There are still plenty of secrets to be revealed when it comes to Pixar’s Up, and that even goes for those lucky folks to have seen the 45 minute preview presentation. The latest juicy crumb to have fallen from the high table reveals the basic design of the film’s main villain. I’ll pop the full size picture below the break (too tall to go at head of the story) and then you can tell me who - if anybody he looks like to you.
Editor’s Note: Because the villain doesn’t really appear in the first 45 minutes of the film, this might be considered a spoiler. Continue at your own risk.
The film’s villain is Charles Muntz, and he looks an awful lot like Kirk Douglas to me. Christopher Plummer is providing Muntz’ voice, giving him a lead role in two of my most anticipated films of the year - Up and The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus.
The French DisneyPixar blog that ran the image also offer us snaps of more toys, including Carl, Russel, Dug the dog, Kevin the big, big, big bird and some of the - minor spoiler alert - talking-collar meanie mutts. Ruff.
At the beginning of Up, Charles Muntz is a globe trotting explorer idolized by the lead characters. A scrapbook of his adventures plays a key part in the romantic prologue, bringing together Carl and his true love Ellie; later, when Muntz appears as a character in the main plot himself, he’s positioned more as an antagonist. His full character arc is still being kept a mystery but, judging by Pixar’s previous characterizations, it’s going to be subtle, nuanced and effecting stuff.
Notice how the model Muntz is dressed - once a pilot, always a pilot, I guess. I’m expecting a swooping, swirling, Miyazaki-baiting aerial set piece with Muntz in his plane, The Spirit of Adventure, causing trouble for Carl, Russel and the balloon-hoisted house. Pure guesswork, but if you want to bet, spit on your palm and put it here.
There’s plenty more Up merchandise to be unveiled, from pillow cases and picture books to lunchboxes and pyjamas. I’ll be scrutinising every piece for even the mildest, teasing clue.