UP (U)

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The ViewLondon Review

Review byMatthew Turner07/10/2009

Five out of Five stars
Running time: 96 mins

Those Pixar geniuses have done it again – this is a hugely entertaining, beautifully animated and powerfully emotional film with terrific vocal performances from Ed Asner and Jordan Nagai.

What's it all about?
Directed by Pete Docter, UP opens with an incredibly moving montage sequence that details the lives of Carl (voiced by Ed Asner) and Ellie Fredrickson, from their first meeting as children, bonding over their a mutual obsession with famous adventurer Muntz (Christopher Plummer, though the character closely resembles Kirk Douglas) to their marriage, their heartbreaking discovery of infertility, their shared dream of travelling to Paradise Falls in South America and Ellie's fatal illness just as Carl had finally planned to surprise her with tickets. In the present day, Carl is about to be evicted and moved to a retirement home, but he out-foxes everyone by attaching helium balloons to his house and flying away, finally headed for Paradise Falls.

However, once he's airborne, Carl is shocked to discover that he has a reluctant passenger, in the form of eight-year-old boy scout Russell (Jordan Nagai). Eventually they land in South America, where they meet a talking dog called Doug (Bob Peterson) and a rare exotic bird that Russell names Kevin.

The Good
UP takes several bold decisions for a studio film (e.g. having a 78-year-old lead character) and there's a definite hint of the films of Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away) in both the plot and the central themes. The powerfully emotional opening montage explores themes of grief, old age and death; it's also just one of at least three sequences that will have you in tears (which will, luckily, be hidden by the 3D glasses).

As we've come to expect from Pixar, the animation is vibrantly coloured and breathtakingly gorgeous throughout, while the character designs are both offbeat and appealing. There's also terrific voice work from Ed Asner and newcomer Jordan Nagai, while Delroy Lindo adds a note of menace as the leader of another pack of talking dogs.

The Great
In addition, the film delivers an exciting, action-packed climax, whilst the 3D effects are used impressively throughout, adding physical depth to the scenes.

Worth seeing?
Make no mistake – UP will make you cry, so be sure to bring tissues. Fortunately, it will also make you laugh, as it's a hugely entertaining, frequently funny and powerfully moving adventure. Highly recommended.
Up Premiere

Film Trailer

UP (U)
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Content updated: 17/07/2018 14:48

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