Oscars animated champ ‘Up’ inspires real-life recordbreaker

Last year, “Up” soared off with Best Animated Feature at the Oscars. This magical mystery tour of an elderly man who takes to the skies, house and all, rather than face eviction, charmed audiences and critics. Among those who were intrigued by the fantasy of using balloons to do the heavy lifting were the producers of the new National Geographic TV series “How Hard Can It Be?”

They built a model home, measuring 16 by 16 feet, attached 300 eight-foot tall weather balloons to it, and soon had lift off. The 10-story structure climbed to 10,000 feet and stayed aloft for about an hour, which would have given passengers time to watch about two-thirds of the film. And, in the process, they set a new world record for biggest balloon cluster.

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