What I Learned From: Pixar’s “Up”
Over the next few of weeks, I am going to do a blog series called What I Learned From. This is the first segment of this series featuring this year’s (if not all time) best animated movie “Up”.
Last night I rented “Up” from the red box. You may or may not know that I am pretty big Pixar fan. My favorite movie of all time is Monster’s Inc., and several of their other Pixar movies hit on my most favorite movie list. Every year when Pixar releases their movies, it is not a matter of if I will see it, but when. “Up” is without a question, Pixar’s best movie yet, it is so good that I would be surprised if they ever make a movie that rivals it.
If you have not yet seen this movie, I would recommend watching it before reading this blog. Due to the nature of it, there will be spoilers and detailed descriptions of certain scenes. Without further ado, here are some of the things that I learned while watching “Up” last night:
1) Always have an emergency fund. In the first few minutes of the minutes of the movie, there are several cut scenes detailing how the main character Carl Fredrickson and his wife Ellie lived their childhood and married years, ending with her death. Adventure played a huge roll in their marriage. They dreamed of a grand adventure where they would go to Paradise Falls in South America and explore the jungle. Early in their marriage, the created a jar in which they would place their spare change and extra dollars at the end of the day as their vacation fund. As it would happen, life showed up- house repairs, medical bills and other emergencies took priority over dream, and robbed their adventure money.
The truth of the matter is that this is real life. Things like this happen to families every day. Emergencies happen to everyone, there are no exceptions. Having an emergency fund can help you to protect you and your dreams. How great would it be if finances were to never hold you back from doing what you dream because you have a reserve where you can turn in case of emergency?
2) If you don’t have the gold, guard the bronze. In 2 Chronicles 12, the Bible details how the Israelites turned against the Lord, and did as they pleased. To make a long story short, another army rose up and fought against the Israelites. They did not annihilate the Israelites as one might expect, but took all the goods they could find from ….Israel…. including the gold from the temple. King Rehoboam not having the gold to replace the gold items in the temple used bronze replicates-then treated them as precious as the gold.
In the movie “Up” Ellie and Carl dreamed of having the “gold”, but they never did. Carl held onto his dreams of having the gold and did not realize that he had the bronze the whole time. As a result, his life did not meet his expectations and he was disappointed. In one of the most emotional (one of many) scenes of the movie, Carl finds his “adventure book” from his childhood. This book contained his dreams for all of the adventures he would embark on as an adult. In the front of the book, he showed all of the adventures he wanted to go on, and then he had places to place pictures for the adventures he would go on.
Somewhere along the line of his life, he forgot about the book until he found it in the midst of this adventure. As he opened it you can see disappointment on his face as he sees the adventures he wanted to go on. Then as he goes to set it down, he notices that there is a picture on the first page of the section for “adventures I have been on.” He flips the page and finds that Ellie filled the book with pictures of their marriage. On the last page there was a picture of them old and grey-maybe their last picture together and she signed the corner “Carl, thanks for all the adventures-here is to your next adventure. Love you, Ellie.”
Even when you are looking forward to more exciting adventures, remember to enjoy the ones you are on.
3) Take a moment of get off of your island, and onto someone else’s. When others seem mean/rude/cranky/whatever, take time to think about what they might be going through. Where the movie begins to unfold, following the cut scenes of Carl and Ellie’s life together, we see that Carl lives still in the same home they bought as newly weds and lived in their whole lives together. As the picture zooms out, we see that this home is the only one in the neighborhood, everything else is bought out by a construction company building a huge shopping complex. Carl’s home will eventually cause construction to stop.
The foreman sees Carl’s home as one thing-an obstacle to his construction site. To Carl, his home is holds all of his memories of Ellie, and of course he does not want to leave. At one point we see one of the constructions workers accidently knock the mailbox (which Carl and Ellie made together, and painted with their handprints), and Carl gets upset. To the construction worker, he is just a cranky old man, with a crazy obsession with his mailbox. To Carl, it’s a wonderful memory of Ellie that he does not want to loose.
We all encounter unpleasant people in our day to day lives. Remember to take a moment before you snap back at someone and consider what they might be going through.
There are plenty more things to learn from this movie, but that is all I have time for right now. Consider some things you have experienced lately and ponder what lessons you might take away from them. Be a lifelong learner!
Tuesday, December 01, 2009