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Carl’s Date: The “Bow On The Story” For Pixar’s Up

About 14 years ago, Pixar shook audiences with the opening of the latest animated feature, “Up”. In that opening sequence, we meet Carl and Ellie, and quickly watching them live out their lives was enough to leave us very emotional as we quickly were forced to say goodbye and now grieve with Carl.

Since then we have seen the short series “Dug Days” which gave us a couple more adventures with these characters. Unfortunately, the voice of Carl Fredrickson, Ed Asner passed away in 2021 at the age of 91. But he did leave one last gift for fans of the “Up” and the franchise itself. His final project with Disney Pixar, the short film titled “Carl’s Date”.

This short will be released ahead of Disney Pixar’s next animated feature “Elemental” as Pixar Animation once again resumes that fun tradition of pairing a feature with a short. Here we’ll see Carl reluctantly agree to go on a date with a lady friend. After he realizes what he has agreed to he gets all sorts of pre-date jitters and even some shame as he feels he may be betraying Ellie. Luckily he has Dug who will give him all the necessary advice for making new friends, well… at least from a dog’s point of view.

On Monday during a press event for ‘Elemental’ that LRM Online attended, they showed us the short and had a surprise presentation with writer and director Bob Peterson and producer Kim Collins who talked about “Carl’s Date”.

The big question in the room was if this was it for the “Up” franchise.

“I think we are thinking of it as a bow on the story,” said Peterson, “you’d never be able to replace Ed, it would be different without him”.

Collins made a lot of references to the short as to why this was a great place to end that we’ll let you enjoy when you watch the short. They were both very excited to see something that was supposed to be released on Disney+, get moved to “the big leagues” ahead of ‘Elemental’.

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Carl's Date
(Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)

Despite the short being made for the small screens, the crews at Pixar had inserted enough time and care that it also ended up playing very well on the big screen. This makes sense being that they had to remake most of their elements.

“Most of everything in the short is new because we couldn’t use the technology from ’08. We brought forth the models but then we had to re-rig them. Doug looks fluffier than ever”, said Peterson.

The focus of “Carl’s Date” is on him stressfully getting ready. Peterson and Collins were asked if there were ever thoughts of showing that date.

“I just wanted to see him grapple with this idea and go a little crazy with it and then reign it in because of Dug, he is sort of his wingman and helps him through this all but I never actually wanted him to go out on the date”, said Peterson.

The press group that we were a part of was with Carl every step of the way leading to very emotional moments in “Carl’s Date”. On June 16, the rest of the world can also join in and help Carl get ready for his date along with Dug ahead of “Elemental”.

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