The movie tells the story of Carl Fredricksen an elderly man who, as a child, idolised explorer, Charles Muntz. Charles Muntz, while Carl was a young boy was discredited as a fraud by claiming to have discovered the bones of a giant bird which he found at Paradise Falls in South America. Determined to prove himself, Charles vows to not return until he has brought back a living specimen of the bird. Meanwhile, Carl meets Ellie, a feisty young girl with the same explorative dreams as Carl and they become fast friends. Then begins the silent homage to their life as it shows them becoming married and living their lives together still as in love as the day they first fell for one another. Sadly, Ellie, in her old age passes away and Carl is left alone in the home they bought and decorated together and around the home skyscrapers are being built with Carl being constantly pressured to sell his home to the company building the skyscrapers. After a series of more annoying events, Carl decides he’s had enough and wants to go on that adventure to Paradise Falls him and Ellie always wanted to go on. But instead of just jumping on a plane, he fills his house with balloons and decides to fly there and take his house with him.
After the initial launch of the house, there is a lot more to the story as we are gradually introduced to Russell, a wilderness explorer aiming to achieve his “help the elderly” badge so he can become a senior Wilderness Explorer and in order to do this he is determined to help Carl with anything he needs help with. Then, when they make it to the wilderness we meet Kevin the giant bird and a talking dog named Dug. These are characters, although extremely different from one another, blend well together and actually make for a heart warming good guy ensemble cast. Some of the contents of the film are actually quite cliché. The grumpy old man who’s grumpy because he never accomplished his dream and the young boy who has all the ambition in the world and just wants to impress his family. These are character traits indicative of the Disney genre, although that is no bad thing. The setting, although at times filled with vibrant colours, is actually quite bland and unimaginative, though that doesn’t take anything away from the animation which, as you’d expect from a Pixar movie, is superb.
The comedy, again as you would expect, is very witty and at times unusual but always funny. The bizarre traits of the animal characters dragged along for the ride are both genuine and hysterical, such as the typical dog traits for Dug, but fitted with a human voice amplifies those traits to a comically terrific level. The voice acting of all involved is, again spot on. Although not voiced by major names, the voices fit the characters well; from the loveable old man Carl voiced by Edward Asner, to the adorable Russell voiced by the young talent new on the scene, Jordan Nagai. One of the voices, I wish to point out for personal reasons really took me by surprise as I only realised who this man really was through simply browsing Wikipedia, and I was overjoyed to discover who this man was. Christopher Plummer was the voice of Carl’s hero, Charles Muntz. Now the name may not ring any bells with most modern film fans, but to those fans of the old movies, especially fans of musical, The Sound of Music you will recognise this man as Captain Von Trapp himself. That’s a little nerdy joy for me, so I hope you’ll forgive me for getting a little carried away.
Overall, there’s nothing bad I can say about this film. It’s got originality to it that you see all the time with the Pixar outings, yet it keeps to the same old formula Disney has made famous since its creation, yet the mixing styles never get boring. Sure, to some the formulaic layout of the Disney movies may get a tad tedious, and they have even grated on me from time to time, but I adore the Disney/Pixar collaborations simply because they’re fun and remind me of the simpler time when I was a kid. This is another strong outing from the team and I would strongly recommend it to all film fans of all ages, as there’s something there for everyone.
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Up is a comedy adventure about Carl Fredricksen (Edward Asner), a retired 78-year-old balloon salesman who meets and later marries a girl named Ellie. Growing up in a small Midwestern town, Ellie has always dreamed of visiting South America. Unfortunately, she died before she got a chance. In hopes of fulfilling his promise to Ellie, Carl uses 10,000 balloons to make his house fly and sets off for South America. He unknowingly takes a chubby eight-year-old Wilderness Explorer named Russell along for the ride and the duo match up for one thrilling adventure around the earth.
The film is directed by Pete Docter (the director of Monsters Inc.) and features voices of Edward Asner, Christopher Plummer and Jorgan Nagai. Up premiered by opening the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, which was the first animated film to do so. The film has received overwhelmingly positive reviews, and grossed over $683 million worldwide, making it Pixar's second most commercially successful film, after Finding Nemo.