10 Times Disney Blatantly Stole From Other Movies

8. Up (Above Then Beyond)

Up Above Then Beyond
Pixar & ESRA

Pixar's majestic 2009 adventure dramedy about a cranky old man attaching balloons to his house and flying off to greener pastures is one of the company's most emotional and gorgeously-wrought tales. It's also totally unoriginal.

The 2006 French short Above Then Beyond, produced by student Yannick Banchereau during his time at the ESRA film school, follows a similarly lonesome elderly person (this time a woman) who also decides to send her house into the air in order to avoid it being demolished.

Sadly, however, the twist ending reveals that this fantastical sequence is in fact the old lady's dying dream, in stark contrast to Up's more literal, hopeful ending.

From the title through to the design of the protagonists' houses, the presence of soulless businessmen looking to cause trouble and the sheer similarity of many shots, it's hard not to conclude that Disney-Pixar knowingly ripped it off. Not convinced? Check out the short for yourself.

Matters became further complicated when it was later revealed that ESRA had a working relationship with Pixar, making it possible that someone high-up at Pixar was able to view the short and borrow from it.

Though The Art of Up book reveals that director Pete Docter first conceived the Carl Fredrickson character back in 2004, there's nothing to indicate that the floating house concept predates the production of Above Then Beyond.

It might only be circumstantial evidence at the end of the day, but it's pretty damning all the same. If Pixar didn't have a connection to ESRA then it might be easier to dismiss this as an improbable coincidence, but given Pixar's direct line to the filmmakers, it becomes decidedly tougher to accept.

In this post: 
Posted On: 

Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.