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10-point review of Disney/Pixar’s “Up” (2009) PG 96min

June 12th, 2009 by Maxim · 2 Comments · 19,329 Views


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Disney/Pixar’s “Up” comes out almost 11 m0nths after release of “WALL-E” last summer. It was written and directed by Pete Docter (Toy Story 1&2, Monster, Inc., WALL-E) and Bob Peterson (Finding Nemo), who also gave his voice to the dog, Dug.

  1. As always, a Pixar movie is preceded with one or more animated shorts.
  2. It looks pretty good in 2D – nicely animated characters and environment, with a lot of attention to rendering small detail. I’m not talking detail like making sure every hair is moving, but a kind of detail that makes characters come alive and add to the story. It looks even better in 3D, but 3D itself does not add much.
  3. Story? It’s great! The story about entire person’s life. The opening sequence is the best part of the movie for me. Without saying a word, like a slide-show, it tells a story of a boy who dreamed of heroic travels like his childhood idol, adventurer Charles MMuntzher Plummer). But life takes a course that never let him accomplish his dream of world travel and exploration. Before he knew it, he was old, grumpy and very lonely man. This silent, but very dramatic and emotional story of  a person’s life from childhood to youth and middle age to marriage and even death of a life partner is absolutely brilliant in how it shows that life is full of disappointments and drama, but one can still find happiness and learn to be happy with less. Also, one should never give up his dreams. Many of us saw the trailer, and we saw Carl is old a grumpy man, and there’s a lot of effort and time in the film to develop his character. On the downside downside, Mr. Fredricksen finally gets to South-America, there wasn’t much exploration or much sense of discovery and wonder after his arrival.
  4. The main The main chCarl FredricksenCarl (Edward Asner) looks a lot like a cross-breed of David Letterman and Larry King… Other plot holes: in his house he can’t walk without walking stick or go down the stairs, but in South America he proves to be quite an acrobat.
  5. I did not like the her hero-turned-protagonist Muntz. He was a crazy version of Joules Verne’s Captain Nemo. Could he really be over 100 years old? Well, I guess he’s got science on his side. There are a lot of similarities between and Mr. Fredricksen though – one is cast away from society, the other cast himself from society, but both are pursuing their dreams. I was disappointed with Muntz’s demise. I wished he could be saved so he can return triumphantly.
  6. Though there were quite a few jokes in this movie, it’s a pretty sad movie – so much sadness throughout, from opening sequence to the end. There are also pretty good chases and suspense.
  7. At 96 minutes, the movie is not too long for small kids. But it doesn’t look like a movie that kids will want to see over and over, like was the case with Cars, Incredibles, Monsters Inc, Toy Story and Nemo. Not much opportunity for merchandising either, I guess. Who’d want a toy that looks like Larry King? It will be more enjoyable for grown-ups. I wonder if wordless opening sequence will bore the kids from the start. But it was short enough, so kids laughed at the jokes in no time. Many adults will like the story and the old guy, but what will kids like? Can Mr. Fredricksen win their hearts and become their hero? Not necessarily. I think for kids the boy-scout and the animals are more appealing and easier to associate with and understand.
  8. This movie has a lot of heart. For that alone it’s Oscar-worthy.
  9. Favorite characters: Dog named Dug and rare South-American bird named Kevin.
  10. Thoughtful and beautifully animated movie with a lot of heart and inspiration and some jokes and chases, but a lot of sadness too. Not too psyched about it.

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Rated 4/5 on Jun 12 2009
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Tags: Adventure · Animation · Comedy · Drama · Movies · USA

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Christina // Jul 9, 2009 at 5:56 pm

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    I think Carl becomes physically stronger as the film progresses because much of his decrepitude is in his heart. He had lost his will, and with it, his spunk. But as he had reason to get up and about, he found the strength to do it.

  • 2 Carlos // Jul 14, 2015 at 10:01 am

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    ow man you know what the first time i watch that movie at XXI i was crying haahha i was so touch by UP the scene was when carl’s wife died and they had lived such in trouble times pass it through together so romantic

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