Colby Curtin got her final wish. The 10-year-old girl desperately wanted to see the new Disney-Pixar movie, "Up." But the cancer-stricken girl was too sick to go to a theater. Thanks to a family friend who got in touch with the movie studio Pixar, an employee of the Emeryville-based company arrived at Colby’s home with a DVD copy of the movie, The Orange County Register reported Friday. The girl died later that night.
Colby’s mother, Lisa, said she had asked her daughter if she could hang on until the movie arrived. "I’m ready (to die), but I’m going to wait for the movie," she said her daughter replied. "Up" is the animated tale of a grumpy old man who, after his wife’s death, tries to fulfill their joint dream of visiting South America by tying thousands of balloons to his house and floating away.
"When I watched it, I had really no idea about the content of the theme of the movie," Colby’s mother told the Register. "I just know that word ‘Up’ and all of the balloons and I swear to you, for me it meant that (Colby) was going to go up. Up to heaven."
Colby, who was diagnosed with vascular cancer in 2005, saw previews for the film in April. "It was from then on, she said, ‘I have to see that movie. It is so cool,’" family friend Carole Lynch said. But the girl’s health began to deteriorate. On June 4, Curtin asked a hospice company to bring a wheelchair so that her daughter could go to a movie theater but the chair was not delivered over the weekend, Curtin said. By June 9, Colby was too sick to go anywhere.
Another family friend, Terrell Orum, called both Pixar and Disney, which owns the animation studio. The message was received by Pixar officials, who agreed to send someone to Colby’s house the next day with a copy of "Up" for a private screening, Orum said. The employee arrived with the DVD, stuffed animals of characters and other movie memorabilia.Colby was unable to open her eyes to see the movie so her mother described the scenes. When her mother asked if she enjoyed it, the girl nodded, Curtin said.
The Pixar employee left after the movie, taking the DVD, which has not been released. Lynch, who was with the family during the screening, said the employee’s "eyes were just welled up." A call to Pixar seeking comment was not immediately returned Friday. Colby, with her parents nearby, died later that night.
Her mother said one of the memorabilia left by the Pixar employee was an "adventure book" based on a scrapbook that, in the movie, is kept by the wife of the main character. "I’ll have to fill those adventures in for her," Lisa Curtin said of her daughter.