18 March 2023

LEGO® Disney™ review: 43217 'Up' House

Posted by Elspeth De Montes

The Disney·Pixar animated movie Up was released back in 2009 and won a couple of Oscars that year as well as a Best Picture nomination. Nearly 14 years have passed since its release,  but recently LEGO® Disney 43217 'Up' House was revealed as part the Walt Disney Company’s 100th anniversary this year.

I've experienced Up in two ways: firstly as someone in my twenties watching it because Pixar animation was cutting-edge at the time; and then more recently (many more times!) as a mummy.  I am excited to see if this set lives up to my expectations, and my children's, as the movie is one of my favourite Pixar works to date. And lets not forget that there are lots of colourful elements to swoon over!

Products in this article were provided by LEGO®; the author's opinions are their own.
LEGO® Disney™ 43217 'Up' House
54.99 EUR / $59.99/ 89.99 AUD/ 79.99 CAD/49.99 GBP
598 parts
1 April 2023
Buying from Please consider using our affiliate links, we may get a commission: USA LEGO Shop | Australia LEGO Shop | UK LEGO Shop.

New moulds

Which wattle?

There is one new mould in the set, although it is subtly altered rather than something completely new. Chicken in Dark Turquoise (6441823 | 1413) replaces the previous Chicken element with Design ID 95342. The differences seem to mainly be a more defined wattle and a smoother area between the legs and base.

The previous mould has appeared unprinted in four colours:
  • Warm Gold (6170816 | 95342)
  • Silver Metallic/Flat Silver (6059314 | 95342)
  • Medium Stone Grey/Light Bluish Grey (6146899 | 95342)
  • White (6063271 | 95342)


The other new moulds in this set belong to the three main characters from the movie: Carl Fredricksen, Wilderness Explorer Russel and Dug (the dog), so we might as well start with these beloved characters.  


Carl has a recolour for his Hair Swept Left Tousled in White (6278397|23186) and a new printed head with two sides (6422738). I think grumpy and content best describe those expressions.  

Carl's torso is interesting as it has his shirt, bowtie and cardigan, but the belt printing is a third of the way up his chest to reflect his 'old man pulled-up trousers'.  Obviously the typical belt area is now just Medium Legs in Dark Tan,  and while I see what the designer was going for, \it does look a little odd. Although having trousers pulled that far up is an odd look in general!

© 1986-2023 DISNEY · PIXAR

I love that Carl the minifigure has his 'Grape Soda" pin badge clearly in place as this was a gift from his late wife Ellie when they were both children.  Interestingly is is also an Easter egg that recurs in some of Pixar's other movies.

Wilderness Explorer Russel 

Russel has a newly moulded hat with hair element, Baseball Cap with Quiff Hair in Bright Light Yellow/Black (6421523). His head has new printing on both sides (6422740). His torso is newly printed on both sides to show his Wilderness Explorer uniform in Bright Light Yellow, complete with neckerchief and bandolier adorned with badges (6439108).  His Short Legs with Light Nougat Stripe and Reddish Brown Shorts (6444245) are a recolour for this element. 

Dug (and squirrel)

Dug is dual-molded in Dark Brown and Sand Yellow/Tan (6422775), and obviously he also comes with a SQUIRREL! This proved useful to get him to pose for images! 
© 1986-2023 DISNEY · PIXAR

Comparing the minifigures to their movie counterparts shows that the designers have really done a great job here.  I imagine there must have been discussion about whether to give Carl a nose or not as it is one of his defining features, but LEGO minifigures are mainly noseless (well, lets not think about The Muppets CMF Series too much here) and his spectacles seem to stay up well despite the loss. 


Besides elements related to the minifigures, there are four more elements that appear for the first time in a new colour.

  • 1 x Plate Special 1 x 2 with Handles in Sand Yellow/ Tan (6441822 | 3839)
  • 4 x Brick Special 1 x 1 x 1 2/3 with Studs on 1 Side in Yellow (6441826 | 32952)
  • 2 x Slope 65° 2 x 1 x 2 in Bright Light Yellow (6441825 | 60481)
  • 6 x Window 1 x 2 x 3 Flat Front in Dark Pink (6438780 | 60593)

Rare Elements

All of the following elements have only appeared in only one other set so far.

