Folks, without question, this is the best movie of the year so far! I cannot say enough positive things about this movie. The latest from Disney’s Pixar Studios (thank you, George Lucas, and thank you, John Lasseter) this film is one of if not THE best of all such films! That list includes “Toy Story”, “Toy Story II”, “Monsters Inc”, “Finding Nemo”, “Cars”, “Wall-E”, and “the Incredibles”. From the trailer, the story appears to follow a grumpy old man that fills his house with balloons to escape the modern world or something like that. Along the way, he is accompanied by a young boy who is trying to earn his latest merit badge for Boy Scouts. Adventure ensues. That appears to be the story, but it isn’t JUST that.
I was so pleasantly surprised by the story of this film that it just caught me all kinds of off-guard! The story is – in true Disney fashion – a wonderful message about those we love and how we move on from loss. The message is delivered by no less than 4 characters in the story! The main characters are Mr. Carl Fredericksen (voiced by the great Ed Asner to perfection!), Russell the Wilderness Explorer, Dug the Dog (voiced by the co-director of the film, Bob Petersen), and the villain Charles Muntz (voiced by the as-always great Christopher Plummer) the famous explorer. The message is so wonderfully delivered that you find yourself (this applies to audiences of all ages) nodding in agreement and true understanding. Disney hit this one right on the proverbial head.
I hate to give away anything as far as the story goes, so I will attempt to say as little as possible about it. This film will pull at your heart strings in the beginning. It is both sad and wonderful. Of course, there is humor that begins to creep into the film starting with “snipe” hunting! The real humor though hits when our unlikely explorers, Russell & Mr. Fredricksen, meet Dug the Dog. What a fantastic idea! A collar that makes dogs talk? Fantastic! Dug had me cracking up so bad that my sides hurt!
I loved the “snipe” itself, named by Russell as Kevin. It is a colorful character in its own right, even though it doesn’t speak. You have to love the bird and his “relationship” with Mr. Fredricksen! This film has so much funny stuff happening in it that even the appearance of some of these characters is enough to get you to crack up (I specifically refer to Ellie as a child, and “Kevin”)! Another highlight was the riot of Alpha and his voice and the other dogs and their reactions are hysterical! If you don’t laugh at this, go check yourself into the nearest medical clinic because you may be missing your funny bone!
I felt myself on a whirlwind of emotions while watching this film. I was laughing, getting all choked up, and elated with the ending. Disney does a fabulous job with the smallest of gestures; they always have. The miracle of Dug groveling before Mr. Frederickson was but one of many images that went straight to my heart. Russell is a delight and namely because he’s just a lovable character just as he is. The lesson of “what matters” that he teaches both the audience and Mr. Frederickson is a true Disney classic moment!
On a side note: watch through the credits, or at least halfway through them. The story sort of continues with pictures telling the future deeds of Russell, Dug, and Carl. They are priceless! Oh, and you may wonder about the film they go to see in one of those pictures. The marquee reads “Star Wars”. This is an homage from Pixar Studious to George Lucas who helped John Lasseter get his “project” off the ground. Yes, folks, George Lucas is all about the technology in film and he even had a hand in Pixar’s animation. (If you ever had any interest in learning more about exactly what technology Mr. Lucas has aided/created, you should look up his bio on-line. Be prepared to be amazed!)
The film is beautifully told, from an opening with little dialogue but tons of emotion to an end that is pure joy. Mr. Fredricksen is perhaps one of Disney’s most lovable characters yet – and that’s saying a HUGE amount! While other Pixar films have humor in them, this one has TONS of humor. It may be that because of the film’s opening that the humor sort of comes at you sideways. And because of that, I laughed all the harder! As other reviewers have already written: “my review cannot do this film justice”. Amen!
The bottom line, folks: do not wait, and go see this movie! It is worth every penny to see. The kids will love it, and so too will you. This movie is pure joy! If you see nothing else this whole Summer, see this one. It is a miraculous film because of how truly touching it is. You do NOT want to miss out on this humorous family film! “UP” succeeds on every level and it raises the bar once more for other animated films. I cannot recommend this movie enough!
….and that’s it for this edition of THE REEL VOICE
- 6 of the Most Popular Disney Pixar Movie Villains (movies.answers.com)