Did You Know That Tom McCarthy Helped Write Pixar's Up?

May 27, 2009

Tom McCarthy - Dug the Dog

I wasn't the only one who noticed something strange in the opening credits for Pixar's Up when I saw it a few weeks ago - Tom McCarthy was credited as a screenwriter along with Bob Peterson. McCarthy, who is also an actor, is probably best known for writing and directing both The Station Agent and The Visitor from last year. He's a great writer and it's very cool to see Pixar reaching out to people outside of their own studio to help work on their movies. Plus, I think his involvement can definitely be felt in the movie, as the story in Up is truly wonderful. SlashFilm has a few more details on how this collaboration first came together.

"Bob and I developed the idea [for Up], played with it for quite a while and then [Bob] was on Rat (the working title for Ratatouille)," director Pete Docter told SlashFilm. "And then for some time I really needed someone to spark off of and I met Tom before and really liked his films, The Station Agent especially -- which was actually one of the models for the story, a family coming together… So he came in and wrote two drafts. He was here for three months and then Bob came back."

His contributions were enough to warrant an actual credit on the movie - something which isn't even listed on IMDb yet, only in the actual movie (for now). It's also interesting to see how far back the work on this extends. That means that McCarthy must have been working on this a few years ago, before he had even shot The Visitor. Pixar consulted with Oscar-nominated cinematographer Roger Deakins on Wall-E and is always brings in some of the best talent from the live-action world to help with their movies. It's another one of those little perks that makes Pixar one of the greatest movie studios in the world, animated or not.

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Reader Feedback - 9 Comments


Yup. Totally did.

Fuelbot on May 27, 2009


The Visitor seriously has some of the best writing (particularly dialogue) of the last ten years, the fact that Pixar had him write for Up is just astounding. Also, Pixar is probably THE best movie studio operating now.

Timothy on May 27, 2009


Pete Docter said McCarthy's biggest contribution to the script was the creation of Russell The Wilderness Explorer.

Fuelbot on May 27, 2009


I knew. Not a big surprise to me.

Bahumbug on May 27, 2009


Eeesh, sorry guys, I was just phrasing the title that way to make people curious, but it's more of a story about how it came about. Plus, not everyone knew that, but whatever...

Alex Billington on May 27, 2009


who cares about slashfilm, its all about firstshowing !

PinkSushi on May 27, 2009


I'm impresssed but not too surprised. After all, Michael Chabon is helping Andrew Stanton with John Carter of Mars, so this isn't the first time Pixar brought in talented writers from outside the Pixar family.

elessar on May 28, 2009


I saw McCarthy in Central Park recently with his dog and regret not saying hello. I was walking my dog at the time and felt embarassed that I had gotten "The Visitor" from Netflix like 3 months ago and hadn't watched it yet! I went home and watched it that night. Great movie. Loved "The Station Agent," too. Anyhow, I figured a lot of the dog references in "Up" might have come from McCarthy. They were so spot on. Every dog I know, including mine, does that thing with squirrels. It's hysterical.

Steven on Jun 15, 2009


McCarthy is an underrated talent -- especially as a writer/director -- but that's part of the reason I like him so much.

John on Jun 18, 2009

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