There must be something going on with Pixar because they have yet to produce a movie flop. Every single one of their movies so far has been a success at the box office1 with excellent storylines, clean CGI animation and top-notch voice acting. The studio is constantly being put up for Academy Award nominations and has so far earned twenty-one Academy Awards, four Golden Globes and three Grammys.
That being said, Up is the latest movie from this masterpiece theatre and as I’ve now seen in about umpteen million times on the flight between Sydney and Singapore, I can safely say that it’s a very rewatchable film.
Up follows the story of Carl Fredricksson, an elderly widower. Rather than face life alone and unhappy in a retirement home, he loads his home with millions of helium balloons, turning it into an airship. Carl then proceeds to steer his newly made airship towards the fabled Paradise Falls in South America in a bid to fulfil an old pact made with his late wife, Ellie, to move their house there. Unfortunately, Carl accidentally picks up a hitchflyer in the young Russell, a wilderness explorer who just happened to be on his porch that morning (he was trying to earn a “helping the elderly” merit badge.)
After getting caught in a thunderstorm, Carl wakes up to find that Russell has steered the house safely to the general vicinity of Paradise Falls. However, many balloons have popped during the thunderstorm and Carl must now physically drag his house to the edge of Paradise Falls.
During the journey, Russell lures a number of creatures to the house in the hopes that they become his pets. These include a talking dog called Doug and a tall, multicoloured bird which he names Kevin. (Kevin later turns out to be a female bird, but by then, it’s too late to change the name.) They also find an enemy in Charles Muntz, an ancient explorer of the Indiana Jones style and the original discoverer of Paradise Falls.
While I think that Up may pass through the minds of many a child without staying, the movie still has all the makings of a Pixar masterpiece. The movie does contain a few subplots that would make sense to kids, but the overarching plot is still pretty much adult. Kids will get it, but it won’t necessarily be applicable to their lives at the moment.
Plus, if you watch it in 3D, it is really extremely excellent. Sure, nothing really jumps out at you during the movie, but the 3D visuals really add to the experience. It’s an original story that’s well told with choice dialogue and excellent visuals.
I’m really gunning for this movie to be some sort of new AI test. Seriously, if you don’t cry during the opening sequence, then you probably have a heart of stone.
For more information about Up, you can visit their official website at http://disney.go.com/disneypictures/UP/.
1Even Cars, while being a bit of a stupid film, was a box office success. So successful, in fact that it’s slated for a sequel next year. Ew.