Movie Review: Up

Up
4 Lloyds – Family Friendly
PG for some peril and action.
Running Time: 1 hour 36 minutes

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Finding adventure right where you are.

The Academy Award nominated team of director Pete Docter, Monsters vs. Aliens, and co-director Bob Peterson, work together in the Disney-Pixar animated flick Up. It’s a comedic adventure taking off, and lifting spirits, this summer!

Carl Fredricksen spent his entire life dreaming of exploring the globe and experiencing life to its fullest. However, at the age of 78, life seems to have passed him by. But then, by a twist of fate, and a persistent 8 year old Junior Wilderness Explorer named Russell, Carl gets a new lease on life.

Up takes audiences on an amazing journey where the unlikely pair of Carl and Russell encounter wild terrain, unexpected villains and jungle creatures.

No One Does It Better Than Pixar

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When it comes to animation, no one does it better than Pixar. The lamp-logo-animator-icon company has done it once again with their incredible work on the latest Disney movie simply entitled Up. Not only does this movie have incredible effects, but it works well in both 3D and normal animation too. In the past few months a number of movies have been released in 3D, Real-D and normal animation format. However, all too often the normal animation mode falls flat and is unimpressive when compared with the 3D or Real-D format.

Such is not the case with Pixar and the movie Up. Not only does the movie come to life in 3D format, but it stays alive in normal animation format too. The images pop off the screen adding to the whole viewing adventure. Instead of just watching the story unfold on the screen, at times you feel like you’re part of the story! Pixar’s attention to detail is always amazing too. Many times animated characters never seem to get dirty, or transform like humans do. But, with Up we see both Carl and Russell showing wear along the way as they journey to South America. Not only do they get dirty, but Carl even starts to show some beard growth!

As for content, there’s so much good going on in this movie. It’s really a story about where one finds adventure. While Carl made a promise and “crossed his heart” that he and his wife Ellie would travel to South America, the movie also emphasizes the fact that you don’t have to be a world traveler in order to find adventure. Sometimes adventure is closer than you think. But, even after saying that, Carl and his young Junior Wilderness Explorer friend Russell do indeed discover adventure in South America. Not only do the pair find adventure, but they also find some friends along the way. Carl even meets the man who inspired him to travel!

Aside from adventure, Up is also a story about relationships. It’s quite touching to watch Carl and Ellie meet as kids, grow up and get married, and grow old together. Then, when Carl’s life appears to be falling apart, he decides to keep his promise to Ellie, and travel to South America in search of Paradise Falls. Along the way he picks up a boy named Russell trying to do a good deed and earn his final Wilderness badge. Carl also finds himself in the company of a talking dog named Doug and a bird named Kevin. While he is not thrilled with his new-found friends at first, he soon discovers there are more important things in life than feeling sorry for oneself.

When all is said and done, not only has Carl discovered a new adventure, but he also found out Ellie was happy with her life. She even kept her scrapbook full of pictures outlining her adventures, right at home. There’s a great lesson here for adults and kids alike. Sometimes adults think time spent with their kids has to involve big plans and big adventure. But, many times kids are happy with an adventure of eating ice cream and counting cars while sitting on the curb.

Adventure really is around every corner…
All we need to do is keep our eyes open
and discover the adventure right at hand.

Up is rated PG, and it’s appropriately rated. As a PG movie, this is a family-friendly flick. Keep in mind, this is not a G rated movie. There are some scenes in the jungles of South America that are probably a little on the scary side for young kids. While this may not totally put the movie out of reach for a younger audience, keep in mind in the theater the kids might become unsettled. As a result, for a really young audience, it might be best to wait for Up to come out on DVD. As for length, it’s wonderful. Disney-Pixar has a nice little short about clouds and storks to start the movie, which helps to keep the kids attention for not only the short, but also the main feature, Up

Overall, there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments in Up, for both young and old. It’s also great to see that the filmmakers didn’t go for the potty humor thinking that was the only way to grab the attention of the adults. Up has enough going on in the area of fun, special effects, and yes, storyline, to keep everyone involved and laughing throughout.

Enjoy the show!
Dr. Rus

About the Author

Dr. Rus has 30+ years experience in the field of communication. He takes this experience, and his passion to encourage others to positively effect their environment, when providing insight and movie reviews.