By now, you’ve probably heard the bittersweet story of 10-year-old Colby Curtin. If not, you’ll want to get out the tissues. Curtin had wanted to see Up from the moment she saw the film’s trailer but was unable to go to a movie theater when the Disney/Pixar film was released because she was losing her nearly three-year battle with vascular cancer. (GET OUT THE TISSUES NOW.) A family friend phoned Pixar, and on June 10, the company flew an employee with a copy of Up on DVD to Colby’s Huntington Beach, Calif. home. She watched it with her family and friends – and about seven hours later, she passed. “When I watched it, I had really no idea about the content of the theme of the movie,” her mother, Lisa Curtin, told the OC Register. “I just know that word ‘Up’ and all of the balloons and I swear to you, for me it meant that [Colby] was going to go up. Up to heaven.”
Every time I let myself think about Colby, I well up. I know the excitement at seeing the trailer – the colors, the humor, the mystery of how this latest Pixar film will take you on an adventure that always leads back to your own heart in the end. And Up is all about making a dream come true. How wonderful that her family got even the smallest comfort knowing that they made this happen for her (and knowing that even as her body gave out, her sense of wonder and imagination didn’t).
Sometimes movies are just fleeting entertainment, and sometimes they are memories that stay with you. I’m sitting here brushing away tears because I’m happy that Colby got to take Up with her. I hope somehow her 10-year-old mind was able to understand that Carl’s quest to get Ellie to the Paradise Falls means that your loved ones don’t forget you when you’re gone. And now, Colby, neither will we.