Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Magnificent Up

I saw Pixar’s Up today. It was one of the best movies I’ve seen in a very long time. I saw it in 3-D and it’s worth the few extra bucks to see it that way. The 3-d shots aren’t stunts like in some movies but add to the rich depth of the entire film. Pay close attention to the balloon shots and the scenes at the waterfall, these are where the 3-D effect really are the most impressive.

As impressive as the 3-D is the story is even more so. The main character is Carl Fredricksen. He has always dreamed of adventure along the lines of his hero Charles Muntz. Carl dreams of traveling to South America like his hero. We first see Carl as a young boy watching a movie time like real of his hero. Carl then runs into Ellie who is just as enamored of Charles Muntz. They vow to go off exploring together. Ellie’s dream is to live right near Paradise Falls described by Charles Muntz.

The two eventually get married and what follows is a montage of their life together. They always vow to go on their big adventure Ellie even has a scrap book and a section called Things I’ll do. But life seems to always get in the way. They need a new tire for the car, a new roof. They decided that they’ll have children. And in one of the most heart breaking scenes in the movie you find out they can’t have children. Suddenly they are old. Carl decided to take Ellie on her adventure. He even get the tickets but Ellie get sick and then dies. It’s a very sad point in the movie but it sets the foundation for the adventure that is to come.

Carl decides to go on his adventure. The idea being he’s going to go all by himself. But Carl ends up with a stowaway Russel the wilderness exploring. These two share some of the single funniest moments in the entire movie. They do reach South America. They land close to the falls and Russel says they can walk the house over there. Needless to say a few minutes later Russel is asking are we there yet. Followed by I’m hungry and my knee hurts and I have to go to the bathroom. With each one of these lines the laughter in the audience got louder and louder. I might note that this was coming from the adults in the theater.

Then there is the absolutely hysterical Dug the dog. I won’t go into his antics but will say they are very funny and that squirrel plays a vital part in that and for that matter in the plot itself.

Carl and Russel run into the famous explorer who is obsessed with finding a giant bird that Russel befriend by bribing the bird with chocolate. Russel names him Kevin. Kevin turns out to be a girl and to have little Kevin’s waiting to be feed. The last part of the story deals with if Kevin will be captured by Muntz or kept free by Carl, Russel and Dug. And to find out what happens you’ll have to go and see the movie.

The ending is wonderful. Carl realizes his dream of adventure although it’s not the one he originally thought it was going to be.

This is one of the richest films Pixar has ever done. I mean that in the visual sense (the scenes by the waterfall look like it’s live action and not generated by a computer) but more importantly I mean it in an emotional sense. This will strike a cord no matter what your age and you’ll leave the theater in a very Up mood!

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