15 Best Carl Quotes From ‘Up’ You Will Love

Carl Fredricksen” by Josh Hallett licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Carl Fredricksen, the main character in the beloved movie “Up,” is voiced by the late Ed Asner. Carl is a gruff, grumpy old man who lost his sense of happiness and adventure when his wife Ellie died.

But Carl’s hardened heart slowly softens when he decides to take one final adventure to Paradise Falls with an unexpected companion named Russell. So let’s venture back down memory lane and revisit all of the best Carl quotes from the movie “Up!”

The Best Carl Quotes from Up

Carl Fredricksen” by Josh Hallett licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

“Tell your boss over there that you boys are ruining our house.” 

The world is being built up around the house he shared with late wife, and Carl refuses to let go. He is extremely protective of the home he built with his wife and the memories it holds. He still refers to the home as “ours,” highlighting his strong emotional connection to the past. He is deeply committed to preserving his home, the memories and the experiences that are tied to it.

 “We’re on our way, Ellie.” 

Carl speaks to Ellie often during the movie. It is profoundly touching, and it shows the continued connection he has to his late wife. He is committed to keeping the promise he made to Ellie when they were young to go on an adventure to Paradise Falls. 

Carl is determined to keep that promise, even after she has passed. Carl believes that his late wife is still with him in spirit, and it shows a continued devotion to her—in life and in death. 

 “I finally meet my childhood hero, and he’s trying to kill us. What a joke”

Carl finally meets the man that brought him and Ellie together, their childhood hero, the inspiration behind the adventures they dreamed to take: Charles Muntz. Charles is a man Carl has admired his entire life, and then finds out that this man he idolized for so long is a madman. 

You can feel that disappointment when he says, “what a joke.”  When his expectations sharply contrast with reality, it leaves Carl feeling extremely upset and letdown. His perspective changes, as do his goals while in Paradise Falls.

“I don’t want your help. I want you safe.” 

At the beginning of the movie Carl does everything he can to isolate himself from the outside world. As the movie progresses you see his heart soften for Russell, Dug and Kevin.

It is demonstrated when Carl takes on the role of protector and firmly lets Russell know that he is the adult, he is in charge, he is going to take care of the dangerous situation they find themselves in. His paternal instincts kick in and he does whatever it takes to protect his tag along friend, Russell. 

“Russell, for assisting the elderly and for performing above and beyond the call of duty, I would like to award you the highest honor I can bestow. The Ellie badge” 

Personally, this is the best Carl quotes from “Up.”  At the beginning of the film, Ellie pins a grape soda cap on Carl’s shirt. It symbolized his induction to her exclusive adventure club. He kept this pin as a memento of their relationship. 

Carl then gives his grape soda pin to Russell. It truly is the greatest gift and honor he could have given to Russell. He is passing on a treasured keepsake, and it is his way of showing his love for Russell. Carl is letting go of his past, and learning to let other people enter his world. 

“You, in the suit… yes, you! Take a bath, hippie!”

Trying his best to be condescending and insulting, Carl kind of misses the mark here. It is quite humorous. He is yelling at the developer who is trying to take his home away from him. The man is sharply dressed, and extremely clean cut. Seems the best Carl could exclaim was an old school insult. Carl is truly showing his age with his attempt to berate the man.

“Look, why don’t we play a game I know? Whoever is quietest for the longest time wins.”

Russell responds with, “Oh great! My mom loves that game!”  I think most families have played this game from time to time, especially when kids just will not settle down. However, Carl beginning to realize how alone Russell is, as alone as he is. Everybody needs to feel loved, cared for, and seen, even Russell and Carl. Finding each other might be just what the other one needs.

“Tell your boss he can have my house.”

Carl is showing his love for sarcasm with this quote. The construction worker is shocked and naturally responds with “Really?” Carl quickly snaps back “Yeah. When I’m dead!” Then slams the door.

Our difficult main character has no desire to leave his home, no matter what they offer him. That home is his life and is his connection to his wife and the past he refuses to let go of.

“So long, boys! I’ll send you a postcard from Paradise Falls!”

With excitement in his voice, Carl bids farewell to the gentlemen who were going to take him to the nursing home. Carl’s home is attached to thousands of helium balloons, and it slowly lifts off the ground and makes its way toward Paradise Falls.

Carl is not ready to give up on his promise to Ellie to go on this one last adventure. He certainly is not ready to get rid of his home or the memories he shared there with Ellie. It is all coming with him.

“You know what? It’s just a house.”

We see Carl come full circle when he says this. He sees his beloved house fade beneath him into the clouds, eventually disappearing. You can see the sadness in his eyes, but he is ok with letting go. 

Carl finally realizes that it is not the structure that is important, it is the memories he holds in his heart. That is what is important. Carl is learning to let go of his past, and finding out what is important in life. 

“Ellie, it’s so beautiful.  We made it, we made it.”

Carl finally makes it to Paradise Falls. It is as beautiful as they imagined. With Ellie in his thoughts and in his heart, she is on this adventure too. A touching moment that highlights the connection he still has with his late wife. He firmly embraces the memories he has with Ellie and uses the memories to shape his life and experiences.

“Who wants the ball?”

As evil dogs guard Kevin the bird, Dug and Carl wonder how to get past them. Carl comes up with a genius plan.  He takes the tennis balls off his cane, holds them up high, “Who wants the ball?” The dogs are instantly distracted and excited. Carl throws the balls and the dogs chase after them.  As evil as these dogs are, they are still dogs. 

“NO!” And Carl slams the door shut.

Ok, it is a one word quote, but it is such a funny moment in the movie.  Carl is floating above clouds, leaving the world behind and he gets a knock on his front door.  When he opens the door, he sees a petrified Russell on his front porch. 

Russell then pleads to let him come in and Carl exclaims “No!” and then slams the front door.  The look on Russell’s face is priceless.  Carl immediately opens the door and lets the young boy in.  The scene is hilarious and one of my favorite.

“Cross my heart.”

Throughout the movie Carl and Ellie have a ritual where Ellie will ask him to keep a promise by crossing his heart. Carl would then make a cross across his heart with his index finger. It symbolized the love and unwavering devotion Carl had for Ellie. 

Russell asks Carl to promise to help rescue Kevin, then asks him to keep that promise by crossing his heart.  You can see Carl change his priorities from getting the house to Paradise Falls toward saving Kevin.  Carl then tells Russell “Cross my heart” and makes a cross across his heart.

“We aren’t actually going into the Spirit of Adventure, are we?”

After meeting his hero, Charles Muntz, Carl is invited aboard the vessel Spirit of Adventure.  The blimp Carl would see Charles Muntz travel with on his many adventures. Carl giggles with the delight of a school boy when he realizes he is actually going to go inside the Spirit of Adventure. He is so incredibly excited that this fantasy has become reality. 

This article was written by Jennifer and edited by Michael.

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