Charles F. Muntz is a famous explorer admired by Carl Fredricksen and his wife Ellie as children, and the main antagonist in Disney/Pixar's 2009 film Up. In the movie he found the bones of a tropical bird in South America but the scientific community claimed they were fake. Insulted, Muntz searches the South American wilderness for a live member of the same bird species, traveling in a zepplin with his many pet dogs, whom he equips with special collars he invented that enable them to speak. They are lead by Alpha and his assistants Beta and Gamma. He is voiced by Christopher Plummer.
Role in the film
Charles F. Muntz was a renowned explorer and entrepreneur while Carl and Ellie were children. He often traveled in his zeppelin, "The Spirit of Adventure", with his many canine companions. Thanks to Muntz's own ingenuity, he crafted many devices in his dirigible to make his life and his dogs as comfortable as possible. He also created the communicators in their collars later so they could be able to talk to each other.
During one eventful return from Paradise Falls in South America, Muntz reveals an astonishing discovery—the skeleton of "The Monster of Paradise Falls". Scientists, however, believed the skeleton was a fabrication and Muntz was publicly disgraced. He vowed to capture the creature alive and not return to the United States until he did.
Almost seventy years later, he is all but forgotten on the mainland, but his sole focus is to finally capture the rare bird. He apparently discovers where it hides, a monstrous rocky labyrinth, but can't go in himself and claims to have lost many of his dogs when he sent them in to capture the bird. The time he has spent alone and concentrating only on his mission has made him extremely paranoid and dangerous. It is hinted that he has murdered other visitors to Paradise Falls whom he thinks were after the bird.
Later in the film he meets up with Carl and Russell and invites them over to his zepplin for dinner, telling them of his search for the rare valuable bird, whom Kevin is a perfect match for his description. After Russel blurts out that Kevin is his pet and the bird he's looking for, Muntz becomes convinced that they are out to take credit for the bird's existence, so he sends his dogs after them. Carl, Russell and Dug manage to escape by getting Kevin to fly over a cliff, but her leg is injured by Alpha.
That night, their location is given away by Dug's collar and Muntz captures Kevin in a net just before she can make it back to her babies. He gives Carl the ultimatum of either rescuing Kevin or saving his house, which he has set on fire. Carl rushes to put out the blaze and Muntz easily incapacitates Russell as gets away with Kevin. Russell, thinking Carl only cares about his home, goes off to rescue by himself, but is tied up by Muntz and Alpha. Knowing that Carl can't be far behind, he leaves Russell as bait as he returns to pilot the dirigible.
Charles F. Muntz confronts Carl and they fight while Russell goes to rescue Kevin. Dug saves Carl from Muntz, no longer trusting him as his master. Dug, Russel, and Kevin make their way to Carl's floating house with Charles in pursuit, trying to bring down the house with a hunting rifle. He makes his way into the house and tries to kill them, but Carl lures Kevin out of the house with a piece of chocolate while Dug and Russell are on her back. Muntz tries to grab hold, but his foot gets tangled in balloon strings which snap and he falls 4000 feet to his death.
Charles F. Muntz has white hair. He wears a white dirty short-sleeved shirt with a brown winter jacket. He wears tan pants and brown shoes, and carries a cane. His eyes are aqua. He also has a moustache.
- Spike.com ranks him 4th in their list "The Top 10 Hollywood "Villains" Who Got Totally Screwed". Under the section titled "What People Forget", it says "He never actually did anything altogether evil until the main characters boarded his zeppelin by force and attempted to steal his bird, at which point he tried to throw them overboard. What one has to understand is that he spent over 50 years trying to catch that bird. 50 years in the jungle trying to catch the damn thing and now that he has, some kid and an old guy that smells like prunes are trying to steal it back from him? He’s completely within his rights to have that bird on his ship! It was a legitimate capture in the name of science, and they’re trying to stop him because they think that’s mean? He didn’t even plan on killing the thing. He just wanted to get back his respect from the scientific community. Sure it’s implied that he attacked the other people who he thought were trying to take his discovery from him, but we aren’t given any details, so for all we know he just chased them off with his cane."
- Charles F. Muntz is currently and so far the only Pixar antagonist to use a fire weapon (a sniper rifle).
- One question is exactly how old is Charles F. Muntz? If Carl is 78 by the time of him meeting him, and Muntz was at least 20 when Carl was 8. It's possible that Muntz could be over ninety years old.
- Charles F. Muntz is the second Pixar villain to fall to his death preceded by Evil Emperor Zurg (who actually survived), but the eighth Disney Villain in overall to do so (after the Wicked Queen, Ratigan, McLeach, Gaston,The Bear, Frollo, and Zurg).
- Also, Muntz is the third villain in a Disney/Pixar animation to actually die, preceded by Syndrome and Hopper. The Disney/Pixar villain to die after Muntz is Mor'du from Brave.
- He's named after Charles Mintz, Walt Disney's former employer who took the contract rights to the cartoon character Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Disney's first ever cartoon star from Walt Disney in 1929
- Director Pete Docter indirectly mentioned in DVD bonus "The Many Endings of Muntz" that Charles F. Muntz represented Carl's side that gave up on sanity after losing his most prized possession (Ellie to Carl, the bird to Muntz). In order to Carl to overcome his grief, his dark side had to be defeated, in other words, Muntz had to die. This commentary indirectly points that Muntz did not survive the fall.
- Muntz's objectives, actions, and fate are very similar—arguably, nearly identical—to those of McLeach, the antagonist in The Rescuers Down Under.
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