This essay seeks to understand the startling image of Carl Fredricksen launching his house into the air using children’s helium balloons in Pixar’s animated feature, Up (2009). The film interrogates successful adulthood via the figure of the road, both in its literary manifestation in Jack Kerouac’s On the Road (1957) and cinematically, via The Wizard of Oz (Victor Fleming, 1939). Paradise Falls itself, like Oz before it, is a letdown just like the “sad paradise” of On the Road. Carl loses faith not only in his boyhood movie hero, the travelogue adventurer Charles Muntz (Christopher Plummer), but the cinema itself.
Metz, Walter C. "Down Kerouac's Road to Pixar's Up." Film Criticism 35, No. 1 (Fall 2010): 60-81.