Get Up and See Up
Disney and Pixar's tenth collaboration hits theaters May 29th and I wish it had opened months ago because I want to see it again. Up is, in a word, brilliant.
But let me back up a second. I must admit, I wasn't sure how this movie was going to stack up against all the other Disney/Pixar movies, much less what it was really about. The only marketing material out a few weeks ago when I saw the movie was a poster showing an old, grumpy-looking man and his balloon-elevated house. How was that going to be funny or endearing? Suffice to say, in the first 10 minutes I both laughed and cried.
We first meet Ed Asner's character, Carl, as a young boy infatuated with exploration who finds his adventuresome soul mate in Ellie. A quick montage ages the two, showing the good times and the bad until Carl is left in old age alone. With time getting the best of him and skyscrapers popping up around the home he and Ellie thrived in for decades, it's time for one last journey to South America.
Once in the air, there's a knock at Carl's front door. Enter little Russell (Jordan Nagai), a Junior Wilderness Explorer (Up's version of a boy scout) who's one patch away from becoming a Senior Wilderness Explorer. From here, Carl and Russell encounter various animals and the explorer-turned-villain Charles Muintz (Christopher Plummer). Up can be seen in either 2-D or 3-D, but there's no particular best way to see the movie. The glasses do dull colors just a bit, but the extra dimension more than makes up for this. Unlike other 3-D movie-makers, Pixar shows some restraint with its first 3-D effort and didn't go for cheap gimmicks, just enhancing the humor that was already there. It still ends up being distracting at times, though, which makes it a tougher decision, but in the end their pros and cons pretty much balance it out and you'll be happy whichever way you see it.
Up is 96-minutes of pure amusement and adventure. It's a high point, even for Pixar, and is easily one of the best -- and funniest -- movies of the year.