Up ****


“Up” is one of the great animation films of our time.  This is a movie to treasure.  This is a movie to see with loved ones of all ages.  “Up” is a red blooded adventure film, filled with action, humour, adventure, sweet romance, all involving the unlikeliest of characters.  Too many animated films come out that are simply about lame action or mindless humour.  “Monsters Vs. Aliens” comes to mind almost immediately. 

Pixar is no longer just a brand name.  It is now a promise that you will get something that is truly original.  Every year, a release by Pixar is now considered an event.  After films like “Toy Story”, “Finding Nemo”, “The Incredibles”, “Ratatouille”, and “Wall-E”, we get “Up”.  This could very well be their best film.  That is tough to say before seeing it a few times, but I can say that this is the best film of the year so far.

The film starts when two kids with a love for adventure meet each other.  The young man is Carl Fredrickson and the young lady is Ellie.  They immediately like each other and a sweet romance blossoms.  Together they dream of seeking out adventure in South America.  Their idol is Charls Muntz, a famous adventurer who goes missing while trying to track down undiscovered wild life in his giant zeppelin balloon.

Ellie and Carl get married, and start saving for their big adventure.  But over the years the cost of living gets in the way, then suddenly tragedy strikes, leaving Carl all alone.  Ellie and Carl’s romance is shown with almost no dialogue whatsoever.  It is a beautiful montage of a romance that is simple and sweet, shared by two people who share common passions.  It is one of the most heart-warming relationships I have ever seen on film, let alone in animation.  This scene had me thinking of the glory days when animation didn’t take their younger audiences for granted.  Nowadays children are not given the respect they deserve.  Remember for example in “The Lion King” when Simba’s father died.  It was a powerful moment that really taught children about life and death.  In modern animation the best kids can get, outside of the Pixar realm, is problems solved with violence or lame humour. 

After Ellie passes on Carl becomes a recluse.  The neighbourhood around him changes, but he stays firmly within his own world.  The developers in the neighbourhood want to buy Carl’s house so they can tear it down, but he refuses to sell the home that they built together.  This is where the movie truly becomes original.

One morning Carl uses thousands of helium filled balloons to lift the house right off the ground and in to the sky.  His destination is Paradise Falls, the place him and Ellie dreamed of exploring one day.  What he wasn’t counting on was a stow away named Russell.  Russell is a young nerdy kid who just wanted to get his assisting the elderly badge by helping Carl cross the street.  Together they not only find adventure, but they form a real bond that helps them get through both of their real life tragedies.  This is one hell of a deep film.that

What they find I won’t disclose, but their adventures include some exciting action scenes involving an aerial battle that is among some of the most exciting I have ever seen.  There is no expense spared in making this film truly unforgettable.  The animation in every scene is absolutely stunning.  The voices are all perfectly suited to the characters, and the actor’s who provide them should very much be credited with the believability of the characters.  Keep up the awesome work Pixar.


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