Thursday, June 18, 2009

'Up' 2009 Movie Review

On the Movie role, I really expected a similarity with respect to our usual animated flicks. Surprisingly this movie 'Uped' the scale in my book.

The story opened with a shy Carl Fredricksen who I initially took for Russell () the annoying wilderness explorer seeking his merit badge. Surprisingly Carl was the old man when he was younger. Carl is represented for having a love for adventure and an admiration for a famed explorer Charles Muntz who journeyed to South America in order to bring back a large bird species and up his reputation.

The movie centers around Carl and Journeys through his life where he meets a girl named Ellie who in turn shares Carl's love... for adventure. Throughout the years we see Carl and Ellie grow together and fall in love and each time promise each other to go to a place called Paradise falls. Yet each time they plan to go something else comes up and they end up growing old together still having their dreams to journey to Paradise Falls and probably even live. When Carl realizes that their time would be up soon, he encourages Ellie to embark on their dreams, but she succumbs to old age and is unable to fulfill their lifelong fantasy together.

Some time later we meet an old cranky Carl whose big day is getting out of bed and sitting on his porch. As he ages the world around him falls prey to youth and his old house seems nothing more than an old thing of the past while everything around him modernizes. Carl is given many options to move out, but turns down every motivating offer for his love for his house and his late wife who he still maintains a fondness for.

We are soon introduced to a ecstatic Russell who ponders on Carl's doorstep inquiring his assistance in earning his merit badge for 'Assisting the Elderly'. Carl sends Russell on a wild goose chase. Carl engages in a heated altercation with a construction worker after he ran over his broken mailbox which gives the court perfect motivation to move Carl into a home.

Carl takes the opportunity to turn his home into an air balloon, with multiple balloons attached to his home and he begins his trip to Paradise Falls which turns into a wild journey as he is also joined by Russell newly returned from his 'wild goose chase'. Carl is forced to bring Russell on his adventure where he soon meets up with his idol, Charles Muntz who has found his way around trying to capture a bird that Russell befriends and names 'Kevin' (It is later revealed that Kevin is a girl).

Non the less we also meet up with man's best friend 'Dug'; a talking dog, well not really, with a collar enabling him to talk.

Their friendship with Kevin comes at a price. While Carl is trying to live his dream, Russell's care towards Kevin puts his dream at bay and Carl is forced to choose between his life journey and saving Kevin which could cost him everything. Carl's hero becomes his enemy and the story unravels into a big chase for different dreams. Charles for fame and Carl to live happily ever after in Paradise Falls.

There is a bit of a struggle for Kevin as she tries to find her way home to her young and the battle adds an extra bonus of wild dogs trained by Charles to get Kevin.

Though with all great fairy tales comes happy endings, well not for Charles Muntz, but for Kevin, Russell, Dug, and even Carl. Even though he didn't get to live his dream the way he imagined, at least he had his journey of a lifetime.

There were a few questionable plot lines in the mix...

I wondered how balloons could carry and entire household. It not only defied gravity, but logic as well. Though it added to the fun of it, I wondered how Carl put that together in one day, maybe he didn't, it was probably part of his plan with Ellie. It was cool watching his House float.

Russell got his merit badge. I kept wondering if his family would be worried about him going door to door to strangers homes and then turning up missing, but I'm sure everything was clarified there.

Dug was hilarious and definitely became my favorite character.

This movie went in my Top five for Pixar movies, I definitely enjoyed this one.
It has a bit of romance and adventure and the rest is filled with comedy, if you haven't seen this one, you are in for a big journey.



Five Stars

Grade A

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