All movies take you on a journey, not many take you places you wanted to go and few make you glad you not only got there but glad you took the journey in the first place.  Pixar’s UP is in the select few that you walk out of the theater glad for the experience.  Pixar has made gutsy movies all along its run but this is by far the most daring concept.  Human hero’s with real human struggles.  When I first saw the synopsis for the movie, a geriatric man and young boy in a flying house I couldn’t help but wonder how Pixar would do this no toys, monsters, talking cars, superhero’s, or talking animals.(ok there are talking dogs but more on that later)  What Pixar has done is make a triumph.  This is possibly the best movie Pixar has done and at least stands tall with Toy Story, Toy Story 2 and the Incredibles in its characters.  This movie makes you feel, and perhaps to a degree greater than the previous Pixar “greats” because you directly relate.

Let’s just get the first ten minutes out of the way.  After a quick introduction to the main character and his soon to be wife, then comes the “movie within a movie”.  The tail of Carl and Ellie’s life together is the height of Pixar’s craft in storytelling.  In ten minutes we are drawn into this couple’s life together and empathies with them in their highs, lows, and the grind of “life” putting dreams on hold for the mundane.  Your heart is broken for Carl as He finally buys the plane tickets only to lose the “adventure” of His life.  This is all visual.  No words are used and no words are needed.  And perhaps this is the beauty of Up, that it takes emotions that cannot be expressed in words and expresses them.  The directors know that there are no words to express joy, sorrow, grief, release, and hope so they show us what that looks like.  Let’s be clear, this is NOT a kid’s movie.  Sure children will enjoy the talking dogs and the action, but if you’re an adult at points you’ll weep for the truth of emotion that is being expressed.

That’s not to say this isn’t a funny movie.  This movie is wonderfully hilarious and pits it’s comedy against the backdrop of grief.  We like the characters, work through grief through seeing the lighter, humorous parts of life.  And on that point let me say that someone writing this script owns a golden retriever.  It’s just too spot on.  Not all that bright, loving and loyal, but at times displaying brilliance, you just nailed golden retrievers. (That and, “I will go get the ball and bring it back! POINT!”)

I don’t think this is hyperbole to say that Up will go down in history as one of Disney/Pixar’s greatest movies ever.  This movie actually has a ministry to grieving people.  Who would think that anyone would ever say that about a cartoon?  But it’s true.  Go see it, cry, laugh and be “Up”lifted.


One Response to ““Up””

  1. Sean Curran Says:

    Well said. I too was very moved by the film.

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