  • 1x Brick Curved 2 x 2 x 1 1/3 with Curved Top - Corner in Medium Lavender (6423973 | 67810)
  • 2 x Plate 6 x 12 in Medium Nougat (6423217 | 3028)
  • 2 x Window 1 x 2 x 2 Flat Front in Bright Yellow/ Yellow (6424329 | 79128)
  • 1 x Tile 4 x 4 in White (6400128 | 1751)
  • 1 x Brick Arch 1 x 3 x 3 [Gothic] in Cool Yellow/ Bright Light Yellow (6380622 | 13965)

Venting Mould Moment

Brick Round 2 x 2 Dome Top has undergone a few changes over the years in terms of mould.  The most recent change was noted in 2023 sets with the new design ID 3262: Brick Round 2 x 2 Dome Top - Vented Stud with Bottom Axle Holder x Shape + Orientation.

Some of the LEGO Creator sets released on 1 March also contain the new mould, in a variety of colours.  And so, although you may not think of them as being rare, strictly speaking, the Brick Round 2 x 2 Dome Top are only found in one other set so far in the new mould:
  • Bright Reddish Violet/ Magenta (6429064)
  • Bright Yellowish Green/ Lime (6429057)
  • Medium Azure (6429058)
  • Red (6429055)
  • Medium Stone Grey/ Light Bluish Gray (6429052)
  • Yellow (6429054)

New print

As well as the minifigures, there is one other new printed element of note;  Minifigure Head with Paradise Falls and Money print in Trans Clear (6422742).  The front has the label Paradise Falls while the back has some dollar coins - this cleverly gives the impression of a glass jar filled with coins when viewed from the front.

Left image: © 1986-2023 DISNEY·PIXAR

[Spoiler alert - those who have not watched the movie should skip to the next section!] The movie includes a series of flashbacks to Carl meeting his wife Ellie, getting married, trying for a baby and sadly suffering a miscarriage. Unable to have a family, their focus changes and they begin saving money in glass jars to go to a place called Paradise Falls. However, they have to break into their savings multiple times for more urgent issues.

The dream of heading to Paradise Falls is a main theme in the movie, and it is the place that Carl and Russel eventually go to when the house takes off, powered by helium balloons.  It is great that this element has been so beautifully rendered, and printed rather than stickered.

Sticker sheet

Yes, there's a sticker sheet, but the build does not rely on the stickers to make this set recognisable as the Up house.  They do include some cute references to items in the movie, however. I didn't keep that sticker sheet I applied these bad boys as this set has too many nods to the movie to not go the whole hog and stick, stick, stick!

Building the Disney Up House

Cute items

The first side-build is an important and comical feature in the movie: Russel's backpack full of all the important things a Wildness Explorer may need: a fork, pan, binoculars and mug all adorn the outside. 

Despite the ridiculous size of the backpack, Minifigure Russel is able to balance well, as the jumper plate on the base of the backpack means it rests in a stable position when he is standing - phew.

There are a few more cute items from the movie that are reflected in small builds contained within the house.

The gramophone makes clever use of the Mining with Head Lamp in Black ( 6349965 | 98289) although Warm Gold would have been even better to match the movie version. The television with sticker shows the opening image from old 1930s newsreel Carl is watching as a boy in the opening sequence of the movie.  When Carl and Ellie are children, they have a homemade book called "My Adventure Book" and in the set a sticker matches the movie book. One of the many photograph stickers is shown here with Ellie on her bike,  but all of the stickers depict images that feature in the movie version.

© 1986-2023 DISNEY·PIXAR

Side Build

The side build is a small patch of grass with two white fence elements, plus Carl's mailbox and then some balloons with a canister of helium and finally an opened cardboard box. 

This is a somewhat token attempt to give Carl's house a small garden with white picket fence, but at least the squirrel has a home. It is also a good way to showcase the balloons. As you can see that while both Yellow and Magenta use the shapely Round 2 x 2 Dome Bottom with Studs (Design ID 24947) the other three colours use the slightly inferior Round 2 x 2 Dome Bottom (15395). Since this would have required three more recolours for the set, I guess the designer ran out of frames as the balloons with the shapely Magenta and Yellow domes do look much better in my opinion.

The House

The best part of the house is the ground floor window (or first floor for you Americans that don't have ground floors). The three sections fit together beautifully and really manage to capture the colourful bay window well.  The steering wheel is meant to be the garden hose that Carl has attached to his house, it is important in the film as Carl uses it as a way to anchor the house and prevent it flying away.

The rear of the house has a small living room on the ground floor with Carl's armchair but no sign of Ellie's armchair that sits next to his in the movie. I've moved the gramophone from the 2x2 Jumper plate to allow a bit more of the sitting room to be seen but it really is a small area. The Paradise Falls money jar rests on the window sill on one side. 

The hallway occupies the other side of the ground floor with a small pot plant to one side and a clock on the wall. I thought the clock design was clever.

