Have you seen “Up” yet? I just came back from my second viewing and just in case you are wondering if all the glowing reviews you’ve been hearing are true, well, the answer is an unequivocal yes. This film works is enjoyable on so many levels, it is sure to become a Disney/Pixar classic.
What struck be watching this movie the second time around are the many layers present in this movie. It’s an adventure movie that (mini spoiler alert ahead) touches on themes of life, death, loneliness, companionship, abandonment, greed, friendship, perspective, and priorities. Not bad for a film that features talking dogs!
As I’m sure you already know, the movie centers on what adventures occur when an elderly Carl Frederickson attaches thousands of balloons to his home and floats off into the sky. With an unexpected stowaway on board - precocious “Wilderness Explorer” Russell - the unlikely pair head out for parts unknown in South America. (One last spoiler alert ahead, and I promise this is the last one!) During the majority of the film, Carl and Russell end up trekking through the jungle with Carl’s house, still elevated by a multitude of balloons, attached to their backs. In more ways then one, the house acts as a reverse anchor for Carl and Russell.
This really got me thinking - what anchors am I carrying around on my back? What’s that one dream or expectation I’m not quite ready to let go of yet? We’re often told as children how important it is to hold on to our dreams - and to a degree, that is absolutely true. But what about when we cling so tightly to those dreams we miss the other opportunities cropping up around us?
I’ve held on to a pretty specific career path for the last fifteen years or so. However, over the last few years I’ve started to recognize that by holding so closely to a specific plan, I may have missed out on other opportunities God has planned for me. It’s not to say that my plan isn’t good - it’s just that His may be better. I’ve been doing a slow work over the last few years to cultivate a broader scope in my life and already it’s led to a slew of things I never thought I’d do - from working on an independent movie to mentoring foster kids!
Are you someone who believes “you can achieve anything you want if you believe in yourself, set clear goals, and work hard”? Or do you believe “you can achieve many things if you prepare for opportunity, see it, and act on it?”
It took Carl Henderickson a lifetime and a journey of a lifetime to South America to understand the difference. It took me a painful divorce to recognize this truth. What goals need shaking up in your life so you can be free to go out and have a new adventure?