Ed Asner as the voice of Carl, “Up”
Why he’s unlikely: Carl’s a sweet old widower with nothing left to lose. His wife is gone, his life seems aimless, and by the close of the film’s heartbreaking opening sequence he seems like a tragic lost soul. But instead of being relegated to the role of “sad old man,” he proves to be an adventurer with some spice left in him.
Why he’s a hero: Carl uses thousands of helium-filled balloons and manages to lift his house into the atmosphere, taking flight in a bid to fulfill a promise to his late wife, to one day travel to the exotic Paradise Falls. He may be elderly, but Carl steers the house-plane, fends off wild animals in the jungles, and even defends himself against a rifle-toting explorer who’s gone a little mad in the wild. Yes, his face may show the wrinkles of the decades gone by, but Carl is still a fighter.