Study Guide

Up Exploration


MUNTZ: Adventure is out there!

That’s an exciting thing for a kid like young Carl to hear. Sure, it’s out there, but it’s also in there. You know, in your heart.

NEWSREEL ANNOUNCER: The organization strips Muntz of his membership. Humiliated, Muntz vows a return to Paradise Falls and promises to capture the beast alive!

MUNTZ: I promise to capture the beast alive, and I will not come back until I do!

For Muntz, being an explorer is his whole identity. That’s why he vows not to return to civilization until he nabs his creature. If he knew that all he had to do to be a super-explorer was investigate his own life, he could avoid that whole living in dusty airship with a bunch of dogs and slowly going mad.

ELLIE: You know him.

[Carl gasps]

ELLIE: Charles Muntz, explorer. When I get big, I'm going where he's going: South America. It's like America, but south.

RUSSELL: I've never been in a floating house before. Goggles. Look at this stuff. Wow! You're going on a trip?

[Russell picks up a picture of Paradise Falls, reading from it]

RUSSELL: "Paradise Falls, a land lost in time." You're going to South America, Mr. Fredricksen?

CARL: Don't touch that! You'll soil it.

RUSSELL: You know, most people take a plane, but you're smart because you'll have all your TV and clocks and stuff.

RUSSELL: Hey look, buildings! That building's so close, I can almost touch it! Wow! This is great! You should try this, Mr. Fredricksen! Look, there's a bus stop that could take me home two blocks away! Hey, I can see your house from here!

Russell’s enthusiasm contrasts with Carl’s apathy, showing just how much Carl’s changed over the years. We mean, come on, Carl. You’re flying over buildings! It’s okay to show a little excitement.

DUG: I am a great tracker. My pack sent me on a special mission, all by myself. Have you seen a bird? I am going to find one, and I have been on the scent. I am a great tracker; did I mention that?

It seems like everybody in Up is an explorer. Carl, Russell, even Dug. What’s important here is that, just like Russell, Dug’s enthusiasm for adventure knows no bounds, and he isn’t afraid to show it. He takes just as much pleasure in hunting Kevin as he does in tracking down a dirty tennis ball.

MUNTZ: You know Carl, these people who pass through here, they all tell pretty good stories. A surveyor making a map... A botanist cataloging plants... An old man taking his house to Paradise Falls. That's the best one yet. I can't wait to hear how it ends.

To say that Muntz’s motivations for exploration are far more sinister than Carl’s would be an understatement, don’t you think? We’re pretty sure Muntz bumped off the surveyor. And the botanist.

RUSSELL: My dad made it sound so easy. He’s really good at camping, and how to make fire from rocks and stuff. He used to come to all my Sweat Lodge meetings, and afterwards, we’d go get ice cream at Fentons. I always get chocolate, and he gets butter brickle. Then we sit on this one curb right outside, and I’ll count all the blue cars, and he counts all the red ones, and whoever gets the most wins. I like that curb. That might sound boring, but I think the boring stuff is the stuff I remember the most.

Russell knows what’s up. More than any other quote, this one sums up Up’s stance on exploration. The greatest adventures can be found in the most ordinary places, like on a curb in front of an ice cream parlor.