Up Movie Review
UP: LET IT TAKE YOU AWAY
With Up,every clichéd compliment applies, and that's a good thing. It will lift your spirits. It will take away you away from your ho-hum life. The story about a crotchety old man trying to find paradise brings a new cliché to mind. And that is that Pixar has done it again.
Carl Fredricksen (Ed Asner) is a crotchety old man who lives alone. Construction of skyscrapers are all around him but he won't sell his beloved home. He is mean to young boys such as Russell (Jordan Nagai), who come to his door wanting to help him across the street to get a merit badge. When Carl gets into a confrontation with one of the men working on the construction around him, he is sentenced to live at a retirement home. Carl will have no such thing and on the day he is to be picked up he takes off in his house with balloons carrying it through the sky. His destination: Paradise Falls. Falls was the place his deceased wife Ellie and he had always wanted to travel to but life kept getting in the way. To live right next to the waterfall was their goal. Carl's journey becomes complicated when he realizes Russell is on his front porch and wants to be let in. Once he does and they arrive at Paradise Falls, they embark on a journey to get the house to said waterfall while encountering some nice and not so nice creatures there.
The story is a little more mature than what we have to come to expect from Pixar or any mainstream cartoon. In the first half an hour, infertility and losing a loved one is addressed. And later on, dysfunctional families come to light. The story engages you from the moment you meet Carl and makes you love him despite his orneriness. You want him to make it to his goal and hurt for him when he loses his beloved Ellie. Russell shows him what is really important in life and what he takes for granted. And Dug (Bob Peterson), the dog they meet in Paradise Falls, provides the humor with his “voice” telling them what a dog really feels and thinks. There could have been no better pick than having Ed Asner to voice Carl. Even for those who didn't grow up watching him on shows like The Mary Tyler Moore Show, you still get a sense that you know him. He is lovable and an old fart at the same time. Pixar never fails to breathe new life into its animation. From Carl's house being lifted with plentiful and colorful balloons, to the just as beautiful in dreams waterfall at Paradise Falls, colors pop throughout the film.
Some minor plot points had loose ends that weren't tied up and didn't seem to jive with the story.
Up continues Pixar's legacy as the company that knows what they are doing when it comes to animated films. They don't sacrifice story for visuals or vice versa. They always bring their A game to the table. Ed Asner as Carl Fredricksen is an underdog of the likeliest kind and everyone will want to root for him.