Since around 1995 with Toy Story, Pixar has released a series of movies. Not a single one has ever been a disappointment either at the Box Office or with the Critics. Fans will debate the best movies from them forever. One thing can't be denied, however... WALL-E is quite a feat to follow. Commonly hailed by fans as the best Pixar has done. So how do you follow that up? Well... with "Up".
Up opens in a fantastic way. Showing a young boy, Carl Fredricksen, in a theater looking at his hero Charles Muntz as he has come back from South America with the bones of a rare bird. Except no one believes that Muntz has really found it. So Mr. Charles Muntz decides that he's going to go back to South America, and that he won't return until he finds this legendary bird. As young Carl Fredricksen is playing make believe as a pilot, he rushes by a house and hears a young girl playing in there. He decides it's not such a bad idea to check it out. The young girl is his soon-to-be-wife Elle. They both find compatibility because they both idolize Charles Muntz. Although Elle is a bit more adventurous. She shows Carl something. A book. Her dream is to someday go to South America, just like Muntz.
The first ten minutes shows Carl and Elle growing up together. From being young children, to a married couple, to growing old together. It is one of the best opening montages to any Pixar film to date. The music is cheery and the moments between them are very touching... including the hard times. As with just about any Disney produced film, however, you can't have both parents around. One of them has to die, and as is often the case, it's the wife. Elle. This leaves Carl alone, and even worse, they couldn't have children.
The house they stayed in together (the house they met in) is kept up, thanks to Carl, but the world is changing... unfortunately Carl isn't changing with it. The happy suburbs have slowly become a busy city. And they're trying to get Carl to sell his house. But he doesn't want to sell the place. This is where he's spent his life. And, in memory of his wife, has named the house Elle.
Soon, a child comes by. His name is Russell, and he's a scout. A nature explorer so to speak. And needs a badge for assissting the elderly. Carl Fredricksen, a bitter old man now, declines. Russell, however, is persistent. Soon, Carl decides to send him after a bird that doesn't really exist just to get rid of him. After that, a misunderstanding happens in which the city decides Carl is getting too old to stay in his house, and that he needs to go to a retirement home.
Of course, Carl isn't leaving so easily. With his supposed last moment in the house he makes the decision to take the place to South America, just like Elle wanted. So he ends up hooking a bunch of balloons up to the house (he was, after all, a balloon salesman) and it lifts it off the ground, and he begins to make his way toward South America. Of course, what he doesn't realize is that Russell was on the porch at the time and is scared as all hell. Carl, not pleased, decides he has to find some way to get this kid home. But circumstances don't exactly dictate that Russell will leave his side any time soon.
We'll stop there, in terms of a plot synopsis. I'd heard a bit about UP before actually going into the theater to watch it. I'd heard about how those first ten minutes were incredibly heartfelt (and that's true) and had also heard the film was darker than most. The latter isn't true. In fact, in terms of dark and mysterious, The Incredibles is by far the darkest most violent movie Pixar has ever put out. But UP does everything that Pixar is known for. Innocent humor, likeable characters and a zany simple plot that turns out to be a huge adventure. It certainly isn't as good to contend with the likes of their best movies: Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Ratatouille and WALL-E (especially WALL-E) are all much better, more pleasing films. That shouldn't suggest that UP can't compare. It can. It's just not bette than what they've done. But it doesn't have to be. Because like everyone of Pixar's movies... it's original and, best of all, it stands on its own. The characters develop really well. It can be predictable at times, but Disney/Pixar has never been about unpredictability. They've always been about heart, and UP has quite a mighty one.
I've yet to actually be disappointed by Disney/Pixar, and UP is no exception. It isn't the best of their films but it's one of the greats. If you decide to see it, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. There's no humor wasted and the animation is fantastic and lively. It's also one of the shortest films Pixar has done in a while. Clocking in at around 85 minutes, it's over in a flash, but it's a nice one.
Up has certainly reached new heights and depths in the cartoon industry. As a film, it is colorful (remember those balloons?) and full of potentials and possibilities (a flying house, eh? not bad at all!). My first impression when I began watching the animation of the two main characters Russel & Carl is that hey, they both looked rounded and 3 dimensional. I like the rounded feel to the faces of these characters, very likable, very real, very cute! I have the urge … more
Once again, Pixar has succeeded in creating a film that is intended for the parents as much as for the kids. UP joins a long list of Pixar movies that adults enjoy just as much as children. Don't get me wrong. The kids will definitely love this movie. It has: talking dogs colorful balloons the most exotic bird since archeopteryx But there is so much for the parents in this one. The opening vignette is a tale of love, life, and … more
Over the years, PIXAR movies have excelled in sprinkling in moments of deep emotion within all the inventive fun. I remember particularly well the sadness when Jessie the Cowgirl sings about her long lost owner in TOY STORY 2 or the final moment of MONSTERS INC. when Scully sees Boo again (the one moment makes watching the whole movie worthwhile...not that it wasn't already). WALL E certainly had many touching moments. But Pixar's new UP has them all beat. There are some … more
All of us have acquired a fondness for CGI-generated animated features ever since the days of “Toy Story” and Pixar studios together with Disney have crafted several amusing animated movies based on a simple yet effective crowd-pleasing formula. While I am not exactly a huge fan of the Pixar’s works, I have found some of their animated features quite impressive such as “Monsters Inc.”, “The Incredibles” and “Ratatouille”. So how does Pixar’s … more
Carl Fredrickson (Edward Asner) is an adventurous, young boy, who meets a girl named Ellie who shares his same passion. Once they are older they fall in love, and get married. They had once planned to travel to a lost land in South America; however, when Ellie dies Carl becomes a grouchy old man with a hard heart. He is being forced to stay in a retirement home for hitting a construction worker, so he comes up with the plan of tying hundreds of balloons to his house and flying away to the lost … more
Up is similar to most Disney/Pixar films in that it is enjoyable for people of all ages. It has humor, but it also explores themes such as love and loss, parental neglect, the pursuit (and letting go) of childhood dreams, and even inferiority and the bullying that can take place within a group (as portrayed by Dug, a dog who is seen as one of the lower-ranking members of his pack). While several Disney/Pixar films contain more mature themes (Finding Nemo demonstrates the … more
It's been a long time coming for us Brits, but Up is finally here, and I'm glad to say it's been worth the wait. With every new film they release, Pixar somehow manage to add more and more depth, not just to their visuals, but to their stories too. Now less concerned with zany characters, elaborate action set-pieces, saccharine sweet moments and over-cooked visual bravura, Up is perhaps the studio's most human, most poignant, character driven movie to date. Such is the brilliance … more
Awesome beginning and loses its gas after the halfway point. The film had a very strong emotional first half but then it falls to the usual contrived devices that we've all seen before. It had some nice elements to it (seniors fighting) but the plot was riddled with holes too. 3.5 Out of 5 Stars See the full review here.
Pixar has become the most dependable studio out there for producing reliable films that don't simply continue to raise the bar in animation but set a level of excellence in storytelling that puts most live-action movies to shame. 'Up' represents another change in style, as significant as Wall-E's shift to photorealism, intricate camera effects and darker themes. It effectively blends moments of tragedy with almost slapstick humor, while showing that their understanding of story structure and pacing … more
I'm not a die hard fan of animated movies and I usually like them vs. loving them. But I'd heard great things and had lots of folks recommend it as an awesome movie so I went ahead and rented it. My overall thoughts: I like the idea of an animated film about an adult. The story of the man who went on an adventure in his lawn chair has always intrigued me and I loved his simple philosophical reason for his trip, "You … more
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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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.