ANIMATED movie Up may have been Pixar’s second-biggest hit after grossing US$290million ($420m) to date, but it is the story before its release that has touched many.
UP: An undated photo of 10-year-old Colby Curtin, who was diagnosed with vascular cancer. She died hours after watching Pixar’s animated movie Up, which was her wish before she died. PICTURE: AP
Ten-year-old cancer-stricken Colby Curtin got her final wish to watch the movie in a private screening in her home.
Seven hours later, she died.
She was too sick to go to a theatre, but a family friend got in touch with the movie studio Pixar. They sent an employee of the Emeryville-based company to Colby’s home with a DVD copy of the movie, The Orange County Register reported.
Colby’s mother, Mrs Lisa Curtin, said she had asked her daughter if she could hang on until the movie arrived.
‘I’m ready (to die), but I’m going to wait for the movie,’ she said her daughter replied.
Colby was diagnosed with vascular cancer on 23Dec 2005 after doctors found a tumour in her liver.
Up is the animated tale of a grumpy old man who, after his wife’s death, tries to fulfil their joint dream of visiting South America by tying thousands of balloons to his house and floating away.
Colby had gone for a DreamWorks 3-D movie, Monsters Vs. Aliens on 28 April. But she was impressed by the previews to Up.
‘It was from then on, she said, that ‘I have to see that movie. It is so cool,’ family friend Carole Lynch said.
Colby was a movie fan, said Mrs Curtin, and she latched onto Pixar’s movies because she loved animals.
But the girl’s health began to deteriorate two days after she watched Monsters Vs. Aliens.
On 4 Jun, Mrs Curtin asked a hospice company to provide a wheelchair so that her daughter could go to a movie theatre, but the chair was not delivered over the weekend, she said.
Five days later, Colby was too sick to go anywhere.
Another family friend, Mr Terrell Orum, called both Pixar and Disney, which owns the animation studio.
The message was received by Pixar officials, who agreed to send someone to Colby’s house the next day with a copy of Up for a private screening, Orum said.
The employee arrived with the DVD, stuffed animals of characters and other movie memorabilia.
Couldn’t open her eyes
Colby was unable to open her eyes to see the movie so her mother described the scenes.
‘When I watched it, I had really no idea about the content of the theme of the movie,’ Colby’s mother told the Register.
‘I just know that word Up and all of the balloons and I swear to you, for me, it meant that (Colby) was going to go up. Up to heaven.’
When her mother asked if she enjoyed it, the girl nodded, Curtin said.
The Pixar employee left after the movie, taking the DVD, which at that time, had not been released.
Ms Lynch, who was with the family during the screening, said the employee was teary.
Her mother said one of the souvenirs left by the Pixar employee was an ‘adventure book’ based on a scrapbook that, in the movie, is kept by the wife of the main character.
‘I’ll have to fill those adventures in for her,’ Mrs Curtin said of her daughter.
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Puts a tear in me eye.