in Review

Straight "Up" Delightful


Well it seems we’re already pretty deep into summer movie season, and we’ve already had a few overblown unimaginative blockbusters, and I’m sure there are plenty more to expect in the coming months.  However, with Up, the consistently brilliant Pixar has created another wholly originally and completely satisfying piece of entertainment.

Up tells the story of Carl Fredrickson, a crusty 78-year-old balloon salesman who yearns to fulfill his deceased wife’s dream of living on top of a mountain in South America.  In danger of having his house evicted, he ties thousands of balloons to his house and flies away in search of his dream, only to find that he is stuck with an eight-year-old wilderness explorer named Russell.
The story definitely does seem a little strange for a movie that would appear to be targeted towards kids, considering it features an elderly main character as well as it’s villain.  But I think with Wall-E and once again this film, Pixar has been able to transcend the notion that animated movies are merely for kids.  And I also think that you could say that this film does a great job of not just giving us a mix of humor that kids will enjoy as well as jokes that only adults would understand, but humor that people of any age will enjoy.
Though Up is definitely one of the funniest Pixar films in a while, I’d also say it’s filled with just as much heart and awe-inspiring moments as any film in the Pixar canon.  It’s truly a beautiful film to look at, with some truly vibrant scenery while still focusing on a pretty emotional story. And a montage that begins the film, which walks us through Carl’s life with his dearly-departed wife is among the most poignant moments in any Pixar film.
One notable aspect of Up is that it’s the first Pixar movie to made in 3-D.  I didn’t manage to see it in 3-D, but I didn’t really mind, since for me 3-D seems more like a gimmick used to make weaker movies a little more entertaining.
Some people have already been ranking Up among Pixar’s best films if not the best so far.  I can’t say that I would regard it that highly, for me it’s hard to beat the first two Toy Story movies, but it’s certainly another fine addition to the Pixar catalog.  There really aren’t many studios putting out such original pieces of storytelling, and whether you’re eight or seventy-eight, I can’t see any reason someone wouldn’t enjoy Up.