“UP” Lifts You


Genres: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Kids/Family and Animation

Running Time: 1 hr. 29 min.

Release Date: May 29th, 2009 (wide)

MPAA Rating: PG for some peril and action.

Distributors: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution


Director: Pete Docter

Co-Director: Bob Peterson


JJ Rating: A+


Carl Frederickson (Edward Asner) lives in his dream house for most of his life. The stresses of the world around him pressure him to make a drastic decision using balloons to lift said house to a location his late wife loved. He wanted to do this alone but a knock at the door changed all that and Russell (Jordan Nagai) joined him on his lone adventure. UP.


UP is like an emotional rainbow. There’s not a single emotion that they left untouched. And just like Skittles you’ll taste the rainbow. It’s Disney/Pixar and it is expected to be fantastic. There was the trailer for Toy Story III and a mini cartoon with storks and clouds. UP progressed just as did the other Disney/Pixar movies before it, but up to a certain point. The difference, though, is that it decided to rival Star Trek’s first ten minutes with its own montage of pictures that showed Carl’s life up to where the house lifts off via balloons.


This is animation. This is children’s fair. This is Disney/Pixar. It has once again shown those Hollywood know-it-alls how a movie should be made (aside from those who created Star Trek). They take two unlikely characters and mesh them together in a situation that’s just silly. Not only are they unlikely they are opposites. Not just opposites in the general way, but in age. One is positive, one is negative; one young, one old. They took a situation that was simple and built a script around it that was believable. They enriched it with heart and feeling and totally showed up Hollywood’s crappy Summer start. (So far yes it has been; again except from Star Trek.)


UP’s montage of Carl’s life with his wife, who ends up dying, is far more touching than one would expect a animated film would be able to reach. It also has more feeling than the entire Terminator Salvation movie and that’s not even giving UP as much credit as it deserves. I think it would rival those feelings one got when Bambi’s mother died. It had dramatic moments that melted the heart and made the eyes water (oh no I just have something in my eye) and then it had moments that forced out a loud laugh and even times that could be considered feelings of proud. The funny times were the same as the trailer and more. UP did not show all of its cards in the trailer itself. It gave a taste of what was in store and that sample was nowhere near as good as the film itself.


A very excited elementary school boy and a grumpy, gruff old man are comedies in and of themselves, but sprinkle Pixar magic and they become story gold that so many try to weave out of their lackluster ideas. Even with their least liked Cars it is still more loved that most studios’ best. They do not allow themselves to do less than.


Aside from the fantastic characters, humor, drama and other great things, UP is a lesson to younger and older persons: That friendship knows no age. Carl has lived and Russell has just started but they both taught and saved each other and in the process became great friends. UP does have a difficult theme of death, but it handles it with such pose and heart that children will not be traumatized and adults will push back tears. UP takes you for a ride defiantly up and sometimes down, but when it’s all said and done you’re, as was I, more lifted than you were before.

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