Posted: July 31, 2009 in Movies
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In America’s youth oriented culture, Pixar shows  a lot of guts making a summer movie whose protagonist is an old man. This is what we get in Up. It starts with the childhood of Carl Fredrickson, (in the 1950s I assume) who idolizes a famous adventurer, and dreams of going to a Lost world in South America. (There’s also sort nod to King Kong) Next we get a short montage of his adult life, where he marries, does not have kids, but grows old together with his wife. Then his wife passes away and he’s left very lonely. All this is shown in maybe five minutes, but it still conveys enough emotion to move along.

So in his golden years he ties a bunch of helium balloons to his house so that his home lifts off the ground and flies away to South America. This of course wouldn’t fly in a live action movie, but you never question it because it’s a cartoon. He unknowingly has a stowaway in a young boy named Russel, who is a boy scout who only needs one more badge, a helping the elderly badge, to get an award.

They arrive in South America maybe half way through where they meet their antagonist. The rest of the movie is about Carl’s quest to finish his journey vs the new circumstances he’s encountered.

Naturally the animation is sharp. The texture of the characters was so defined it almost looked like super smooth claymation. There were a few scenes in the beginning where the characters looked like midgets. Looked awkward to me.

The villain of the picture isn’t menacing at all, and there’s not enough of an verbal/intellectual confrontation between him and Carl. Also the third act doesn’t have nearly the suspense it should, but as a whole it’s another strong entry from Pixar. (One interesting note is this movie actually shows blood.)

The beginning, with Carl losing his wife and such, is very very emotional, which is remarkable given how little screen time is given. There’s a brief scene at the end that is touching as well. It may be a weakness to have most of the emotion in the beginning, instead of ending strong. Anyway overall it’s still pretty solid. 9/10.

P.S. There’s also a neat short before hand called Partly Cloudy, basically about a cloud that makes babies and a stork that delivers them. Good stuff, nice to see someone is still making great animated shorts.


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