The front door opens but it will not allow a minifigure to get through; even Russel without his backpack has to turn on his side to enter.  The window sill prevents the front door from fully opening meaning that the only way to enter is a side-shuffle. 

The upper level contains an attic area to the left, with the old newsreel showing on the television and a box with the aforementioned Adventure Book in situ.  

I struggled to fit Carl into the attic area, in fact I've messed up his stylish hair in my attempts to wedge him in.  It really is a small build if you are actually trying to pose any minifigures in there for some play (or photographs).

On the right is Carl's bed and this is where the Ellie on her bike photograph is found, although it is actually in the hallway at the bottom of the stairs in the movie. The only way Carl and his walking stick can fit into the bedroom is by perilously hanging over the edge as the free space is so tiny.  Of course he can lie on the bed as a safer alternative but again the build suffers from the interior's attempt to be minifigure scale.

In the interests of research, I also tried to fit Dug into the house and found that he can only fit sideways in the living room.  Dug can assume a very 'His Master's Voice' position with his head in the gramophone, but that's about it.

Once the balloons are added to the top in the final section of the build, there's no doubt that this is a the Up house in LEGO form.  It looks great from the front despite the lack of garden and white picket fence.  

© 1986-2023 DISNEY·PIXAR

The helium elephant in the room is that this number of balloons in the set does not even remotely depict the movie.  Let's be honest though, if the set were twice the price with four times as many balloons, Im not sure people would be happy either.  

Final Thoughts

This is a good looking set from the front.  The minifigures are fantastic and the house is a good likeness for the movie version.  The number of balloons is pitiful in comparison to the movie but that is probably not a realistic expectation to have in a LEGO set, and something I plan to remedy myself.

The larger problem is that the rear of the house is so small and cramped that the details cannot be enjoyed and it is almost impossible to manoeuvre Dug, Carl or Russel into any of the rooms. It is definitely not possible to recreate any scenes from the movie other than Carl in his armchair; but without the ever-poignant empty Ellie armchair next to him.

I really love the minifigures and the look of the front of the LEGO version of the house; I could display this set as-is without much stress.  To improve the look, I plan to add lots more balloons, add a small front garden with picket fence and see how it goes from there - displayed front on, of course.

Products in this article were provided by LEGO®; the author's opinions are their own.
LEGO® Disney 43217 ‘Up’ House
54.99 EUR / $59.99/ 89.99 AUD/ 79.99 CAD/49.99 GBP
598 parts
Available from 01 April 2023
Buying from Please consider using our affiliate links, we may get a commission: USA LEGO Shop | Australia LEGO Shop | UK LEGO Shop.

READ MORE: LEGO® Friends 41711 Emma's Art School

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  1. Nice review! Small typo: "...people WOULDN'T be happy either." ;-)

    1. I was about to go and correct the 'typo' but it actually says " I'm not sure people would be happy either". So not a typo after all...just poor grammar or poor reading skills ;-)

  2. Good review!

    Just a tip—"ground floor" is perfectly legitimate as an alternative to first floor in America, where they're used to mean the same thing. It's only once you get to higher levels where the naming conventions diverge (over here the "second floor" is immediately above the ground floor, rather than having a "first floor" in between). Of course, for a simple two-story house like this one, you might as well just call them the lower and upper floors!

    I imagine the reduced scale of this set (both for the house itself and the overall number of balloons) were concessions to make the overall set more "swooshable" for kids. A more accurately scaled house would certainly be gorgeous, but would be harder to lift and fly around, and an accurate number of balloons would not only be tedious to build but could be quite a challenge to mount securely (and to be honest might represent too much weight on the set itself given that instead of lighter-than-air-balloons they'd have to be heavier-than-air Lego builds)! That said, I can't help but wonder how many real-life helium balloons it'd take to send a set this size aloft... Free YouTube idea for any of the influencers out there!

    I'm quite impressed with the minifigures here, since despite the customary lack of noses for "human" minifigures, they wind up perfectly recognizable. The newly molded Dug also has pretty much the perfect balance of screen-accuracy and Lego-like geometry.

    The new chicken is a surprise but not an unwelcome one, with the details looking just slightly crisper and more defined.

    1. Well Andrew, you inspired me to at least do the math on this question using

      The LEGO Up house plus Carl, Dug, Russel and his backpack = 413g
      To get the set off the ground and to a height of 10m, we would need 394.1 litres of Helium.
      394.1litres of Helium would be 35 standard 11inch balloons filled with Helium.


    2. I am really hoping that someone takes two sets and combines them into a larger version. There was a version of the Up house on LEGO Ideas but I am certain that will not longer make the cut. Too bad as it was exactly what I wanted.