Christian Themes In UP | Finding Christ In Cinema

In Disney/Pixar’s film UP, Carl and Ellie have found their own, personal Pearl of Great Price, and they will have to empty themselves to attain it.

The Pearl Of Great Price

As Jesus says, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he found a pearl of great value, he went out and sold everything he had and bought it.” (Matthew 13:45-46 NET).

This is an image of the poster art from the Disney Pixar film UP.

Memories And Paradise Falls

As superficial humans, our first inclination of what these Pearls are for each character, but our superficiality would only lead us astray. Ellie’s Pearl was much deeper than simply reaching Paradise Falls; her real pearl was the seemingly short lifetime of hope and love that she had spent with Carl. On the other hand, Carl’s Pearl wasn’t letting his life end with Ellie’s memory; instead, it was Carl moving on with Ellie’s memory into a new adventure.


Carl and Ellie do everything they can to attain these Pearls as they continually sacrifice their own livelihoods for others around them. This resembles Paul’s words in Philippians 2:7, when he speaks of Christ who “emptied himself” in order to better love and serve his neighbors.

Emptying Themselves 

The Paradise Falls coin jar gets broken time after time in order to cope with emergency expenses. Fast forward to Carl needing to rescue Russell from impending death but not being able to do so because the house is now too heavy to fly; Carl then proceeds to empty the house of its furniture in order to achieve the proper buoyancy. Finally, however, Carl empties himself completely of the house in order to make the saving catch.

All this emptying in order to attain the Pearl of Great Price, and all this sacrificing to spread the love. If that isn’t answering the Gospel call, we don’t know what is.

Christian Themes In UP

In Finding Christ In Cinema we dig deeper into the silver-screen classics of yesteryear as well as the box-office hits of today. We take a closer look at the stories they tell and see if we find the face of Jesus looking back. Together we explore the deeper meanings of these films; their plots and their twists; the characters and their choices; and see how we can relate them to the gospel of salvation and ultimately our Christian walk.

For complete show notes and other episodes of FCC visit the Finding Christ In Cinema website.

Click on the audio player at the top of the post to listen to this episode, or use the links below for other ways to hear Finding Christ In Cinema podcast.

iTunes | Stitcher Radio | TuneIn RadioSubscribe to the Feed

QUESTION: What Christian themes did you find in Disney/Pixar’s UP? Let us know below.

Tags: , , , , ,

Get in touch