Saturday, September 26, 2009


I've really been meaning to see Up for a while now and I was finally able to see it last night at a free screening in town. Free screenings are great, however they don't show trailers and in this case they didn't show the usual Pixar short that shows before all their films either. A bit of a loss. I love the Pixar shorts.

Up is the story of a young man Carl Fredricksen voiced by Ed Asner who's obsessed with traveling to South America and searching for the great adventure. He meets a young girl Ellie who shares that same dream. They fall in love and get married, never able to fulfill their dream. After growing old together, a montage that's scored by a beautiful piano piece, Ellie passes away. Carl is then eventually forced out of his home due to town construction and into a retirement home. Carl refuses to leave his house because this is the house where he and his wife met while kids when it was once abandoned. When the retirement home officials come to get him out he decides to rig hundreds of balloons to his home and float away to South America. Shortly after takeoff Carl finds that Russell, a little boy scout trying to get his final badge for helping the elderly, has found his way on board.

The film has some incredible animation and cinematography. The balloons alone and what they go through throughout the film is amazing. Just their colorful look and the sounds of them popping and rubbing against the cliffs are great. Russell has some really hilarious lines in the film and some really really funny stuff happens to him like getting dragged along the outside window of a blimp which was my favorite scene in the film. The film is a little slow moving at times and it's got a much more "sad" tone to it than previous Pixar films. I would have also liked to have seen more shots of the jungle, waterfalls, and wildlife in South America. The idea of the dogs being able to talk with their special collars was great but a tad over used at times. There is a really great fight scene with Carl and the antagonist Charles Muntz voiced by Christopher Plummer that was really well done. It's an epic senior citizen vs senior citizen battle.

To me Up is a film about never letting age get in the way of our dreams, and sometimes we have to let go of things that make us happy in order to do what's right. Up is another amazing picture under the Pixar name and will probably get a best picture nom at the end of the year. Personally my favorite Pixar as well as any animated film is still and probably always will be Finding Nemo. That film is just so amazing in so many ways. Up gets 4 outa 5.