REVIEW: Up

After the minor critical disappointment that was Cars, Pixar have been on a roll! First with Ratatouille directed by Brad Bird about a rat who cooks and then WALL-E directed by Andrew Stanton about a mute robot in a post-apocalyptic environment and now we have got a story about an old man who ties balloons to his house and floats his house across the world. So, what did we get from Up apart from that it is Pixar’s most extraordinary motion picture to date? Well, first of all, it is a lot more child-friendly than those other two films and it is even more emotional and perhaps more sophisticating than both WALL-E and Ratatouille. I was really surprised at how emotional Up really is! I mean, it has (but didn’t quite get me) got the audience crying after just 10 minutes. It also made history by becoming the 2nd animated film to be nominated for Best Picture (the 1st was Beauty And The Beast in 1991).

Another thing what this had and perhaps hadn’t seen very much from Pixar ever since Cars or maybe even sinceThe Incredibles is laugh-out-loud comedy! Up did have its hilarious jokes as well as its very easy and imaginative dialogue and characters. I mean, because it is a very fictional film and that it involves a very easy story and with extraordinary characters, that is the meaning of adventure and that is the main key theme of Up. The animated effects were just outstanding and it was so colourful with such enchanting picture especially the scene where the balloons appeared out of the roof of the house. It felt like you could literally reach out and crap the balloons from the screen. Another technical quality that was superb was the music! I thought the best scene was perhaps the life scene so to speak where the music was telling the dialogue instead of the characters talking because we would be here all day if that was the case. It is an absolute pleasure to watch Up in 3D at the cinema but it is even better to have it in your possession at top high definition quality on blu-ray so it definitely is worth checking out at the ultimate experience!

Carl Fredricksen is just an ordinary, miserable old man to everyone around him after his wife died but when alone or when he tells a story, he is more than just that. He is a man who not only had a passion for exploring the world but because of his age and the fact he never went to Paradise Falls in South America with his wife seeing as they both dreamed of it as children, it was desperation from Carl and he would do anything to reach that life goal! Now that Ellie has passed on, we see Carl talk to his house and call it Ellie so in his mind, her presence is still there. Edward Asner provided the voice of Carl and after that performance, I reckon that Asner could perhaps be like Carl in real-life (apart from that he doesn’t take his house across the world but you know what I mean). Russell is one of those lovely little boys with a dream but needs to commit himself a bit more but because he is overweight, that makes it a little more difficult for him. The relationship between Carl and Russell really is like how a grandfather and grandson would act together especially when they started to get closer to each other and when they meet talking dog Dug and tropical bird Kevin (who actually is really female), they become like a family. A talking dog is a great idea for a kids story and thankfully that didn’t make this film seem stupid or daft. Dug just makes the film even funnier and even more of an adventure because we’re experiencing something new. Not only is the venue where the majority of the film is set an adventure, the characters are an adventure.

Pete Docter returns to directing another Pixar Animation Studios film after Monsters, Inc. and this time I feel that he did an even better job with Up. I don’t know who my favourite Pixar director is out of Pete Docter, Brad Bird, Andrew Stanton, John Lasseter and now Lee Unkrich because they are all just fantastic filmmakers who just never fail! Anyway, as for Up, Docter crafts together something very cute that is friendly enough for both adults and kids but for the first time in a while, Pixar have made a film that is more friendly towards children. I do deeply admire how all of the Pixar directors think of these stories together and write them all together hence the exact reason why they don’t ever fail at screenwriting and I hope they never do either!

Overall, Up is a beautiful, heartbreaking, heartwarming and hilarious adventure that is, in my mind, a mixed combination of James And The Giant Peach and Gran Torino. Indeed, that is a unique combination but if you like both of those films or at least one of them, you’ll love Up. It is definitely one of Pixar’s finest films and will take an even better masterpiece from Pixar to beat this one!

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~ by SJMJ91 on 18/05/2012.

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