Director: Pete Docter & Bob Peterson
Voice cast: Ed Asner, Jordan Nagai, Christopher Plummer, Bob Peterson
Pixar is probably the only movie making machine in the world that never misses its mark in delivering quality films. This animation studio makes film after film that scores in every aspect, be it storytelling, plot, pacing, direction, you name it. It's no wonder that it's the top animation studio in Hollywood right now.
So what's up with their latest project, Up? Well, like all their previous efforts, it's filled with a lot of heart, peppered with wild adventures and features characters you'll love and remember when it's over.
Up focuses on one Carl Fredricksen, an elderly man living in an old house on a plot of land being bought up by a big corporation. We are introduced to Carl in a unique way: we get to see how ever since he was a kid, he yearned for adventure. He longs to go to Paradise Falls, a beautiful place in South America, just like his childhood hero, explorer Charles Muntz did. Carl meets Ellie, a young girl in his neighborhood who loves adventure as well, and the two become close. We see how they get married, grow old together and still long for that adventure to Paradise Falls, but never quite achieve their dream when Ellie passes on.
Back to the present. Carl finally decides to get that adventure going, so what does this 78 year old balloon salesman do? He ties thousands of balloons to his house and literally floats away! Yes, only Pixar can make us believe in this stuff, but there you go.
The fun begins when Carl discovers a stowaway on his trip: a young Wilderness Explorer kid named Russell. Russell is a boy who insists on helping Carl in order to get that one last badge on his belt for a promotion in his group. Carl is reluctant, but obviously has no other choice but to let Russell join him on his trip. They eventually make it to South America, where they run into a talking dog, a rainbow colored bird and another adventurer who has very sinister plans.
Pete Docter, who previously directed Monsters Inc, teams up with writer Bob Peterson, who wrote Finding Nemo, and together they make a film that is truly heartwarming. Up is about achieving something, a dream, something you've always wanted to do, but never got around to accomplish, and the film says that you're never too old to do just that. It's also about friendship, love and sacrifice, and how two unlikely people can become the best of friends.
Carl is the unlikely hero here, the old man who seeks one last adventure, and makes a few new friends in the process. I particularly liked Russell, the little kid who brings out the caring side of Carl and also provides most of the humour here. These two make the perfect movie buddy team that many will remember for the ages.
And let's not forget the great effort by the technical team in making the animation close to flawless. It's an improvement from Ratatouille and The Incredibles, Pixar's previous efforts in presenting human characters. But my guess is, you will all be enthralled by a great story well delivered, and not mind too much about the animation itself.
Another winner from Pixar:) (4.5/5)