After overcoming what felt like 55 days of January, Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. It’s that time of year again when cheesy films, sweet-smelling bouquets, teddy bear presents, and boxes of chocolates highlight each couple’s (or even a group of friends’) day.
Romance awaits on this anticipated day—and one short film is coming in time for it.
Set to premiere on Feb. 10, short film “Dug Days: Carl’s Date” tells the story of “Up” (a 2009 Pixar-produced animated film) main character Carl Fredricksen (Ed Asner), who agrees to go on a date for the first time since the death of his wife, Elizabeth “Ellie” Fredricksen (Elizabeth Docter). Being reluctant and clueless about how modern dating works, Dug, Carl’s dog (Bob Peterson), accompanies him throughout his dating phase. The short film is an installation for the film series “Dug Days,” a spin-off of “Up.”
— Pixar (@Pixar) December 19, 2022
The first time we saw Carl was when he was going on an adventure to bring Ellie and his home to Paradise Falls together with Russell (Jordan Nagai), a Junior Wilderness Explorer. We witnessed his perfect relationship with his long-time wife, setting the gold standard for a healthy marriage. But in a snap, the film broke our hearts when Ellie died.
The upcoming short has prompted different emotions on social media. The fans and internet users expressed their happiness over Carl finally moving on from his painful past. But apparently, sentiments online also show that fans weren’t emotionally prepared for the fact that Carl has finally come to this phase.
Some argued that no one could take Ellie’s place in Carl’s life, while others recalled the scene where Ellie told her husband to continue his life even without her. There were also speculations that Carl’s date might be Ellie, making Dug prepare Carl to join his wife in his afterlife.
Take this as a foreshadow or not, but a few days ago, Emmy Award winner and “Carl’s Date” director Bob Peterson wrote on Twitter: “No one will ever replace Ellie for Carl Fredricksen.”
Regardless of the divided POVs brought by the upcoming film, it appears that viewers were still totally hooked on the touching story of Carl and Ellie.
Despite these, fans are also wondering whether this project is Ed Asner’s (Carl’s voice actor) last performance before he died in 2021. According to Bob’s tweet in Dec. 2022, he wrote that the “great Ed Asner recorded new lines” for the short film before he passed.
“Dug Days: Carl’s Date” will be available on Disney+.
Still from “Up” (2009)