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This Fan Theory About 'Up' Is Maybe The Most Crushing Thing We've Ever Heard

Up/Disney/Pixar, @chillouttdenise/Twitter

The Pixar film Up is a wonderfully imaginative animated film that delighted audiences of all ages with its wonderful characters and thrilling sense of adventure taking place in the utopian Paradise Falls.

Not to discredit the rest of the film, but it's the first 15 minutes of the movie that really tugged at heartstrings and elicited tears.


It's a scene that most fans of Up will recall. In it, the elderly Carl Fredricksen reminisces about his life adventure with his late wife Ellie by flipping through the pages of a scrapbook.

The absorbing four-minute montage coupled with Michael Giacchino's heartbreaking score featured all the highs and lows of Carl and Ellie's lives together until her death.

It's a poignant reminder of our ephemeral mortality without the pitfalls of being didactic, hidden within this jewel of a family film.

Though it became an instant hit ten years ago, Up still manages to make us sob, which is a testament to Pete Doctor's brilliant direction and the screenplay he co-wrote with Bob Peterson.

Recently, Twitter user Bryan, a.k.a. @bryanfadriquela pointed out a detail many viewers may have missed.

And it's an interesting theory:

"i liked the scene of Up when it shows Ellie tying Carl's ties so i looked up pics of his ties to save to my phone, and i just realized he wore a lot of ties but then at her funeral he wore a bow tie bc he probably didn't know how to tie a tie since she tied it for him everyday."


Bryan observed that Ellie has been tying all of Carl's ties for him.

But without her there, he isn't able to tie one for himself, hence the black bow-tie he wore at her funeral.

It was too much for Twitter to handle right now.









Some people added to Bryan's theory.



However, more observant fans challenged this theory and provided proof that Ellie still helped Carl tie a bow-tie too.


It still didn't take away from the emotional impact of the ties' significance in their relationship.




Up has been the subject of many theories as fans tried to make sense out of why it's so emotional on a simplistic level. But appearances are always deceiving because there's complexity in life.

One popular theory depicts "Wilderness Explorer" Russell as Carl's guardian angel.

According to E Online, the theory goes:

"[Russell's] final badge requires him to help a senior citizen. This makes sense; Russell's other badges were preparing him in various ways for the final test, which is to help a senior citizen into the afterlife...Russell's innocence and devotion shows his purity, and the example he sets through that purity helps Carl see the error in his ways of thinking."

At one point, the kid tells Carl:

"Well, I gotta help you cross something."

So, inevitably, Russell does help Carl cross over into the after life.

That's enough tears for today.