Thursday, February 2, 2012

Looking UP for inspiration

Let's return to the silver screen, to find a sweet and endearing hidden Disney tribute. But first, the setup.
Disney Legends Marc and Alice Davis are figurative giants within the Disney community. Marc's sketches and illustrations were brought to life in the iconic attraction Pirates of the Caribbean, and Alice's contributions to the Pirates wardrobes, as well as the multinational dolls in It's a Small World can't be understated. But perhaps more enchanting is their lifelong partnership with each other, and their appetite for travel and living life to its fullest.
Pixar director Pete Docter was seeking inspiration for the UP characters Carl and Ellie Fredricksen. This couple spends a long and rich life together before Carl is widowed, in the twilight of his life. He's not quite sure how to proceed without his life partner. Pete Docter and other Pixar writers and animators interviewed Alice Davis, to capture the spirit of the life she and Marc had together. Alice herself is a widow, following Marc's death in 2000. The interview was conducted in Alice's home and included a tour of Marc's studio. It was there that one of the Pixar animators found inspiration.
In one brief scene, we see Carl coming downstairs in an electric chair. Various photos and artwork hang on the wall. Pay close attention to the rectangular frame on the left, featuring a chirping bird. This was directly inspired by a similar prominent sketch in Marc's studio, honoring his bold and beautiful tropical-inspired illustration “C'ote d'Azur” that singularly captures Marc and Alice's adventurous life together. In one corner of the illustration is a colorful chirping bird.
Look for Alice Davis listed in the Credits of UP –
Dedicated to the real life carl and ellie fredricksens who inspired us to create our own adventure books
Joe Grant Ralph “Papa” Lopez Mike Oznowicz Alice Davis”

This post is part of the Disney Blog Carnival. Head over there to see more great Disney-related posts and articles


  1. Hi Jamie, just read your article in Celebrations Mag. I'm glad your bio pointed to your blog. We live right over in Manassas and like you, do the annual trip. My kids are turning into WDW geeks just like their dad. Look forward to reading your blog!

    Rod Wheaton

  2. Thanks Rod! I need to spruce up this website a bit. I've done plenty of research but not a lot of writing lately.