Friday, May 29, 2009

Jeff’s Movie Review: Pixar’s Up (2009)

Well the results are in; Up has definitely earned its lofty spot in the Pixar Canon of Great Movies.

It’s a wonderful movie. A breathtakingly stunning, flyaway fantasy fit for the whole family. Up never really aims for a higher purpose (like WALL-E did) but its imaginative storytelling, endearing characters and dreamlike visuals create what’s certainly the year’s most enchanting film.

The movie’s first 10 minutes function as a life story. It would have made a fantastic short on its own. Inundated with previews, I went into the theatre ready for a gruff, cranky old man. Instead, we’re introduced to a youthful Carl – and his gap-toothed wife, Ellie. We see them build a life together. Then Ellie passes.

If that sounds heartbreaking, it’s because it is. If it doesn’t, then I didn’t do the prologue justice.

Grumpy Carl and a stowaway, the chubby “Wilderness Explorer” Russell embark on the South American adventure, young Carl and Ellie never took. They pick up a few travelling companions on the way – Kevin, a gawky bird, and Dug, a goofy dog (“Squirrel?”).

Up is certainly sentimental – there is more than one opportunity for waterworks (just ask Emily) – but still fun. I’ve used the words “sentimental” and “heartbreaking” here… and while it’s definitely those things, I want to stress that it’s also whimsical and heartwarming.

It’s guaranteed to lift your spirits (and perhaps exercise your tear ducts).

4 Schaibles
To date, the best movie of 2009.