Sunday, May 31, 2009
Pixar's tenth creation is every bit as good as their first. It's nothing short of a joyous heart-lifting triumph . I've enjoyed all of the Pixar films, though some more than others. Last year's critically acclaimed 'WALL-E' was not one of my favorites from Pixar. 'Up' is. The gist of it is it's the story of an old man who goes on an adventure with a boy scout. His name is Carl Fredricksen (voiced by Ed Asner), and his life has been lonely since his wife Ellie died. His dream is to go down to South America and live next to a massive waterfall where the world is fresh and beautiful. After he gets violent with a construction worker, Carl is forced to move into a retirement home. Carl sees this as a chance to fulfill his dream, so he somehow attaches thousands of balloons to his home and flies away. What he doesn't know is that wilderness explorer Russell is tagging along (he needs the badge for 'assisting the elderly'). There are plenty of wonderful surprises that await the unlikely duo (Carl at first resents Russell, but eventually comes to care about him) but I won't ruin them here. The director is Pete Docter, who also did another Pixar favorite of mine, 'Monsters Inc.' Docter was originally signed to direct WALL-E, but left the project to work on this. Pixar remains the only truly clever producer of children's entertainment. 'Up' is likely the most touching of them all. Also, I should mention that the animation is pristine, particularly the massive backdrops of South America, scouted out personally by the Pixar team. One more interesting note of interest: Carl (my favorite character in the film) is based off of Spencer Tracy. Though animated, Carl looks like he came right out of 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.'