How 'Up' Provides The Formula To A Perfect Relationship

by Jessica Wendroff
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Ever wonder why we cry our eyes out every time we watch Ellie and Carl in "Up?" We are only exposed to the couple's love for a few minutes of the film, but somehow, we are so deeply drawn into their relationship. Why does this happen?

Perhaps, because we are given a peephole into the intimate, beautiful life Ellie and Carl built together.

As voyeurs, we see the two as inseparable, innocent and madly in love: a power couple that can surpass any obstacle.

Instantly, we feel for them and want to see their relationship succeed, but life has other plans for the two. For that reason, when Ellie dies, it is not just Carl's heart that breaks, but all of our hearts, too.

Luckily, before Ellie passed away, the couple provided viewers with the universal formula to a healthy, lasting relationship.

Here are 10 suggestions Ellie and Carl would most likely give to ensure a relationship stays afloat:

1. Teamwork makes the dream work

Supporting your significant other is the fuel that makes a relationship run like a well-oiled machine. In a partnership, even the smallest of circumstances requires a certain form of TLC.

In "Up," Ellie and Carl put TLC into every activity. In the film, the two playfully build, paint and clean their home together by using teamwork. Carl saw Ellie as his equal, so when Ellie sawed wood, Carl hammered walls.

The acts are indicative of their dedication to one another and a shared goal: to make their dream home.

The couple successfully took on every tedious task with enthusiasm and smiles because they tackled each chore as a unit.

Ellie and Carl were able to turn a boarded-up, decrepit home into a warm, vibrant household because of their strong sense of harmony.

Similarly, despite the fact the relationship rock stars were inseparable, they both managed to support one another's individual growth. An example of this is when Carl and Ellie read books together, but in separate chairs.

Even though each person had his or her own literature, the two remembered to hold hands between page turns. The simple act of holding hands signifies the couple is still a support system when partaking in hobbies alone.

By the same token, the scene provides evidence that Ellie and Carl were capable of individual improvement while nurturing their marriage.

They illustrate how building on one's personal interests is just as imperative as putting effort into a relationship.

2. Set goals as a couple

Ellie and Carl had a crayon drawing of the home they wanted as kids. Together, they made their colorful dream home a reality in a labor of love.

Achieving one lifelong mission together left the couple determined to achieve other goals.

Since childhood, Ellie and Carl loved adventures and dreamed of exploring the world. They decided they wanted to see a place called Paradise Falls, so they set a plan in place to do so.

Every day, the duo worked closer to achieving their goal by putting money into a jar.

The couple also had their very own form of "I love you," which was physically crossing their hearts.

Ellie and Carl crossed their hearts every time they put money into their Paradise Falls jar to express their love while supporting their dream as a couple.

Ellie furthered the couple's mission of creating a dream book. Similar to a dream board, she pasted images of places she wanted to go and things she wanted to do as visual motivator.

Carl had access to the book and could always flip through its pages if he ever needed to satiate his hunger for inspiration.

The common goal worked to keep the couple close, focused and invested in something other than affection.

3. Support each other in sickness and in health

Carl was clearly Ellie's personal cheerleader and vice versa, but the two also acted as each other's nurses. As a child, Carl broke his arm, so young Ellie came to him with his lost balloon as a symbol of care.

As adults, Carl returned the favor. When Ellie fell tragically ill, Carl was right behind her during her entire medical process.

He even went to the hospital to bring her the dream book and thoughtfully tied a balloon to it as a representation of their love.

It is plausible Carl brought Ellie the book to remind her of reasons to hold on and continue her beautiful life with him because that's what great partners do — they give you a flashlight when everything feels apocalyptically dark.

4. The little things matter the most

Every morning, Ellie would help Carl get ready for work by tying his tie for him. Even though it was a small gesture, by tying Carl's tie, day after day, Ellie repeatedly showed Carl that she never tired of him.

The couple made their love known in other small ways. Adoration gleamed from their moist eyes when looking at one another. They could effortlessly reinforce their love with just a quick, warm glance.

