When we think of Disney/Pixar's Up, the first thing that comes to every mind is just how unbelievably sad its first 10 minutes made us all. Yep. But once I get past that, most of what I remember is the crazy adventure to 'Paradise Falls' that Carl and Ellie dreamed of going on.
'Paradise Falls' really did look like paradise to me. And since so many others of Disney's beautiful animated world have in fact been inspired by real places, I always wondered.
Presenting, the tepui of Canaima National Park in Venezuela. The geological marvel that are these tepuis, also known as 'house of gods' has evolved over a mind-boggling 2 billion years and still stands in unmissable glory.
The Pixar team pain-stakingly visited 3 of the most awe-inspiring tepui of the park - Mount Roraima, next-door Kukenan, and Auyantepui - the first of which is the tallest at 2810 meters.
"It was like your worst nightmare,” says Peterson. “It was like a six- or seven- hour climb to the top, and I had on way too much gear. When we got to the top, we had to hike across uneven terrain for another hour and a half. It was already dark when we got to our camp. And suddenly, from out of the darkness we saw this cave lit by candles and there was warm soup waiting for us. We we saw our tents, most of us just sat down and started crying. We were so happy to be there."
- Up co-director/writer Bob Peterson recalled
Well, we sure still remember the glorious scene where the magnificence of the 'Paradise Falls' dawned upon Carl and Russel for the first time, and we can only imagine what the producers of the film scoping Venezuela for inspiration felt when they set eyes on this beauty.