Hello and thank you for reading my inaugural post. My name is Kelly Sue and this week I will be reviewing one of my all time favorite movies, Up (2009). Everyone loves a good Pixar movie, right? This one does not disap-POINT.
The movie opens, in the 1940s on a young Carl Fredrickson watching his idol, explorer Charles Muntz in a newsreel. Muntz exclaims that he is going to find the beast of Paradise Falls, in South America. Enamored by his idol, young Carl runs into Ellie, who is also a Charles Muntz fan. The next five minutes of the movie are tearjerkers. Over time, Carl and Ellie fall in love, get married, and buy the dilapidated house that was once their childhood clubhouse. They remodeled the house and tried to start a family. However, we find that Ellie cannot conceive. Instead, they focused their efforts on going on vacation to Paradise Falls. Decades fly by and Carl buys Ellie and himself tickets to finally go to Paradise Falls. On the day that Carl would surprise her, Ellie becomes ill and dies.
Then the story slows down to present day where the 70-year-old, crotchety Carl is trying to keep the only thing he feels he can control: his house. When Carl is told that he needs to vacate it, he tethers thousands of balloons to his house through his chimney and takes his childhood keepsake and the memory of his beloved wife on an adventure to Paradise Falls.
In a hilarious turn of events, Carl is met by Russel, a young Wilderness Explorer (think Cub Scout); a large colorful bird that Russel names Kevin; and a talking dog by the name of Dug. There’s also a special appearance by the now very elderly Charles Muntz who is still on the look out for the beast of Paradise Falls.
I love this movie for many reasons. First, the introduction of Carl and Ellie is just beautiful and heart wrenching. What Pixar can achieve with five minutes, music, and top notch animation is astounding. You see all of Carl and Ellie’s life and love for each other in such an earnest way. Then there’s the comedy in this movie. The timing and inflections of each word plus the added animation kept me laughing. The amazing cast were perfect for each part, including newcomer Jordan Nagai who played Russel. Not to mention the colors, animation, and scale of the movie. The creators even went so far as to visit South America to make sure the mesas of Venezuela were animated with accuracy. Also, the score is brilliant with “Ellie’s Theme” being as buoyant as she and the flying house. Listen during the climax and you’ll hear “Ellie’s Theme” and Charles Muntz’s theme battle it out.
Written and directed by Pete Docter and Bob Peterson, with score by Michael Giacchino, this is definitely a must watch for Pixar lovers.