Up

Up

[ Trailer ]

Rating: 4/4 (A solid Pixar creation. 3 parts emo, 1 part funny)

Up had one of the least informative (read boring) trailers ever! An old man who ties a gazillion balloons to his house and floats away. Not very interesting! Add to that the ridiculously late release of this movie in Singapore (3 months late), and I had lost all interest in checking it out. But, I ended watching it with friends and was made to eat my preconceived opinions!

Up opens with a very young Carl Fredricksen, who falls in love with Ellie, they are brought together by their common interest in an explorer named Charles Munz. They dream of one day having a home beside the Paradise Falls, in South America. Real life takes over, Carl works as a balloon vendor and Ellie as a zookeeper, and their dream never gets fulfilled. Childless and old, Ellie too passes away, Carl grows grumpy with age and soon one day the bulldozers arrive to knock over his house.

It is at this point that Carl decides to turn to the skies and fulfill his deceased wife’s fantasy. He flies away to Paradise Falls in his house, which is held afloat by a thousand helium balloons. He is irked when he discovers that Russell, a boy scout has also scampered onto his aerial journey to South America. Not to give much away, Carl and Russell have a funny, and sometimes goofy adventure in South America that involves a rainbow colored quacking bird, speaking dogs and the explorer Charles Munz.

I found Up to be emotional, a couple of sections left me misty eyed in fact. The beginning, where Carl and Ellie fall in love and grow old, and the end, when Carl (re)discovers his wife’s scrapbook, these are sure to tug at one’s heart. That begs the question, why does not Pixar go ahead and make a proper mature movie for adults? I strongly believe that they have both the story telling capability and the visual skills needed for this. Anyone who thinks otherwise needs to see Up. The rest of the movie is okay-funny and is meant for the kids. (The entry of a large rainbow colored quacking bird is a honking big indication that this section of the movie is for the kids! πŸ™‚ ) I watched Up in Dolby 3D, and the experience was surprisingly good, far better than the dull colors in Monsters vs. Aliens! Up is another solid Pixar creation, 3 parts emo, 1 part funny.

PS: Up follows the Pixar tradition of showing a short before the movie, the one in this case is called Partly Cloudy. This funny piece features clouds which make babies and hand them over to storks to deliver to Earth. One of the clouds can (sadly) only make troublesome creatures, and one stork has the misfortune of delivering them.

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4 thoughts on “Up

    • Ashwin Nanjappa 2009-08-31 / 22:42

      Roshni, that was a good piece of writing about the Pixar movies! Awash in their movie experience, I had never really thought about their separation-reunion formula, which after reading it seems to be obvious. πŸ™‚

      Having said that, I clearly notice that Pixar is slowly moving towards plots which have some seriously mature content. For example, their first feature Toy Story is nothing but 100% kiddie entertainment, but in 3D. But, Wall-E and Up have some very thoughtful and emotional portions. It is a tad sad that the markets dictate that they have to artfully wrap those into a honking noisy blockbuster mess.

  1. Arnab 2009-09-02 / 20:56

    Hey, just watched Up! You have a nice review here… although I read it only after watching the movie πŸ™‚
    I fully agree with you that Pixar is making animated movies with serious emotional content, but I still think that these movies are completely accessible to kids. I think we grossly underestimate the emotional capabilities of kids. In fact, I am very happy that such movies are being made. Try discussing this movie with a ten year old πŸ™‚

    • Ashwin Nanjappa 2009-09-03 / 11:14

      I doubt any 10 year kid would understand the love of a lifetime that the old couple experience. In fact, I do not even want a kid to understand all that! Let the kids have their years of innocent fun, the bad bad adult world is inevitable once they grow up anyway.

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