The story of Carl Frederickson and his journey to keep a promise to his late wife Ellie is beautiful and heart warming, and the animation is brilliant.
Sadly, the house that has been linked to the movie (but did not inspire it, according to Disney) is about to be torn down. I wanted to see it before that happens, so we headed to Ballard on Sunday to find the UP house.
It's not easy to locate. First of all, it barely resembles the beautiful home that Edith Macefield left behind when she died in 2008 at the age of 86.
Secondly, it's surrounded on three sides by a retail development called "Ballard Blocks". In 2006, the builders offered the stubborn and feisty Mrs. Macefield $1 million dollars for her 115 year old home. She turned them down, saying at the time "I don't want to move. I don't need the money. Money doesn't mean anything". She wasn't "anti-progress". She just felt that she was too old and sick to move, and knew that all the money in the world wouldn't be worth it to leave the house where she wanted to die.
They built around her. And she turned up the volume on her tv and said "they'll be done eventually".
During construction, Mrs. Macefield made friends with the superintendent of the project, Barry Martin. When she passed away, with no surviving relatives, she left the house to him. He subsequently sold it in 2009 for $310,000, but it soon went into foreclosure, as the buyer learned that it would cost too much to bring the house up to code.
So unless someone figures out a way to lift the house UP with balloons, it will be knocked down in ninety days. Definitely not a Disney ending for this pretty little house that has stood in Ballard for more than a hundred years.
It may not have inspired the movie UP, but I love the story of the brave Mrs. Macefield, who wouldn't let anyone tell her what to do, and stayed with her home when others told her to go. Seeing the house and thinking about that kind of determination brought tears to my eyes.
Well done, Edith Macefield, well done.