Pixar, since Toy Story have annoyed pretty much every other film (animated or otherwise) company, creating hit after hit after hit. Although I didn’t like A Bug’s Life too much and the thought of weird looking and talking Cars freaked me out a bit, they still beat anything around at the time.
Up is Pixar’s tenth feature, less than 12 months after Wall·E, which showed Pixar’s swaying away from the usual and moving towards more adult issues and themes. Some didn’t find Wall·E that great (for a Pixar work) so I would think film number ten would be more “Up” their street (see what I did there), as it’s a more traditional film.
As it’s not been released here in Blighty as yet, I don’t want to spill too many animated beans regarding the plot, so here goes…
An old Carl Fredricksen (voiced by classic US TV stalwart Ed Asner) and a Boy Scout type Russell arrive in South America in a floating house suspended from helium balloons. How and why we get here is a wonderful thirty minutes or so. We see a young Carl Fredricksen meeting his wife and glimpses into their long life together. Part of the opening half hour shows Young Carl wanting to be an explorer, and adoring his idol, adventurer Charles Muntz (voiced by Christopher Plummer and looks like a mix between Howard Hughes and Kirk Douglas). This is also important to the story so I don’t want to reveal too much here.
This half hour montage is the best thing I have seen on the big screen in a very long time. I had actually had something in my eye at times…
And as with most Pixar (and near enough all Disney films) there is a talking animal, a dog named Doug who speaks with the help of a collar which verbalises what he’s thinking (dont ask!), making for some very funny moments.
Pixar have again raised the bar when it comes to the visuals too. The colours used throughout are lush and the renditions of South America is amazing to see, you forget you’re watching an animated film.
This is one of the films of the year, easily. great characters, incredible visuals , lovely voice work and music. and a simple story about love, and balloons. Go and see it.
© BRWC 2010.
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