Friday, June 19, 2009

You can only go up from here . . .

Have you ever started reading a news story and felt your eyes well up unexpectedly? Been so touched by a simple act of human kindness, simple yet surprising?

I have been looking forward to seeing the Pixar film "Up" for weeks, and finally arranged a little group outing to see it tonight; everyone I've spoken to who's seen it has told me how wonderful it is, and I can't wait.

This morning, I was surfing news sites and found a link to this story, about 12-year-old Colby Curtin, and her dying wish to see the new Pixar film. To encapsulate the story (though I recommend going and reading it for yourself, and I dare you to keep a dry eye): Colby was diagnosed with a terminal form of vascular cancer, and has been steadily worsening for the last few months. Seeing previews for "Up" the last time she got out to see a movie at the theatre, she expressed how much she wanted to see the Pixar movie, but wasn't sure she would make it that long. As her condition deteriorated to the point where going out to a theatre became impossible, Colby's family despaired of being able to grant her last wish. Then, the big-hearted people at Pixar came to the rescue.

After cold-calling the office and getting through to someone, a family friend explained Colby's story and her one wish to see the movie before her death. The very next day, a Pixar employee showed up at the Curtain's house with a DVD of the film and "Up" toys, and even told Colby funny behind-the-scenes stories about the film. They screened it together, Colby in so much pain her mother had to describe what was happening onscreen, as Colby could no longer open her eyes. Afterwards, the Pixar employee left, Colby's mother saying he couldn't have been nicer. Seven hours later, at 9:20 that night, Colby died. Her mother said that she had no idea what the movie was about before seeing it, just that her daughter wanted to see it before she died; now, she is glad that "Up" was part of her daughter's last day.

We get so many examples of big companies' cruelty to the little man, their indifference for regular folk, that we can forget that there are lots of decent people out there too, who understand that the simplest gestures can mean the most. Thank you, Pixar, for remembering that.


Kimba said...

I read this article too, and yes, the tears welled up immediately. It nice to know that Disney/Pixar are one of the few corporations who really do have a heart.

Ginger said...

This story just warmed me up inside;)

Willard said...

"UP" had so much more heart than anything else I've seen in theaters lately. I'm glad PIXAR made the special effort for a special fan to see it.