In the movie Up, it is shown that 80-year-old Carl Fredericksen is using a zimmer frame to aid in his walking. However, later in the movie he runs and even jumps around - how is this possible when earlier in the film he was shown using a stair lift as he could not climb the stairs?

Was it made clear in the movie?

  • 1
    Sometimes elder people use stick for support that doesn't means that they can't walk but its for support during walking may be due to back pain or sometimes for week legs.
    – Ankit Sharma
    Feb 20, 2013 at 9:39
  • @AnkitSharma, So think about it, Mr. Carl feels pain enough to use a cane and also not to walk the stares.How practically can he then run or jump outside? Isn't that striking?
    – Mistu4u
    Feb 20, 2013 at 12:21
  • Because it's a film for kids?
    – Chopper3
    Feb 20, 2013 at 15:24

2 Answers 2


I haven't found an official answer for this - however, my own interpretation of this is that Carl has been 'revitalized' by his experience with Russell in the wilderness.

At the beginning of the film it seems that Carl has essentially given up on life; his beloved partner is dead and he is being forced to leave the one place that has any meaning to him.

By choosing to follow his dreams (by uprooting and flying his house to South America), Carl has taken the first step towards a form of spiritual rebirth. As the story progresses we see Carl change as his attitude softens towards Russell, the dog and the bird, and then his sense of adventure is finally reawakened when he encounters Muntz and his nefarious scheming.

True, his body may still be weaker than it once was, but this new-found sense of derring-do (adventurism) plus the adrenaline coursing through his old system, must have been a potent enough combination for him to carry out feats that would otherwise have been unthinkable to him.

  • I also thought the same but i am not able to word it as good as you have done. So +1 for it.
    – Ankit Sharma
    Feb 20, 2013 at 15:38

Allow me to present, a rather possibly crazy theory.

Paradise Falls is the Fountain of Youth.

To consider evidence, we shall bring in a lot of plot elements from the movie.

First of all is Muntz. This man seems to be at least 50 years old during the film being shown to the young Carl. Shown heading for the Falls all that time ago, supposedly never to be heard from again. However, when we see him again later on in the movie, it appears that he has aged possibly 10 years at the most. Let us assume that is how long it took for him to actually find Paradise Falls, and the rest of the time, establishing his hold on the island, looking for the Snipe.

Enter Carl ~50 years later. He is depressed, cranky, old, and weak. Upon reaching the Island of Paradise Falls, he seems fully revitalized. Not requiring his cane, able to move and pull the house over a long distance, as well as running and keeping up with Russell rather well, seemingly surpassing his endurance easily.

And then we have the dogs. It is no secret that dogs have a much shorter lifespan than humans. But in order for Muntz to have as many dogs as he does, one can assume that because the Island has Fountain of Youth properties, it is possible the dogs are affected as well, preserving their life during the long stay before Carl arrives.

Yes the theory does seem crazy, but it offers an interesting take on the movie, if they somehow traveled to the same, or similar, Island as Lost, which was shown to have healing/slow aging properties.

  • shakes fist in air Damn you Shad! +1
    – Nobby
    Feb 20, 2013 at 15:58
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    Early on the story actually did have a Fountain of Youth subplot, but it got dropped (the prehistoric bird's egg was supposed to be a youth potion)
    – Oliver_C
    Feb 20, 2013 at 16:44
  • @Oliver_C A pleasant surprise considering my random stream of conciousness with this answer xD
    – Tablemaker
    Feb 20, 2013 at 16:49
  • Awesome thought. I am getting biased towards the answer, which one I am reading. Like now this one seems to be better than nobby's answer. However when I read him's, I fall for that.
    – Mistu4u
    Feb 20, 2013 at 19:08

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