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Up (2009)

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Score: 9/10

Genre: Fairy Tale Running Time: 1 hr. 29 min.

Release Date: May 29th, 2009 MPAA Rating: PG

Director: Pete Docter Actors: Edward Asner, Jordan Nagai, Christopher Plummer, John Ratzenberger

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ixar has once again crafted a truly magical journey through a fantastical land full of brightly-colored creations and comical explorers. Playful humor and bouts of heartfelt poignancy combine with quite a bit of unexpected adventure to produce a film that will easily appeal to minds both young and old – and especially for those that have never forgotten the allure of chasing dreams. A perfect blend of visual designs and imaginative storytelling ensures this animated feature won’t be forgotten by the time awards season rolls around.

Ever since he was a young boy, Carl Fredricksen (Ed Asner) has craved the excitement and thrills of exploration – a passion shared by his childhood friend and sweetheart, Ellie. After marrying, the couple always planned to travel to a remote paradise deep within South America, but continual setbacks forever delayed their journey. Now, at the age of 78, Carl is finally able to fulfill his lifelong dream – and in a daring flight, he takes to the skies in his balloon-lifted house. But the real adventure has only just begun…

With Pixar’s unbelievably successful track record, it’s considerably more impressive watching their films continue to be of such a high caliber, general appeal, and repeat-viewing sensibility. “Up” is one of the most enjoyable and entertaining of Pixar’s films, and one of the best the computer animated film genre has to offer. With an unlikely set of heroes, hopelessly romantic fantasy, suspenseful action, a beautiful score, and a completely outlandish, unique plot, the film magically captures the spirit of adventure, wholeheartedly.

Perhaps the most rewarding aspect of “Up,” as with most of Pixar’s films, is the blend of lighthearted comedy with insight and sentiment. There’s plenty of comic relief, but the heavier “growing old” montage at the beginning, the later, meaningful fulfillment of dreams, and ultimate sacrifices for grander causes create a deeper, satisfying resonance. The simple repetition of significant actions, such as tying a letter to a balloon, making promises by crossing the heart, or toying with a grape soda pin (and even the idiosyncratic straightening of a bird figurine) suggest heartrending affectivity that further deepens the classical romance, which fuels Carl’s motives for adventure. “Up” is a film with something for everyone and definitely worthy of multiple viewings.

– The Massie Twins

 



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