Saturday, May 22, 2010


How I Watched the Movie: I saw this in theaters with my parents not long after it came out this summer. We bought the DVD from Costco a months ago.

If you know me well (and if you read my Ratatouille review), you will know that I am a huge Pixar fan. Okay, so I don't actually believe my mom when she says that I did see Toy Story when I was little (I seriously cannot remember that movie), but I've always loved their movies like crazy. Pixar has turned into a family tradition at my house. My parents have bought me a plush Dot (A Bug's Life), Boo (Monsters, Inc.), Nemo and Dory (Finding Nemo) and Jack-Jack (The Incredibles); we even named our cell phones after Pixar characters. (Nota bene, if you're wondering why I didn't mention Cars, it's because that's the only Pixar movie I have yet to see.) So we heard that Pixar was making this adorable movie about an old man's house attached to helium balloons that floats around in the sky, you bet we were pretty excited for this one. Sure, the premise sounds cute and fluffy, because just how far-fetched does a floating balloon-house sound? But despite the fantastical aspect of Pixar movies--anthropomorphic insects, animals, cars, and robots; living toys and closet-monsters--actually watching the movies is a whole other experience. Of course you chuckle here and there and "aww!" over the more juvenile aspects, but all in all, it's the moral and meaning behind the movies that reaches out to everyone, young and old. That is what has made Pixar a name brand, the one that trumps over Dreamworks and other struggling animating copycats.

Up is no exception; in fact, it exceeds the other films. No other movie can make one cry in the beginning and leave one laughing over an inside joke that has now reached to international levels ("Squirrel!", anyone?). It is truly no surprise that this movie won (very easily, I must say) the Oscar for Animated Feature, in addition to a nod for the greatest Academy Award for them all (but truly, which one will you most likely remember? The heart-warming balloon movie or the war thriller no one has really heard of?). This movie stands out in so many ways. Yes, it does have many of Pixar's signature motifs (talking animals, check; hyperactive kid, check; fantasy, major check), but what was the last movie you saw that stars an aging balloon salesman who uses his area of expertise to make his house fly?

Ever since he was a little boy, Carl Fredricksen (Edward Asner) has held a fascination over flying and exploring adventures. In fact, that's just how he meets his childhood friend, who later becomes his wife, Ellie (Elizabeth Docter). The two dream of one day taking a trip to the Paradise Falls, an almost mythical tropical paradise that has given their hero, Charles F. Muntz (Christopher Plummer), his renown. After many happy years together--and after trying and trying to earn enough money to go to Paradise Falls, an elderly Ellie passes away, leaving Carl alone in their old home surrounded by modern-day skyscrapers and construction. Contemporary woes start to kick in for the senior citizen, as the construction workers try to buy his home from him and move him to a retirement home. However, using his skills from the trade he knows best--balloon-selling--Carl attaches hundreds and hundreds of balloons to his house to fly off to Paradise Falls. Along the way, he encounters a variety of characters who join him on his journey, including a young Wilderness Explorer named Russell (Jordan Nagai) who yearns to earn his "Assisting the Elderly" badge by helping Carl; a colorful tropical bird Russell spontaneously names "Kevin" (Pete Docter); and a Golden Retriever, Dug (Bob Peterson), who communicates in plain English via his special collar. When Carl meets his ambitious role model Muntz at Paradise Falls, Carl's trip takes a turn for an even more daring--and dangerous--adventure.

Pros: It would take a whole essay for me to write about all the good things, but let me sum it up in short words. Animation. Characters. Plot. Sad. Funny. Cute. Action. Adventure. Whimsical. Creative. Don't you think it's awesome already?

Cons: Nothing! :D (Though the beginning is very sad...which could either be a pro or a con, whichever way you look at it.)

Red Flags: Nothing, except some intense scenes in which some characters' lives seem to be in peril. Check CSM here.


Plot: 10/10

Acting: 10/10 (all-star cast makes excellent voices for excellent characters!)

Screenwriting: 10/10

Originality: 10/10

Enjoyment: 10/10

Overall: 50/50  (a definite favorite!)


Original Release Date: May 29, 2009

Length: 96 minutes

Director: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson

Producer: Jonas Rivera, John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton

Screenwriter: Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Thomas McCarthy, Jim Capobianco, Aley Phelan

Distribution Company: Walt Disney Pictures

MPAA Rating: PG

Also Recommended:
  • Ratatouille (2007)
  • Finding Nemo (2003)
  • The Incredibles (2004)
  • Howl's Moving Castle (2004)
  • Spirited Away (2002)
Check It Out!


  1. This movie was also one of my favorites! it did win best score too at the Oscars ;) Michael Giachino did an amazing job with the score as well. Vey nice review :)

  2. I absolutely love Up! (Doug=amazing) My French class got t-shirts this year, and we actually used a quote from it on them. (translated into French, of course) :)