Friday, June 5, 2009

Movie Review: UP!

Once again, Pixar brings another fantastic film to the big screen.

Up! is all about Carl Fredricksen, a 78 year old curmudgeonly balloon salesman, is not your average hero. When he ties thousands of balloons to his house and flies away to the wilds of South Africa, he finally fulfills his life long dream of adventure. But after discovering an 8-year-old stowaway named Russell, this unlikely duo soon find themselves on a hilarious journey in a lost world filled with danger and surprises.

I find myself always conflicted with ranking the Pixar films from year to year. Finding Nemo was fantastic, But monsters Inc was better. Wall-E was nothing but fun and cleverness, and the Incredibles was every comic Book fans dream film. Toy Story of course will always be on top because it was the first, the start, the film that put Pixar on the film making map. Pixar, in my own humble opinion has never given us a bad film.
And one thing I think that most of us can agree on is that whenever Pixar comes out with a new film, it's always a delight and worth the money to go see. I would also like to add that I personally believe Pixar makes the best animated films year after year.

for anyone who thinks this is just a goofy story about an old man and a kid and a talking dog, know that this PG-rated children's movie addresses infertility, death, single parenting, loss of childhood illusions, and the necessities of respecting nature. this is deserving of a PG rating because it deals with issues on a much more mature level and there is a lot to be learned from this film, even by your most "mature" adults.

On another level, this film had some very nostalgic issues within it. It's very much like Toy Story in the fact that it was all about wanting to continue with "what once was." Carl was unable to let go of his house, wanted to go on the adventure he and his deceased wife always dreamed of, etc etc etc. Not only that, but on the adventure he meets up with his boyhood hero! This film is nothing but nostalgia at it's best!

This film could arguable be the best Pixar film purely based on it's story telling aspect. I believe Carl is the most complex character that we have ever seen in any Pixar film to date. He starts the movie hellbent on recapturing a dream, literally burdened by his past, but ends up somewhere quite different. It's not just that the adventure opens him up to the world, but Carl makes the choice. He's the ultimate an anti-hero realizing the time has come for him to step up. This story is something I think most young children might have trouble grasping because of the complexity of the story. Even I didn't quite get it once the film was done, at least not entirely. But the message is clear in the end, that none of us want to abandon what is familar to us, but if the time comes where we must, then we must. Carl is my hero!

I also felt is if I was watching a classic film. You know, like films from the early 1940's your parents had you watch as children. I was reminded of The Wizard of Oz or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Films like these that were not concerned with being realistic, rather they were focused on telling a beautiful story built in and around a fantasy world. Films today don;t so this anymore. Yeah you have you're Harry Potter films, Lord of the Rings films, but they are all so dark and over the top. Where are the films that aren't pushing through story so fast that we, the movie watchers, have nothing to grasp onto? The only film I can think of that come close to this is The Purple Rose of Cairo. Up! is the best shout out to all of the classic films that wanted to tell the ultimate fantasy story that I have ever seen.

So don't go to Up! and expect your typical animated family film, because this is far from it. And even though I will always have a special place in my heart of Toy Story and the Incredibles, I would have to say that Up!, in terms of it's story telling aspect, is without a doubt is the best Pixar film, and arguable the best animated film ever made.

5 out of 5 stars


  1. I'm glad you have such a fond review for this movie because I am very excited to see it. Actually I've heard only good things so far. Pixar rocks!

  2. I have to dissagree with one point. I too find it hard to rank all the pixar movies, but I think the best one so far is "Finding Nemo." I think Andrew Stanton (The writer and director of finding nemo and Walle) is on eo the greatest diectors and writers around today and those two are at the top of my list.

    With that said. I loved this movie also. It was a fantastic story and I cried several times.

    I don't know if you know this...but when the pixar people first met they talked about every movie they were going to create and "Walle" was the last to be seen from that meeting. "Up" is the first pixar movie that ws not created in that original meeting. I just thought that was interesting.

  3. Yeah, it is hard to rank Pixar films. They are all so equally great.

    I did know that actually. It's interesting to know how far ahead film companies plan ahead.

  4. Yeah Pixar normally are worth the price of admission - heard alot about it so will look forward to catching it here!