Movie Review Rewind: Up (2009)
Up is Pixar’s tenth film and one of their best. You would never know that a film that has a 78-year-old man as the star and a house that floats in the sky because of balloons tied to it would be done so well. But, at this point, we would expect nothing less since it’s in the hands of Pixar.
This Pixar animated film is about Carl Fredricksen, a 78-year-old balloon salesman, who sets off on an adventure he meant to go on years ago. And it’s all for his wife. However, Carl does run in to Russell, a curious 8-year-old Wilderness Explorer who loves nature and perhaps may be too optimistic. And then there is Dug. A dog who has a collar that allows him to speak clear and complete sentences. The film is funny as you can tell.
There is always a bad guy and Christopher Plummer voices him. Charles Muntz inspired Carl when he was a young boy, but Muntz, who was an adventurer and explorer, was laughed out of town when he brought back the bones of a mysterious creature from South America. So bizarre and mysterious, people thought Muntz was a liar. And so Muntz set out to find the creature and bring it back to clear his name. But all those years out in South America has made him a little crazy. Well maybe more than a little.
Up is an adventure story about two guys who are almost complete opposites of each other. The unlikely duo comes together to take a journey of a lifetime. But, the adventure is just a part of what makes Up a great film.
This film is touching and heartfelt. For an animated film, it deals with real issues in life. The obstacles that we encounter and must overcome. This film is for kids, but also for adults. There are themes in it that are especially for adults that kids may not understand yet depending on their age. But there are themes that involve child abandonment, time passing you by, regrets, and death. Sounds harsh, but it’s not. I think these themes help Up become a great story and an amazing film. You recognize some, if not all of these themes, and then you start to relate and care about these characters.
Every time Pixar releases a film, the talk is always about the animation. I’m sure every time I write a review about a Pixar film, I mention how great the animation is. At this point, we all know Pixar features top-of-the-line animation. But, what is so nice to look at in this Pixar film are the colors. There are bright colors used all the time. Bright colors on the house, balloons, in South America, and even the mysterious creature in South America has them. Pixar put a lot of life in the film by injecting bright colors and they become part of the telling of the story.
I started this by saying Up was one of Pixar’s best and I mean it. I have not been a fan of every Pixar movie. The Incredibles was a disappointment, and Ratatouille was a little overrated. Up may be right below Toy Story and Finding Nemo, but that’s not bad. Not bad at all.
Up has the gift of telling a story that everyone will be able to understand and appreciate. It’s about the journey of life, and how you are never too old to go on a new one. It is about human tragedy and triumph. Even if the human beings are animated.
“Nature Boy” Brandon Vick is the resident film critic of the SoBros Network, and star of Brandon’s Box Office In Your Mouth. Follow him on Twitter@SirBrandonV and be sure to search #VicksFlicks for all of his latest movie reviews.
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