Pixar's next film, Elemental, will hit theaters on June 16th, but it's not coming alone. A new Up short, Carl's Date, will screen in front of the upcoming film, heralding the return of Pixar shorts as well as paying homage to the late Ed Asner, the iconic voice of Up's Carl Fredricksen, in one of his final performances. Written and directed by Academy Award nominee Bob Peterson and produced by Kim Collins, the new short finds Carl reluctantly agreeing to go on a date with a lady friend, but with no idea how dating works these days. Dug steps in to help calm Carl's pre-date nerves — and offers up some "tried-and-true tips for making friends — if you're a dog."
ComicBook.com was in the audience for a surprise screening of Carl's Date during a recent press day for Elemental at Pixar Animation Studios as well as had a chance to speak with Peterson and Collins about the emotional short, which sees Carl take a major step — one that sort of puts a nice bow on the overall Up story.
"No one will ever replace Ellie for Carl," Peterson told press. "This is just friendship. This is just honoring her, Ellie saying 'go have a new adventure.' And this really puts that to the test. Should he do this or not?"
They also confirmed that, while they never say never, Carl's Date serves as closure to the Up story.
"For now, I'm thinking of it as a bow on the story," Peterson said. "You know, you never say never, things do ebb and get a great idea or whatever it is, but I think this ends up being a terrific way to end this little miniseries.
"And not having Ed anymore…" Collins added. "Just watching this, I mean, it's a beautiful ending."
Asner sadly passed away in 2021, shortly after recording his role as Carl for Carl's Date.
"He's a hilarious man," Peterson said. "The guy is Carl Fredricksen. It's just so fun to work with him. You know, I grew up with The Mary Tyler Moore Show. It just was a treat to be with him. He's grouchy, but had this amazing heard and was very, very funny. We feel blessed to have been with him toward the end of his career, and I feel like this honors him pretty well."
Here's Pixar's official synopsis of Carl's Date: This year, Pixar Animation Studios resumes the magical moviegoing tradition of pairing their feature film with an animated short—like 2018's Oscar®-winning "Bao" that accompanied "Incredibles 2" in theaters. Releasing in front of "Elemental" is a new short that catches up with Carl Fredricksen (voice of Ed Asner) and his lovable talking dog, Dug (voice of Bob Peterson), who were introduced in Pixar's Oscar®-winning feature "Up." Written and directed by Academy Award® nominee and Emmy® Award winner Bob Peterson and produced by Kim Collins, this all-new short, "Carl's Date," finds Carl reluctantly agreeing to go on a date with a lady friend—but admittedly with no idea how dating works these days. Ever the helpful friend, Dug steps in to calm Carl's pre-date jitters and offer some tried-and-true tips for making friends—if you're a dog. "Carl's Date" opens in theaters in front of Disney and Pixar's "Elemental" on June 16, 2023.
Are you looking forward to the new Carl's Date short? Will you be checking out Elemental in theaters? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section!