Sunday, May 31, 2009


Well, Pixar’s done it again. Up is incredible.

This new animation tells the story of Carl Fredricksen, an old man who seeks to complete a childhood dream that he shared with his recently deceased wife Ellie, and Russell, an overeager scout looking to complete a collection of Wilderness Explorer badges in order to gain his father’s approval. Carl, who refuses to allow city developers to buy his house even as they start building around his property, decides to say good bye the city and flies his house with balloons and bed sheet sails to Paradise Falls. Russell, much to his excitement, gets stuck on the porch as Carl takes off and is forced to help old Mr. Fredricksen during his adventures.

Carl Fredricksen is, of course, a comically bitter old man with fantastic dialogue and Russell is, like many young boys, eager and adventurous to the point of stupidity. This combination has always been entertaining, but Up takes it a bit further with some other wonderfully humorous characters.

There is Dugg, a delightfully oblivious dog with a translation collar who latches onto Carl as his master, and Kevin, a large, brightly colored bird that follows Russell in order to mooch off his chocolate bar. Of course, because wacky Pixar storytelling must have twists, Dugg used to belong to the pack of villainous talking dogs and their master, explorer Charles Muntz, and Kevin is a female bird with offspring awaiting her return.

Even the villains in this movie are delightfully amusing. Charles Muntz, who was actually a hero of Carl’s, has been in Paradise Falls since Carl Fredricksen was a young boy. He is, therefore, an old man -- and nothing is funnier than a good old man trying to stop an evil old man from killing a giant bird. Charles Muntz also keeps, and uses as zeppelin cleaning and cooking staff, a large pack of trained dogs. All of these dogs have collars that translate what they’re saying into English, and no dog has it as bad as the lead dog Alpha. While he is dark and menacing in appearance, his collar has some faulty wiring and he spends half the movie barking out orders in a hilariously high pitched voice.

I swear, I was laughing the entire time.

But, like all Pixar movies, Up is not just about the humor and the adventure. There is a good story underneath it all about friendship, which makes it another great family movie to add to the collection.

To be honest, I have nothing bad to say about this movie at all. It was absolutely wonderful. I definitely recommend this one to everyone.

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