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Up’s sweet story buoyed by beautiful visuals

May 28, 2009

Note-the screening that I attended was not in 3D.

By Shannon


Disney/Pixar’s Up tells the story of Carl Fredricksen (voiced by Ed Asner), a 78 year old widower.  The story begins with Carl as a young boy,  transfixed while watching a movie about an aviator explorer.  He clearly has a spirit for adventure, and he meets his match in Ellie, a little girl who dreams of being an adventurer as well. A poignant silent montage shows the path of their life; marriage, dreams of traveling, and hopes for children. Life, as it always does, gets in the way of their dreams, which go unfulfilled. The scene continues showing the two blissfully in love and enjoying their elder years together, until Ellie passes away. The montage is heartbreaking to watch, and the silence is fitting to their beautiful love story. It is one of the most moving film sequences I have ever seen.

The story begins at this point, and the boy is now 78 year old Carl, a bitter curmudgeon about to be forced out of his home by real estate development. He pores over a scrapbook that he and Ellie had made in their younger years with pictures of all the places they had hoped to travel. This compels him to make decision. Rather than let developers take his house, he ties thousands of balloons to his house in hopes of flying away to South America just like he and Ellie had always dreamed. The house gently drifts away, lifting Carl away from his troubles on earth.

After the house has started flying away, he discovers that a boy scout has stowed away, and the two become reluctant travel companions. They float to South America and finally land near “Paradise Falls” a location Carl and Ellie dreamed of visiting. The film then becomes an adventure, with the two encountering talking dogs, a mysterious villain, and a lovable bird. Ultimately Carl finds out that he is not the washed up old man that he believed himself to be, and that he has plenty of adventures left in his life.

Up is co-directed by Bob Peterson and Pete Doctor (Monsters, Inc.)   As we’ve come to expect from Pixar, there are many clever moments. The whole movie is a joy to watch, with rich, sumptuous visuals. The movie score (by Michael Giacchino who recently scored Star Trek) is wonderful, and stayed with me for days after the movie. People of all ages should love this movie. Up will be offered in 3D in selected theaters.
Frothygirlz rating 10/10.



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