Mikey 3 comments

Pixar films are generally pretty amazing, but Up stands out as something special. It's easily Pixars' best movie to date even toppling the might Toy Story, and as usual there's more than enough substance to entertain the young and elderly alike.

Warning: Some of this review onwards might contain what you could call spoilers.

But this film has a lot more happening than the kids might notice. Up is the story of old man Carl Fredrickson seeking to make good on a promise he made to his wife (Ellie) to set up home in Paradise Falls. After her death, a reclusive Carl decides to embark on the journey after all, by way of tying thousands of helium filled balloons to his house and flying there.

He accidentally brings along a stowaway, a young boy scout named Russell desperately needing to earn his final button to become a senior wilderness scout. Together this odd couple make their way to Paradise Falls and encounter Charles Muntz, a historic explorer who was a childhood hero to Carl and Ellie. As children they both shared a passion for the Muntz adventurous spirit, and that common interest was what led them to become life long partners.

The first 30 minutes of Up can only be described as pure cinematic genius. We are privy to the events that led to Carl meeting Ellie when they were children, and the story of their lives leading up to her death is masterfully served up without a single word of dialogue. The emotional effect is spot on, and you'd be hard pushed to not shed a tear for the old man as this 'life sequence' is wrapped up with 5 seconds of Ellies' funeral. I would say this first 30 minutes is the best work Pixar have ever done and is worth the price alone.


Some of this is a little heavier than your typical Pixar story, but they don't linger on these particular parts for to long. During the opening story of Carl and Ellies' life it is revealed she in unable to bare children, and further into the movie Russell awkwardly tries to tell Carl his parents have divorced. The floating house constantly looming overhead that Carl and Russell drag through most of the movie serves as a metaphor for Ellie coming along for the journey, and also for Carl dragging around the guilt of a promise he was never able to grant her. So underneath all the adventure and laughs there are actually some pretty deep and regretful emotions at the heart.

This movie is about two polar opposite people from different generations working together to achieve different goals not realising until later how important they really are to each other. Russell can only earn his final button by helping an elderly person, and Carl can't reach Paradise Falls by himself.

The characters are instantly loveable and there's plenty of adventure and amusement to keep the pace. It also goes without saying like all Pixar movies Up is beautifully rendered, and the story is as brilliant as it is funny.

Aside: I should mention that Disney have released Up on Bluray with a DVD copy included at no extra cost (I paid $AU30). I think this is a smart move and a good way to get more Bluray titles into the living room.

4.5 stars



Sunday 10th January 2010 | 10:55 PM
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I'll have to add it my Netflix queue. Thanks. :)

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Monday 11th January 2010 | 01:40 AM
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Up, really is a wonderful movie. Pixar is know for adding some adult humor into their movies to make the movie enjoyable for the young ones and adults alike. With Up, however, Pixar seems to almost introduce a second story line that allows adults almost to be watching an entirely different movie than the kid sitting next to them.
Great movie. It really is a must see.

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Trent Greguhn

Trent Greguhn

Monday 11th January 2010 | 04:28 AM
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You hit the nail on the head Mikey. I couldn't agree with you more about the first 30 minutes of it being genious. My fiancee and I were completley enamored with the way the movie developed at the beginning.

But, I have to say, after that it was like, "Oh right, this is a kids movie" with the high squeeky dog voice and the bird jokes.

Pixar is incredible. I guess for me they set it up to be an almost mature movie. Mature in the sense you describe metaphorically and emotionally. But it's great that both kids and adults can enjoy it.

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