Since I was little, Disney movies always held a sense of magic and wonderment. As the animation became more detailed, it has come to the point where it hardly feels like your watching something designed for children. If it weren’t for the brilliant colors, a house being carried away by balloons and a pack of dogs with voice translators, one would never know.
As the 82nd Academy Awards rolls around; now only 12 days left (Sunday, March 7th), I am desperately trying to see each title up for Best Picture. UP, the Disney/Pixar sensation, is the only animated film in the listing and although the underdog to win (up against Avatar, The Hurt Locker, Precious, The Blind Side, Up In The Air, A Serious Man, Inglourious Basterds, An Education, and District 9), it is certainly in my Top 3 personal choses to win.
Up is the story of Carl Fredricksen, a 78-year-old whose dream it has always been to visit and explore the wilderness of South America (like his childhood idol Charles Munts). Thwarting his “capture” by the Shady Oaks Retirement Village, Carl heeds his late wife’s words of “…go have an adventure of your own” and sets sail to the sky via house and helium balloons. Little did Carl know that wilderness explorer Russell (age 8), still looking to earn his “Assist The Elderly” badge, is along for the journey. There are snipes, dogs, and enough fantastically cute moments that you will may feel a bit light-headed from all the laughter.
Similar to Pixar’s other brilliant work, Wall-E, the first act of the film is almost entirely bereft of dialogue. For Up, we see the meeting between two young, like-minded and playful souls and it builds cements (quite delicately) an emotional foundation that carries the audience “up”, “up” and beyond most animated films of today.
The folks at Pixar are geniuses. I’ve been convinced of this for a long time (even as I am getting older and more critical). I was surprised, however, to see them break the mold and have as its main character, a crotchety old man named Carl. Every generation believes that, when they were young, people respected their elders. “Elders” are definitely looked over these days, until Christmas & birthdays roll around. This movies shows that, although life gives hard lessons, the spirit of adventure seldom dies completely.
A wilderness explorer is a friend to all, be a place or fish or tiny mole!
I’m off to explore! I hope you’ll explore your thoughts about this movie and write them below*.
*Your chance to win a FREE DVD. Simply comment on the review of your choice and you’ll be instantly entered into the month’s random drawing.