Ellie and Carl loved to keep their love simple. On their days off from work, they would avoid expensive activities and, instead, opt for cozy picnics on a hill.

There, they would look up into the clouds while exercising and voicing their imaginations, visualizing shapes like turtles, elephants and babies from the sky's cotton candy.

In doing so, Ellie and Carl could always make the ordinary extraordinary by paying close attention to one another and respecting each other's opinions.

5. Capture and record memories

Ellie kept her photo book as a scared relic of their relationship. The book safeguarded memories and gave Carl a nostalgic token to fondly look back on after she passed.

The images documented the growth of the two as individuals and as a couple. Each image was filled with 1,000 memories engrained into its pixels.

It is so important to capture small moments because you never know if any given moment will be the last you share with someone.

6. It's usually better to be friends first before entering a relationship

Ellie and Carl were lifelong friends before becoming romantically involved. In doing so, they learned what made each other tick and uncovered each other's passions before becoming boyfriend and girlfriend.

By being best friends first, they formed a sturdy foundation for an inextinguishable love.

7. Love is ageless

Ellie and Carl had a flame they tended to for decades. Their love was never a given, it was worked for every day. The two kept their romance alive by doing things like dancing around in their living room, even in old age.

They never needed flashy lights, disco balls or anything upscale; they were always intensely content with just having each other's company.

Despite years of marriage, Carl still wanted to make Ellie happy. After all the time they spent together, he finally purchased tickets to venture to Paradise Falls with Ellie.

The way Carl admired Ellie with grey hair and wrinkles was the same way he adored her when he was 5 years old.

In other words, no matter how different the two physically became over the years, their love for each other remained unchanged.

8. Dreams are flexible

In life, things don't always pan out as planned, and unfortunately, we don't always get what we want. Ellie and Carl wanted children so badly that as soon as Ellie conceived the idea for a baby, the couple painted a nursery.

However, when Ellie found out she was barren, sadness overcame her. Carl gently comforted his wife and helped her get back on her feet by redirecting her focus to her travel ambitions.

Life adjusted the couple's plans on other occasions. Tiny mishaps prevented Ellie and Carl from achieving their big dreams. Time and time again, Ellie and Carl had to use their Paradise Falls savings to tend to immediate expenses, like a flat tire, a broken foot or fixing their roof.

Ellie's "stuff I'm going to do" section of her dream book didn't have photos of her traveling, like she always had in mind, but instead, was filled with her wedding photo, an image of her and Carl laughing in a car, at a park together and a photo of Carl bringing her book to her in the hospital.

Due to a lack of money and health problems, they never had photos visiting exotic places, but they did have the little, sweet moments.

In turn, Ellie and Carl were unable to actualize all of their dreams, but they were able to stay together — a dream not even the rich or healthy can always achieve.

9. Love is eternal

After Ellie passes, Carl sees his deceased wife in inanimate objects. He constantly talks to the house and personifies it as Ellie. He sees a piece of Ellie in everything, but also in people.

Carl never stops loving her, but knows he has to move on with his life by extending his love to Russell. Every time Carl crosses his heart with Russell, he simultaneously says I love you to his darling, Ellie.

Carl finds healthy ways to keep Ellie alive in his memory and heart.

10. Love is an adventure

Carl carries Ellie with him in spirit, even after she is gone. As Ellie's goodbye to Carl, she writes, "Thank you for the adventure, now go have a new one!" Ellie makes it apparent that the real spirit of adventure was never about exploring, but about love.

The two realized they had something special, a once-in-a-lifetime love, and as long as they had that, every day was worthy of glorification.

Around and around they rode their relationship steadily for years like a carousel, instead of a rollercoaster.

At the end of it all, Ellie was Carl's favorite adventure and she his — an adventure that endured, even after a body expired.

All things considered, like a balloon, love can easily start to fall to the ground if not constantly inflated by effort and appreciation of one's partner. Yet, too much of a good thing can also be a bad thing.

You never want to smother your partner because that could lead to your love bursting. If you adopt the lessons listed above, you will have a balanced love — a love filled with just the right amount of support to help you rise when working on yourself or a partnership.