Up is one those animated films that doesn’t seem to cater to being a film for “kids,” although it certainly relates to a younger audience, but transcends through all ages. With its use of colors and masterful animation, it brings the characters and story to life.
Another great work from Pixar with Pete Docter directing, Up tells a story of love, loss, adventure, dreaming big, and never giving up. The story begins with two children, Carl and Ellie, who happen to have a chance encounter one day. They discover they both have a love for adventure and hope to one day be explorers. Then, through an elegant montage of bits we see their life as they grow closer, get married, buy a run down house and turn it into their magnificent home, they grow older, and Carl is left to deal with the loss of his wife. This sequence is done without dialogue, while music underscores the entire montage. This quickly, but effectively, sets up the rest of the film. Carl is left to deal with his loss as he soon decides to attach thousands of helium filled balloons to his house and be carried away to Paradise Falls (Carl and Ellie’s dream spot). Little does Carl know he has an unsuspecting stow away aboard his flying house – Jordan, a plucky Wilderness Explorer Scout.
Meanwhile, in Carl’s childhood, another explorer, Charles Muntz, was famous for his adventurous exploits until one of his great discoveries was proved to be false. He vows to return to Paradise Falls and capture one of its creatures to restore his glory. He has spent years in Paradise Falls trying to capture a magnificent, elusive bird. With him are hundreds of dogs, of various breeds, which also cook, clean, serve, as well as perform various other tasks, like helping him hunt the creature. He has also equipped them with collars that enable the dogs to actually speak. He arrived there in his giant airship, which looks more like an oversized zeppelin.
Edward Asner lends his vocal talents to the elder Carl. Charles is voiced by Christopher Plummer, and Jordan Nagai voices the Wilderness Scout, Russell. All of the characters appear as real as any other characters in recent Pixar movies.
I enjoyed this film, although, it did appear to slow down some, it still had just enough to hold my interest and be entertaining. This film had heart. It wasn’t just action and adventure. It had humor and was also emotionally moving at times. It was also a little refreshing to see elderly characters at the heart of the story. Pixar has another stupendous work under their belt with a lot of the credit going to a wonderful screenplay by Bob Peterson and Pete Docter, who were also co-directors. They brought this seemingly wonderfully simple story to life to entertain all audiences.