Up (PG) ★★★★

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Brilliant Spectacle of a Film for All Ages

Walt Disney Pixar Animation Studios presents “Up” in 3D. This film is a brilliant tribute to the genre of animation. Not only is the story a wonderful tale of ‘young and old’ and of ‘love and adventure’ it’s also of ‘dreams and reality’. The main characters are different as night and day, yet the storyline has a perfect lesson to be learned from both sides. Carl a 78-year-old man voiced by Ed Asner is paired with Russell an 8 year old ‘wilderness boy scout’ voiced by Jordan Nagai. Each has his own agenda and are they ever fascinating to watch on screen! Carl is grumpy and single-minded in his pursuits. Russell is polite but will take a detour to a plan if he’s needed to help nature. The result is a script that is both memorable and heartwarming. If this film could win a prize for the ‘crème de la crème’ in family viewing, it would take 1st place!

The beginning of this fantasy tale shows Carl and his wife Elle and their plans to explore the world. The pair is particularly interested in South America and the breath-taking ‘Paradise Falls’

They save their change in a special jar in hopes of visiting there someday. As life happens, the jar of change is needed for other expenses and the trip never comes to fruition as Elle passes away. These early scenes in the film were very touching. The decision to have very little dialogue and tell the story through little ‘nuances’ worked well. We are shown a scene where the couple is reading together side by side and ever so slowly they naturally begun holding hands. The musical score that accompanies these scenes are also ‘perfect’ in setting a peaceful and tender tone, one in which displays the couples love for one another.

After Elle’s death, Carl is faced with a major problem. His home is to be destroyed to make way for a new housing development. He’s continually given pamphlets for the Shady Oaks retirement center as his new place to live. Carl decides to take matters into his own hands and ties thousands of balloons to his house to simply leave the area and visit ‘Paradise Falls’. After the house begins to float up into the air he discovers that he’s not alone on his journey. Enter Russell the wilderness scout who was under the porch upon lift-off. The vibrant colors of all the 1000’s of balloons are truly unbelievable! It’s a magical spectacle in Disney style and will sure to please all.

The house floats up into the sky and what happens next is the adventure of a life-time for Carl and Russell. They encounter a new land with magical animals and birds. I don’t want to spoil the rest of the story so it will be kept secret but I think you will be so surprised by both of the main characters actions. The pair does meet another character; Muntz, voiced by Christopher Plummer, the villain in the story. He leads a very lonely life shared only by robotic dogs and is a very selfish mean person.

Carl and Russell ‘young and old’ do begin to rely on each other and form a truly special friendship, one of mutual respect and admiration. Both learn from one another and the result is a win-win. For the audience, we are the winners as life lessons are told in an imaginative and unbelievable way. Disney as outdone itself again!

Sarah Adamson © 2009