So far PIXAR studios has not made a bad movie. Sure “Cars” was disappointing for some but it was still entertaining and had something for everyone. In their latest offering, UP, PIXAR has finally outdone themselves, crafting a movie so wonderful and fantastic it's easily one of top PIXAR films (Toy Story 1 and 2 being in the first and second place in my opinion).
UP tells the story of Carl Fredrickson, a little boy who dreams of going to Paradise Falls in South America like his idol, Charles Muntz. When he meets little Ellie, an energetic girl who loves Muntz as well, the two form a friendship and eventually a love that lasts till Ellie passes away. The two dreamed of living at Paradise Falls but just never got around to it, and when Carl is threatened with being placed in an old folks home he attaches balloons to his house and starts his adventure to Paradise Falls. With a Wilderness Scout named Russell as a stowaway, the two form an unlikely bond and must rely on each other to get their dreams achieved.
There is so much I adored about this movie that I just want to say, “go see it and you'll see what I mean.” PIXAR never slouches in the animation department but here the results are just breathtaking. I unfortunately didn't see this in 3-D but will definitely be paying extra to go see this again in 3-D. From the balloons on Carl's house to just the way Carl is framed against a dusky sky at one point, every color jumps from the screen and looks gorgeous. The small details in the film are also spectacular; be sure to look at all the knick knacks in Carl's house. In terms of story, director Pete Doctor, director of Monster's Inc., crafts an inspiring and adult story that manages to entertain both kids and adults. Carl and Ellie's marriage is detailed in a beautiful, silent montage that follows them from courtship to their discovery of being unable to have children, all the way to Ellie's death. It gives a very accurate depiction of life and death, something I was surprised to see handled so skillfully in a family film. The theme of what makes an “adventurous life” is a theme I thought was wonderfully executed. Carl and Ellie might not have had a life filled with travels and sights but they loved each other unconditionally. This is parallel with Russell's story about an absent father and merely wanting to do boring things with him. I don't normally tear up at movies but just being able to see both characters stories will make you choke up a bit since in one way or another everyone has a tale like theirs. The adventure never stomps on these themes though and every mark hits well. Charles Muntz and his talking dogs lead to a lot of comic relief and you'll be quoting the dog Dug for the rest of the summer. Also the short film “Partly Cloudy,” shown before UP is adorable, but not as good as “For the Birds.” I don't want to spoil anymore than I have already so all I can say is you won't find a more heartwarming and inspiring tale than UP.
The only negative I have with this movie is that it had to end and I couldn't continue on the journey with Carl and Russell. Honestly, there's nothing wrong with this movie.
In terms of voice casting everyone is perfectly suited. I didn't know Ed Asner's voice right off the bat but he IS Carl. If they could give Academy Awards to voice actors then he needs one. Young Jordan Nagai is hilarious as the voice of Russell and I was very surprised to find out he's the first Asian character in a PIXAR movie. Christopher Plummer is great as the utterly villainous Charles Muntz and the voice of Dug is perfectly suited (his name escapes me). I also loved the little girl who was the voice of Ellie.
Overall go see UP! That's all I can say. Everything about it is wonderful and you will identify with everything in it. I'm going above and beyond to give UP a 10/10!