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Who he is: Carl Fredricksen, a grouchy old widower. He accidentally teams up with a young Wilderness Explorer named Russell, who is forced to accompany Carl on a trip that flies his house to Paradise Falls.
Why it works: There are sentimental touches everywhere. The grumpiness of Carl, the excitement of a child in a new place, the reactions of Dug the dog, the sadness of having lost someone -- all very relatable themes that drew in a diverse crowd with a range of emotion.