May 29th, 2009
Up makes good on it's title, proving yet again that Pixar knows how to chuckle the heart, tug on its strings, and warm its cockles as well.
Directed by Pete Doctor, Up begins and takes you where you'd least expected to go. There is not a single thing wrong with this film whatsoever, making this the best film of the year in my book, in terms of story, character, and originality. Up is not just a story about an old man, a house floating by the aid of a million balloons, or a Wilderness Scout. No. It's a story about childhood promises, of life's journey, and what a true adventure REALLY is.
I have to say that the casting was, again, impressive, right down to Bob Peterson's take on Dug, the (translation collar assisted) talking dog. Christoper Plummer makes for a great (not at first) creepy villain, and Jordan Nagai has a wonderful talent for voice acting. Hopefully we'll see this kid in the future in something live-action. Oh, and John Ratzenberger returns again with his familiar voice cameo. Edward Asner as Carl Fredricksen was perfect and believable. It's also glad to note that Pixar has kept Michael Giacchino on board for its score, ushering the notes needed to raise this film above the clouds.
The visuals were stunning. I watched this film in 2-D, worried that it would be chalk-full of "pop-out" gimmicks. But it wasn't! I'm sure this film will be every bit as enjoyable in the 3-D format.
This film has something for everyone. The crowded theater where I watched this had an equal number of adults and children, watchful and appeased. Heck. Even the six minute short was entertaining. Who knew that storks had to deliver dangerous animal babies too?
Looks like my review for Up is rather short, but that's great. When I have nothing bad to say about a film, I just leave it as great. I recommend Up for anyone who is "Up" for an original adventure story with lot's of heart, wit, charm, peril, and reflection. Like being inside that colorful little house, "Up" ascends, lifts, and carries you away without leaving you hanging.