- “Thanks for the adventure. Now go have a new one!”
- ―Ellie's final message to Carl, in her adventure book
Elizabeth "Ellie" Fredricksen was a character who, despite her death before most of the events depicted, played a significant role in the 2009 Disney/Pixar animated feature film, Up. She was the wife of Carl Fredricksen.
As a child, Ellie was very imaginative with a thirst for adventure, and was quite wild and rough. She carried a lot of confidence with her and although she was a bit too rough and assertive at times, she still contained a kind heart, which is shown from how she easily befriended Carl and tried to help him get his balloon. She, like Carl, was an admirer of the adventurer Charles Muntz, and has a dream to travel to South America and start a Muntz fan club there, although as she grew older, while the dream never faded, she instead used whatever money she had to model her house, proving that her love for Carl was stronger than her dream. As she grew up, she became less wild, but still maintained an adventurous and fun-loving personality. Even though she was near death and knew this meant she would not be able to live out her dream, Ellie encouraged Carl to not mourn over her forever and instead live out a new adventure, content that even though she didn’t make it to Paradise Falls, she got to live happily with Carl.
Ellie is slender with fair skin and blue-green eyes. As a child, her hair was auburn and had a bow. She had big teeth with a gap, wore overalls, and was barefoot. As Ellie grew older, she has gray hair and wore glasses.
Role in the film
In her childhood, Ellie (age 8) met Carl (also age 8) when the boy wandered into her clubhouse—an abandoned house in the neighborhood—and discovered that they were both fans of the adventurer Charles F. Muntz. The children quickly became best friends; she passionately shared with him her dreams of traveling to South America, along with the desire to move her clubhouse to a cliff overlooking Paradise Falls, making Carl promise to help her; a moment that left a deep and lasting impression on him.
Years later, Ellie and Carl (as adults) marry and decided to turn her old clubhouse into their new home. To make a living, they become employees of the local zoo (a zookeeper and a balloon salesman respectively). Their marriage is a happy and loving one, and they looked forward to starting a family together. Unfortunately, Ellie suffers a miscarriage and falls into a deep depression soon after, so Carl shows his wife her old Adventure Book, reminding her of the promise that first brought them together, and they begin to plan a trip to the Paradise Falls, as they had always wanted. However, the couple are forced to postpone the journey for a number of daily reality problems such as bills, car repairs, medical expenses and age ailments, but without losing their happiness.
Ellie eventually forgets about the promise as her and Carl's marriage continued to flourish blissfully into old age. Then one day while out on another picnic with her husband (who was planning to surprise her with the plane tickets he had bought), she collapses from illness and became hospitalized. Before she dies, Ellie gives Carl her old Adventure Book, but is unable to tell him of its true meaning. Her funeral is held in the same church where she and Carl had their wedding.
After her passing, Carl mourns for Ellie and copes with his loss by conversing with a portrait of Ellie. This also caused him to become cranky and grumpy to others. Near the end of the film, Carl comes across an addition to Ellie's Adventure Book. Unbeknownst to her husband, Ellie had added photos of their happy life together in the Adventure Book and a final message saying: "Thanks for the adventure - now go have a new one!" Her heartwarming note reinvigorates Carl at last, and he moves on from losing Ellie to living his life to the fullest.
In a twist of fate, following Carl's adventure, their house ends up on the cliff overlooking Paradise Falls, thus Ellie's wish finally came true.
- Ellie has full speaking lines during her childhood years, but her dialogue is not heard in her adult years, as the Marriage Life Underscore plays over it.
- Ellie was one year younger than her husband.
- If she was still alive, she would have been 78 years old, the same age as Carl.
- Ellie's name is based on her voice actress, Elie Docter, the film's director Pete Docter's daughter.
- In Toy Story 3, a signature of Carl and Ellie Fredricksen was seen on a postcard in Andy's room.
- Ellie has her own musical theme composed by Michael Giacchino that's first heard when she and Carl meet as children and plays several times throughout Up after her death, particularly when Carl gets the house up in the air with the balloons and during the climactic battle between Carl and Muntz as it plays against Muntz's theme.
- The balloon with a stick, which is the same one that Carl got, resembles the balloon (nicknamed "Balloon") from the Winnie the Pooh franchise.
- Ellie was kept away from all merchandise before the film's release.
- She is one of the few characters in a film released under the Walt Disney Pictures Banner (and only Pixar character) to have been diagnosed with infertility.
- In an alternative opening, she met Carl when Carl was about to bully the birds and Ellie would punch him then tell him to leave the birds alone. Also, during the montage when you watch them grow old together you would see the two playfully punching each other. Carl would notice something was wrong with Ellie when he was hiding in a place waiting to punch her and it took her a long time to get there. What remains of this opening was when Carl visited Ellie in the hospital, Ellie punched him.