animated characters in love. Their story reminds us that deep and abiding love between two people is what carries us through life. The devotion between these two is unbroken from the first time they met as little kids. Their love bound them together long after Ellie’s death, and her final wish was that Carl would continue to enjoy life without her. How sweet and sensitive is that? It proves the love they shared is timeless.


Russell is an adorable and eager young boy. Yes, he is a little overweight, but he has no father to help inspire him. His mother loves him, but Russell definitely misses having his father around to show him the ways of being a Wilderness Explorer. The wilderness must be explored! While his father is off with his new family, Russell is trying hard to connect with him, to no avail.

This adorable little scout is anxious to get his last badge so he can advance in the troop. All he needs is to assist an elderly person. This poor little fellow picks grumpy Carl Frederickson.

Carl and Russell

To escape from being sent to a nursing home, Carl sails his house down to South America with the help of helium balloons. Unbeknownst to him, Russell accidentally is on his porch. Carl tries to send the little boy back home, but things get out of hand and the two of them find themselves on an adventure in South America near the spot where Ellie always wanted to go.

Russell is still intent on helping Carl to get his “helping the elderly” badge so they try their best to move the house to Paradise Falls, where Ellie had envisioned putting her house. Carl is still following Ellie’s dreams.


Kevin is a beautiful and very colorful giant bird that discovers this unlikely duo. Russell names him Kevin however the bird, it turns out, is a girl. It is Russell’s friendship with Kevin that spurs on the boy and when the three of them run into trouble, it is Kevin who is at the center of it all.

Personal note: We had a bird and didn’t know if it was a male or female so we named it Kevin.


Dug is one of a pack of “talking” dogs under the control of Charles Muntz, the explorer that Ellie and Carl always admired. Muntz turns out to be hunting Kevin and with the help of Dug, Russell and Carl manage to save her and return her to her babies.

Russell and Carl

So, in the end it is Russell that adds meaning again in Carl’s life. He is following the wishes of his beloved Ellie and continuing his own adventures. This time he is with this young boy and is happier than he has been since Ellie’s passing. By mentoring Russell, Carl has found a purpose again.

“Adventure is out there,” and Carl, Ellie and Russell have all found it in their own ways.

Disney is celebrating the 10thanniversary of this loveable film with new plush characters. Fans of the movie will definitely want at least one of the soft, huggable plush characters, if not all of them. They make a great setting on a bookshelf. And every time you look at them, you will remember the fun, smiles, and tears in this instant classic. Unfortunately, there is no Ellie plush, however, putting Carl with Russell and Dug and Kevin tells the story of this foursome and how they bonded through love and caring.

Carl is a fun plush old man with his tennis ball anchored cane and his hearing aid in his right ear. His bushy eyebrows and his pants belted up high on his chest portray this man to the fullest. And like he is in most of the film, Carl sports a kind of grumpy attitude with a bothered expression reminding us that he still misses his beloved Ellie. Carl stands approximately fifteen inches high. He is fun to stand on a table and is definitely a conversation starter!

Russell is also fifteen inches from his feet to the top of his cap. He wears his Wilderness Explorer uniform proudly with all his badges – except the Assisting the Elderly Badge. He has yet to earn that one. Russell’s wide smile with sparkling white teeth portray his eagerness to help others and explore the wilderness.

Dug is adorable with his floppy tongue and happy smile. Dug wears his collar that lets him “talk.” This plush does not actually talk, but kids will enjoy talking for him. He is a huggable dog and sits eleven inches high.

Kevin is colorful, just like her on-screen character. She stands approximately fifteen inches high and has wiring in her legs and her neck so she can be posed.

Russell cannot stand on his own however Dug does sit by himself and with a little maneuvering Carl can stand on his own. Kevin’s legs can be adjusted to make her stand on her own. The characters are hand washable with a soft damp cloth when needed. They each list for $19.95. They are available from the Disney Store and shopDisney.

Happy 10thanniversary to Carl, Russell, Dug, and Kevin. Remember, adventure is out there!

About the Author

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment industry for over 25 years. She also writes about products and travel. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as Internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, from Sourced Media Books, is the entertainment correspondent for Good Day Orange County, and has her own TV show, Beyond the Red Carpet, on Village Television in Orange County.

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