UP: Movie Review

After sorting through my blogs (yes, I have tried to blog before, not quite successfully), I managed to unearth one in 2009 about one of my favorite animated movies ever Disney-Pixar’s UP.

UPDisney-Pixar scored yet another hit with its latest offering UP! a 3D animation flick premised on an old man who sets out for an adventure of a lifetime to fulfill a promise to his dead wife.

The trailer was good. It piqued the interest of the viewing public by pitting a overly earnest young adventurer with a grumpy old man named Carl Fredericksen who used thousands of helium balloons to make his house fly to the direction of Paradise City, where his deceased wife Ellie wanted to build their house. The movie was even better.

The seamless animation was a given because after all, it was Pixar movie — a master in the field. But, combined with the heartwarming story produced by Disney, the duo proved to be unstoppable. The movie was fun. It was a feast of ironies and one-liners that were not offensive and tickled the funny bones of audiences of all ages. The story had an emotional depth as well, and delivered a heartrending story of love and friendship in a series of montages to explain the evolution of the relationship with Carl and his wife Ellie, how they met, how they became childhood friends and later married each other to have a long and happy life together- until Ellie got sick and died. This was done accompanied with only the movie’s primary musical score but its effect was major. No dialogue but the impact was amazing. Makes one wonder if it was possible, but it was.

The characters were spot on. Russel, the junior adventurer, who at first, Carl saw as an accidental baggage in his adventure, provided most of the comedy with his antics. His exuberance led them from mishap to mishap, all of the funny kind, but he had his emotional moments as well, when he confided to Carl why he so badly wanted the last badge (assisting the elderly) to become a senior wildlife adventurer. He also talked of his family issues, which most kids could also relate to. The manner in which he delivered the information was done with such innocence and earnest, as if he could not really comprehend the volume of his unhappiness, that it manages to melt even the hardest of hearts. For me, the best part about the story was that it was based on a strong and honest truth. People could relate to the characters, for both the protagonists and antagonists alike.

The movie also did not forget to poke fun at the travails that old people have to go through, such as having to move to homes for the elderly, the aches and pains brought on by arthritis and the like. One of my favorite parts was when Carl was fighting off the villain, Charles Muntz — an obsessed adventurer, who like himself was advancing in age, where they both got struck by back pain just as they were about to attack each other. And what about the flying dentures? Priceless.

The movie achieved the perfect between comedy, drama, and adventure that one will have to wonder how Disney could surpass this hit with its next offerings. I posed the same question when I saw Finding Nemo, and The Incredibles, and Cars… and now this…. Is it even possible? We’ll just have to wait and see, then won’t we?