Release Date: May 29th, 2009
Click here for the Up Trailer.
From the people that brought us such great movies like Monster's Inc., Toy Story, and The Incredibles comes Disney-Pixar's newest film, Up.
Carl Fredricksen(Edward Asner) is a boy who love adventure and wants nothing more than to meet his long time hero, adventurer Charles F. Muntz. When Carl is on his way home from a documentary film on Muntz, he hears a kid playing in an old dilapidated house. When he goes to investigate he meets Ellie(Ellie Docter), a tomboy girl who shares the same love of adventure and Muntz that Carl does. The two fall in love and live out their lives together, always promising that they will one day go to Paradise Falls, a lost and mysterious land and the last known location of Charles Muntz. There dream always seems out of reach and when Ellie passes away, Carl suddenly looses the desire to go.
However, when a construction crew starts building up big corporate buildings on all sides of Carl's house and trying to get Carl to move, Carl refuses. All the trouble with Carl has been peaceful until a bulldozer breaks the custom mail box Carl and Ellie made when they first moved in. When a worker tries to grab the mail box and fix it, Carl whacks him in the head with his cane, causing him to bleed. The court then orders Carl to be transferred from his home to a retirement village. But Carl has something else up his sleeve. When the men come to take Carl to the retirement village, he breaks out his plan as thousands of helium balloons emerge from Carl's chimney and his house lifts off the ground, flying away. Carl is going to Paradise Falls.
High in the air, Carl hears a knock at the door and opens it up to find Russell(Jordan Nagai), a young Wilderness Explorer who had come by earlier to assist Carl and receive his assisting the elderly badge. Carl allows Russel to come in and the unlikely duo make their way to Paradise Falls. Upon arrival, the two meet an assortment of unlikely characters. First, they meet a large, colorful, tropical bird who Russell wants to keep but Carl can't stand. The bird follows the two explorers and Russell decides to name him Kevin. Then the two meet a dog named Dug(Bob Peterson) who has a collar that translates his thoughts into verbal speech. When the group is attacked by a larger group of dogs with similar collars, Kevin runs off and the rest are bottlenecked into a cavern where the one and only Charles F. Muntz(Christopher Plummer) emerges and invites the group to dine with them. Muntz soon realizes that the Russell can get a hold of Kevin, a bird that Muntz has been trying to capture for 60 years. Muntz suddenly turns from friend to villain and orders the dogs to attack Carl and Russell and to capture Kevin. The group, including Dug and Kevin, must now race through the jungle to escape the clutches of Muntz and his army of talking dogs.
Now I am all for animated movies like this one. Toy Story and The Incredibles are two of my favorite animated movies. So naturally, when I saw the trailer for Up I got a little excited. This movie looked like a good, funny family movie and something that was different from all the special effects, explosions, and action that I have seen in the all the recent summer blockbusters.I expected this movie to be funny, but what I hadn't expected was this movie to be hilarious, which is exactly what it was. The first part of a drive-in double feature me and my girlfriend saw, Up was just a pure joy to watch.
The direction of the movie was great. They started off with a the main character, Carl, at a young age and then went into a montage of his life with his wife Ellie, showing the love they had for each other and how both of their lives were complete. Then they turned Carl into a curmudgeonly old man who just wanted to be left alone. However, Carl was the likable, grumpy old man that you fell in love with, as opposed to the angry mean old man that you see in movies like Monster House. The other character if Russel, was probably one of the most likable and adorable characters I have seen in an animated movie. His innocence and overoptimism made him easy to fall in love with.
While a good family movie is the main focus of the movie, there is no getting around the outstanding comedic aspects of the movie. This film was very very funny. Most of the comedy erupted from Russell's constant go-go-go way of life, his constant jabbering, and his optimism as opposed to Carl's slow, annoyed way of doing things. Russell is all the wile trying to get Carl's attention or approval while Carl just ignores him or gives him one word answers like "no" or "let's go" in a very annoyed tone. These two polar opposite characters work off each other perfectly. Then they add in the talking dog Dug and the large, flightless bird Kevin, both of which Russell loves and Carl hates, just add to the humor. There are so many little things in the movie that bring out the most laughs. One of my favorite scenes that was extremely funny is a scene where Muntz is at the helm of his dirigible and all his dogs are talking at once at him through the speakers. Muntz finally has enough and screams out "Does anybody know WHERE THEY ARE!?!?" at which point Russell, holding on to a line of balloons, smacks into the side window of the dirigible and is slowly dragged across making a very loud and unnecessarily long squeaking noise with Muntz looking on in exasperated disbelief. Moments like these fill the entire movie and are the points that make it so enjoyable.
But Disney-Pixar took this movie one step further. They are showing this film in both normal 2-D and even enhanced 3-D. I didn't see the movie in 3-D, but reviews from the web say it makes the film even better.
This is definitley a different story for Pixar. A brave movie to make, and one that performs perfectly. It doesn't matter what age you are, you are sure to enjoy this movie. It has something to offer to any age group and appeals to that inner explorer in all of us. A wonderfully unique story paired with great characters, big laughs, and good voice acting make this a movie you are definitley going to want to check out.
I give Up 9 Flying Houses out of 10.
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