Disney and Pixar are mercilessly pulling on audiences’ heartstrings outside of characters and storytelling when it comes to this highly anticipated short. Chances are, you’ve seen the 2009 smash Disney/Pixar hit Up and probably haven’t stopped crying since.
This film is so emotional because of the heart-wrenching relationship between our main character Carl Fredricksen and his dearly departed wife, Ellie. Their adventure only spans about seven and a half minutes of the entire film, but it is a love mourned deeply and immediately.
This brings us to the bittersweet story, controversial topic, and mysterious premiere of Carl’s Date.
What is Carl’s Date?
Carl’s Date was initially designed to be an episode of the Disney+ series Dug Days, which stars Up’s adorable and absent-minded sidekick, Dug the golden retriever. Now expected to be released as a theatrical short, Carl’s Date will reportedly follow its titular character on his first date since his wife’s passing. Carl doesn’t know the first thing about dating, but luckily Dug will be his trusty wingman (wingdog?).
When will audiences get to see Carl’s Date?
After missing the February 10 release date on Disney’s streaming platform, fans were in the dark about the fate of Carl’s Date. Over a month later, Disney tweeted a promotional poster indicating that the short film will premiere before the new Pixar movie, Elemental. Carl seems uneasy while Dug looks up with encouragement. The slogan above them reads, “New Adventure. Same Wingman.”
New adventure. Same wingman ?
See the all-new short film, Disney and @Pixar’s Carl’s Date, only in theaters with #Elemental on June 16. pic.twitter.com/mWNkKIYlIz
— Disney (@Disney) March 28, 2023
What’s the Controversy?
Fans were not happy with the proposed plot. Many feel intense loyalty to Ellie and Carl’s story and think Carl’s delve back into dating is uncharacteristic. Moving on can be difficult, and some fans are not ready, even if Carl is.
What to expect from Carl’s Date?
The expected run time is about 10-12 minutes long, but we know how much Disney/Pixar can pack into less than 10 minutes. So, expect to need that box of tissues. Prepare to do a mental reset so that you can actually be present and enjoy Elemental. And remember that Up is about finding whatever adventure is out there! I mean, what would Ellie want…
One more heartbreaking detail:
The voice of Carl Fredricksen, Ed Asner, passed away in August 2021. But NOT before he recorded the dialogue for Carl’s Date. This short will be his last work and honor his legacy.
READ MORE: Ed Asner, Voice of Carl Fredricksen from Disney’s “Up”, Dies at Age 91
While the backlash to the storyline stands, there is no official statement on why Carl’s Date did not meet its February release. Perhaps producers decided a theatrical release would better honor the late Ed Asner’s memory. Maybe they felt such a poignant story deserved a more significant release. Most likely, the strong opinions creating buzz on the internet made audiences more likely to go out and see Pixar’s Elemental, which has gotten some bad press, if an update to Carl’s story preceded it.