Movie Review: Up


So I went out to the movies yesterday (which happens very rarely for me.  I’m a Blockbuster kinda girl) and I saw the movie Up.

Up, the Disney Digital 3D movie from Disney-Pixar, is the story of 78-year-old retired balloon salesman Carl Fredricksen’s attempt at fulfilling a childhood promise.

The movie begins with an emotional montage of the life of Carl (voiced by Edward Asner) from his childhood up until present day. 

After an incident with some real estate developers who are desperate to purchase his beloved house in order to raze it down and put a condo in its place Carl is forced to move into Shady Oaks, a residence for the elderly.

Remembering the childhood promise that he made to his late wife Ellie Carl seizes the opportunity to fulfill his promise.  The retired balloon salesman ties thousands of helium balloons to his house and sales off to South America in search of Paradise Falls.  However, soon after he takes flight he realizes that he has a stowaway of sorts on board – an 8-year-old Wilderness Explorer named Russel (voiced by Jordan Nagai).

And so the adventure begins.

In the last few months I have seen three 3D movies – Coraline, Monsters vs. Aliens and UP – and this movie is the most complete of the three.  It is a film made for adults using a medium usually reserved for children and the animation used is amazing!  The colours are vivid, the characters are real but not creepily real and the attention to detail – down to the stubble on Carl’s chin – is on point.

My critiques of the film are not many.  Firstly, I feel the montage of Carl’s life would have been much more effective had it been nearer the middle of the movie instead of at the very beginning.  While I understand the need for the audience to see why he develops the itch for adventure (a childhood obsession with adventurer Charles Munch voiced by Christopher Plummer) we see the reason why he is so grumpy before we even get to see him being grumpy.

Also, I felt that the screenwriters could have played up Carl’s grumpiness a little more.  Because of the positioning of the montage when Carl was being surly it came off as a lonely, older, grief-stricken man instead of a curmudegeonly old coot a la Jack Lemmon in Grumpy Old Men.

Lastly, the computer animators could have done so much more with the 3D medium.  While Coraline and Monsters vs. Aliens were true 3D movies with things flying at the screen while watching up I didn’t realize that I was watching a 3D movie (and could have saved myself the additional cost and watched it in 2D).

All in all I would give Up four stars (out of 5).



About Septembre

Septembre Anderson is a passionate journalist, cultural critic and public intellectual. Her work has appeared in Flare, FASHION Magazine,, Complex Canada, Vice Canada and Huffington Post Canada.
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