I had an opportunity to join in a virtual round table with the directors of UP a few weeks back. While I expected partial text and partial video it turned out to be chat only. Pete Docter and Bob Peterson chatted it up and kept things interesting. While most of the questions asked were answered several times throughout the Blu-ray/DVD commentary and special features the one question of mine they tackled gave me the answer I was hoping for.
Q: When you release the final film is it like watching your kids go off into the world? You’ve shaped it, guided along, then you have to let them go and see how they do.
Bob Peterson: Yes. It is interesting watching the movie for the first time at our Wrap Parties with our crew. We don’t ever get to see our movies like a regular audience member because we lived through the creation of the film and see the memories brought forward by each shot and movement we see. When I look at my 14 year old (who I don’t want to grow up and go to college!!!) I see her as a 3 year old at the pumpkin patch, the the 5th grader at the spelling bee.Those memories are there. When our movies leave us we hope we’ve given them enough love and sense to do great things in the world!!
Eye Crave Network’s new friends over at Atomic Popcorn (AP) have allowed us to post the a few of the questions they asked as well.
AP Q: Who or what was the inspiration behind Charles Muntz?
Bob Peterson: Charles Muntz in story terms is “Carl Fredriksen at the end of the line.” In other words, if Carl had made it to Paradise Falls without accepting others into his life, then he would have gone crazy, wallowing in his unfinished quest. Carl is represented by a square shape. So as far as shape language, Muntz is a “collapsed square.” He end up having more diamond shapes as if a square has collapsed upon itself. From real reference, we looked at the grand adventurers of the last century including Lindbergh. We looked at Howard Hughes, being a sort of inventor/adventurer. We also looked at photos of Errol Flynn and even the dapper photos of Walt Disney in the 1930’s with his pencil thin mustache.
AP Q: Other than the trip to South America, what inspired the story of UP?
Bob Peterson: Various things – the lives of our grandparents. For example, I had a grandfather who always wanted to go West from Ohio, but never got the chance. I had the foresight to videotape my grandparent’s home after they had passed 20 years ago. There are the side by side chairs – one soft and one hard which absolutely paralleled who the were as people. Many of our life experiences with our wives and children were put into play in the script, and of course living with our dogs gave us great insight into dog behavior!
Pete Docter did answer questions it just so happens that Bob tackled the 3 asked between myself and Philip from Atomic Popcorn.
For a limited time you can get the DVD and Digital Copy with purchase of UP on Blu-ray. It’s available tomorrow – November 10th.