Up (2009) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Heart-breaking, heart-warming visually stunning masterstroke from Pixar

Up is a Pixar movie, directed by Pete Doctor and Bob Peterson, which they both wrote with Tom McCarthy too. It has a run time of 96 minutes and was released in the UK in 2009 with a U rating. Featuring the voices of Edward Asner, Christopher Plummer, and Jordan Nagai this is an absolutely charming movie that is suitable for both a younger audience looking for fun, and a more sentimental older audience that still has a sense of adventure too.

Bespectacled Carl Fredricksen idolizes the famous explorer and adventurer Charles Muntz. He learns that Muntz was discredited after it was proved that he faked the skeleton of his recent find, but this does not dampen young Carl’s spirits too much as one day he’d like to follow in his hero’s footsteps. Muntz was last seen boarding his blimp to go in search of the real bird to salvage his reputation and career. Carl bumps into Ellie, a young girl who shares his passion for Muntz and they soon make a promise to one day follow in his footsteps and head out to Paradise Falls in South America. Carl and Ellie fall in love, they get married, they get jobs as Balloons salesman and a zookeeper respectively, and they grow old together blissfully albeit with some hiccups along the way. Realising that they have not fulfilled their ambition of moving to Paradise Falls Carl buys tickets and plans to surprise Ellie with them. Unfortunately, Ellie’s declining health puts her in hospital and she eventually passes away, leaving Carl heartbroken and alone.

Carl shuts himself away from the world and becomes a sour recluse – as an example, one day a boy scout called Russell comes calling, suggesting that he helps Carl out around the house so he can work towards his ‘help the elderly’ badge, but Carl tricks him with some silly task to get rid of him. The city which grew around Carl wants his house gone and eventually a court order wants to force him into a retirement home. Before he can be bundled away though the crafty old ex-Balloon puts a plan into motion which allows him to escape with his house – he uses as many balloons as he can get and floats the house away. Unfortunately, though, Carl is not alone, an accidental stowaway is with him – Russell, who was under the porch. They end up in South America where they meet a bird which Russell calls Kevin, they meet a talking dog called Dug, and they also meet Muntz. All of which, the bird, the dog, and Muntz are linked. If the adventure was not started when the house floated away, then it’s definitely a-foot with Muntz back in the game.

This film is beautifully created, the animation and colour palette is vibrant and gorgeous. The attention to, and presentation of detail is absolutely first class. The imaginative story is a fun adventure combining fantasy, comedy, suspense, and emotions. While it is fun for children to watch the floating house and the talking dog, this film is multi-layered too, and definitely one for adults too. I am not ashamed to admit it, but this film is an absolute tear-jerker at the beginning. I must be getting soft in my middle age, and perhaps too many horror films have broken me, but this film genuinely made me shed a tear. The voice acting in this is brilliant and really helps to compliment and bring to life the beautifully stunning imagery. In Carl, Edward Asner presents a grumpy but sweet and sincere old character who feels familiar to me. Jordan Nagai as the voice of Russell is enthusiastic and passionate and really drives life into old Carl again.

Unless you don’t have a heart of stone expect a roller coaster of emotions; you will laugh, you will cry, and by the end of the movie you will have experienced one of the best Pixar movies in my opinion. As well as being a box-office hit which easily recouped its budget (and then some!) this film has become a bit of a cult movie due to its heart breaking and then heart-warming ability. I am glad I got to watch this film and it has cemented a place in my movie collection for its content and its beauty. I am happy to recommend this to people of all ages, and I am happy to give this a solid 8 out of 10.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (8/10)

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