The most mature of its animated films to date, Up is Pixar at its best. The film delicately weaves laughter and sorrow into a fine plot that can be enjoyed by all ages, and also proves that you don’t need to patronise children when talking about death.
Up tells the story of a curmudgeonly old widower named Carl Fredricksen, who, when confronted by conscienceless business tycoons who want his house destroyed, decides to break out of his shell, strap balloons to his house and fly to Paradise Falls. This journey is inspired by Fredricksen’s childhood hero, Charles Muntz, who is later revealed to be a flawed and amoral character. However, as our hero flies off to his destination he is joined by a clumsy and inexperienced boy scout called Russell. Before long both become locked in an adventure to save a bird from Charles Muntz and his talking dogs.
As the plot develops the unlikely friendship between Carl and Russell blossoms, enabling Pixar to show beautifully how Carl, a grumpy old man, embraces life by having an adventure of his own.
The masterful animation, the mix of laughter with heart-breaking shots and a host of engaging characters make Up a brilliant film. The first few minutes of the film present a wordless montage of Carl and his childhood sweetheart Ellie; in those few minutes the montage offers more laughter and sorrow than most Hollywood films combined.
In summary Up is a melancholic story but Pixar uses this to create one off the funniest, heart-warming films animation can offer. A beautiful movie that should be remembered ‘Up’ there with the Pixar movie legends.