Carl May Have Been Dead the Entire Time During ‘Up’

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Credit: Disney

Pixar films are known for tugging at our heartstrings but also leaving an impact on our lives. From Toy Story to Finding Nemo to Coco, Pixar continues to impress movie lovers everywhere. However, there is one Pixar film that I think has the saddest scene ever — Up

Of course, I am referring to the beginning of the film when viewers are watching Carl and Ellie‘s story unfold as they go through life together, making everyone fall in love with the couple. But then, spoiler alert, Ellie passes away leaving Carl to become upset, grumpy, and mad at the world.

Well, what if I told you Ellie wasn’t the only one to pass away at the beginning of the film? Are you surprised? I was, too.

Related: Fan Theory: Are Hercules and Ariel Related?

disney pixar up
Credit: Disney

One Reddit user, who goes by WolfieIsCorona, posted to the social media platform with a wild fan theory that suggests Carl was actually dead the entire time. Additionally, they explained that when Carl reaches Paradise Falls, that was a metaphor for him moving into the afterlife.

They explain:

Up tugged at our heartstrings more than most thanks to its opening scene titled “Married Life”. After watching Ellie and Carl’s life together, it was easier to see why Mr Fredrickson had become a grumpy loner in his later years. This was all turned around by the arrival of the joyous Russell…or was it?

pixar up
Credit: Disney/Pixar

Related: Was Nemo Dead the Entire Time In ‘Finding Nemo’?

And now, you are probably thinking to yourself “If Carl was dead, how did he interact with Russell the entire film?” Well, the Reddit user went into those details as well, explaining that Russell was actually an angel trying to help Carl move into the afterlife.

They continued to explain:

There is an emotional theory that Carl is dead all along and his trip to Paradise Falls (PARADISE Falls) is his move into the afterlife. Going with this, Russell is an angel trying to earn his wings (Wilderness Explorer badge). Elsewhere, Charles Muntz is a fallen angel hellbent on dragging Carl to the underworld with his hellhounds.

up house balloons carl fredricksen
Credit: Pixar

Related: Prince Hans May Not Be the Actual Villain in ‘Frozen’

In response to this theory, another Reddit user, who has since deleted their account, expressed:


This explains his line when he says, “Well I gotta help you cross something…”


pixar up
Credit: Pixar

Of course, this is just a fan theory that looks at the film in a deeper way — but it could be plausible.

If you have never seen Pixar’s Up, the official description reads:

Retired balloon salesman Carl Fredricksen, is ready for his last chance at high-flying excitement. Tying thousands of balloons to his house, Carl sets off to the lost world of his childhood dreams. Unbeknownst to Carl, an overeager 8-year-old Wilderness Explorer Russell is on Carl’s front porch! The world’s most unlikely duo meet fantastic friends like Dug, a dog with a special collar that allows him to speak, and Kevin, a rare 13-foot tall flightless bird. Stuck together in the wilds of the jungle, Carl realizes that sometimes life’s biggest adventures aren’t the ones you set out looking for.

So what do you think of this fan theory? Could Carl have been dead the entire film? Or is this too far-fetched? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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