The New York Times is reporting that a studio executive told the paper that Up director Pete Docter played a crucial role in the painstaking process to get the Up house recreation built in Utah. When Blair Bangerter, the designer of the Utah house, came up with the idea to bring the home to life, it was widely assumed that Disney, who has been known to strongly protect its properties, would reject the offer. However, Docter learned of the plans and apparently stepped in.
The NY Times states:
Somehow Mr. Bangerter’s detailed architectural drawings made their way to Mr. Docter’s desk at Pixar. Touched that his film had inspired such an elaborate reaction, he asked the company to make it happen, according to the Disney executive.
It seems that without Docter’s intervention we may never have seen this project come to life. Many were baffled when the house did indeed come to fruition, as Bangerter Homes is marketing the colorful home as the Up house come to life. Most of the details seen in the film have made it into the recreation (some changes had to be made due to architectural reasons). Images and music from the film have been used to market the house. Bangerter is even expected to pocket around $400,000 from its eventual sale. So how did Disney allow it? Well, Bangerter was only allowed to build this one recreation – they could not build these homes all over the place. After the building was finished, Bangerter had to turn over the designs to Disney.
Considering all the red tape this project had to step over, it is remarkable to see it happen. Pete Docter was already considered to be one of the nicest guys – the fact that he personally intervened on the project’s behalf like this only cements that. The Monsters, Inc. and Up director is one of my favorite personalities at the studio. We know he can knock a film out of the park, touching the hearts of audiences across the globe. He can do it off the screen, too.
Source: New York Times