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The Lowdown on ‘Up’ From Asner

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Posted on May 22, 2009
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Department of Defense / William D. Moss

The Wall Street Journal interviewed veteran actor Edward Asner on his role in Pixar’s new film “Up,” due in theaters May 29. “Because it involves humans, I’m most pleased to be in it,”  Asner said. “I loved that it was about two human beings who love each other ... .”

The Wall Street Journal:

“Up,” the new feature from Walt Disney’s Pixar animation studio, is meant for kids, but the movie also tackles a host of adult themes tied to the life of the main character, 78-year-old Carl Fredricksen, played by veteran actor Edward Asner. An early montage—sparse on dialogue—catalogues the life and love of Carl and his soul mate, Ellie, whose death leaves Carl lonely and angry. He later ties balloons to his house, flies away, and has an adventure with a young “Wilderness Explorer” stowaway.

Director Pete Docter, one of Pixar’s early employees who also directed 2001’s “Monsters, Inc.,” says he and co-director Bob Peterson were brainstorming back in 2004 about things like getting old and escaping from society. Those ideas eventually took shape as “Up.” While they may not have had the 79-year-old Mr. Asner in mind as the leading candidate to star in the movie in the beginning, they were quickly convinced he was their man.

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, May 23, 2009 at 9:53 pm Link to this comment

I think Mr. Asner a consciencious soul.

His perception:  “Because it involves humans, I’m most pleased to be in it. I loved that it was about two human beings who love each other and love carries our hero through most of the picture. I also like the fact that a lot of old people want to be left alone and this kid had nothing but being alone and is seeking to make his mark on the world through [Wilderness Explorer] badges. The truth of it, I liked and the application of it I liked.

“Up” is a movie geared towards kids, but tackles some very adult themes, including death, miscarriage and the loneliness of getting older. Do you think those are things that will be able to keep the attention of the movie’s target audience?”

To this, Mr. Asner….. I can only say, I think so, yes…. I think so.  But please, as annoying as it may at times be, encourage “the younger”, they are us, we… are them.

I also feel that, no one CAN…. cross that divide better… we all need a “reality check”, just for good measure.  Soldier on…. many are listening.

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CJ's avatar

By CJ, May 23, 2009 at 6:03 pm Link to this comment

Ed Asner is the rare real deal. He’s paid for his politics the hard way. In particular when “Lou Grant” (which was excellent TV series) was canceled precisely for Asner’s outspokenness. That put him in league with previously black-listed Hollywood Ten.

I’ve never heard of him backing down. As though there were the slightest chance he ever would, or could. Good to see him here and with a new project.

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