Pixar movies ask viewers to suspend their disbelief. Toys don't really talk, superheroes don't exist, and tiny people in our heads aren't controlling our emotions. Up (2009), which centers on a house that travels to South America via thousands of balloons, isn't shooting for realism, but it's more plausible than other films from the animation studio. To really bring Up into the real world, the animators just needed to add dozens of millions more balloons to Carl's home.
As Nerdist reports, the video below from Corridor Crew visualizes exactly how many balloons it would take to carry a house in real life. Pete Doctor, Up's director, says in a clip that the team settled on around 10,000 balloons after realizing that obeying the laws of physics would make animating the film impossible.
The YouTube channel Film Theory calculated that 31,150,319 party balloons would be required to lift a house off the ground like we see in Up. That's a hard number for most people to wrap their heads around. For comparison, Cleveland, Ohio, set a record for biggest balloon release ever in 1986, and that event featured just 1.5 million balloons. Even that amount was enough to ground airplanes, cause traffic accidents, and send the city into general chaos.
This video uses an impressive computer simulation to show what 31 million balloons would look like in real life. The CGI balloons are shown riding the currents of the wind like a floating, rainbow sea. Blowing up all those balloons would be impractical for an entire team of people, not to mention one elderly man living alone.
After watching the video, check out these facts about your favorite Pixar films.