Carl is a widow who deeply loved his wife, Elie. Ever since they were children, they dreamed of going to Paradise Falls in South America, like the daring explorer Charles Muntz who traveled the world in an airship. When Carl is threatened of eviction from the home he shared with Elie, he ties hundreds of balloons to his house, setting his course for South America. When the house lifts off, he unknowingly gets a stowaway, a precocious and sweet boyscout, Russell. Grumpy Carl is stuck with him. They roughly land in South America but the falls are on the other side. There they run into Kevin, a huge colorful bird, and Dug, a dog that talks with a voicebox. Kevin and Dug walk with them, and Russell explains that Kevin has been calling for her babies over to the rock valley in the distance. Meanwhile three dogs, also with voiceboxes are looking for Kevin, they track Dug and encounter the group, luckily, Kevin runs off. The dogs bring the group to Muntz, who is their leader. Muntz takes Carl and Russell into the airship, and invites them to dinner. He proceeds to talk about his quest to hunt an exotic bird, Kevin. Kevin squawks nearby and Muntz sends the dogs out to capture it. Carl and Russell escape, but Kevin becomes injured. Muntz secures the bird, and Carl wants to go back to his own mission, going to Paradise Falls. Russell resents Carl and tries to save Kevin on his own. When Carl gets a change of heart, he flies up in the house towards the airship, where Carl and Kevin are held prisoner. Carl rescues both, but then the three become dangerously stuck on the airship's wing. When Muntz dives out to get them, he plunges to his death. The house falls down as well. They reunite Kevin with her chicks, and return to the city. Carl and Russell now have a unique bond. It ends with Carl's house, perfectly positioned by Paradise Falls.
Best part of story, including ending:
For the unusual friendship formed between an old man and a boy.
Best scene in story:
When Dug shows up eager to please his new friends, Carl and Russell.
Opinion about the main character:
Carl is hard on the outside but a softie on the inside.