Pete Docter‘s new Pixar/Disney 3-D animation Up is the most heartwarming, beautiful, and creative film of the year. From the colors and voices, to the plot and dialogue, this film is as close to perfection as any film can get. What I enjoyed about this film was how it was able to stir up such a wide range of emotions in viewers without it being manipulative.
In films, it’s hard not to role your eyes when the obligatory kiss, pat on the back, what have you, happens. Often times, the entire film has been building up to one moment and the pay-off ends up being lackluster. In Up, every single moment, every single shot is filled with something that you care about and entertains you, so when you get to the pay-off it’s just the cherry on top of an already marvelous Sunday. Yes, the film has a few (very few) predictable moments in it, but when done right, the predictable becomes important and better yet enjoyable.
I think the reason why so many people are able to relate to the film is because of the ages of the two main characters, everyone has someone to look up. Ed Anser’s character, Carl Fredricksen is 78-years-old and his unwanted sidekick, Russell, is 70 years his junior. Children can relate to Russel and his problems, as well as look up to Carl as parental figure. Adults can relate to Carl because they see their parents in him. Normally Carl would have been played by a 40-some-year-old, and most adults would simply see themselves in him. But, by making him in his 70′s adults have someone to look up to and respect, just like the kids.
And if the people aren’t what get you in the film, then it will be the animals.
For any person who has ever had a pet and pretended to know what they’re saying, you will love Dug the Dog. His dialogue and voice are absolutely perfect. Anyone who has ever met a golden retriever knows that when he says, “I have just met you and I love you!” he means in. Kevin the “Undiscovered Species” is the exact opposite of Dug, fast and cunning, he adds just the right amount of spice to group. Just like in WALL-E his reactions alone are enough to have you laughing or crying at any given moment.
What’s great about this film is although it had a huge budget, the tone of it feels much more like an independent film being given mainstream distribution. Because smaller films often don’t have the financial backing that larger films have, often times they are passion projects and get released off the pure hope and dedication of the filmmakers who poured everything they had into the film. Up has that feeling. It was not made to have a sequel, it was not made for the money, it feels as is everyone involved was dedicated to making each moment as good as they could.
Although the film is in 3-D, much like Coraline, the effect is only used to add depth and not as an effect. Honestly, you can see it either way and you’ll still enjoy it. It’s a cool added feature, but not a necessary one. So if you really hate the glasses, you will still be able to fully enjoy the movie in 2-D.
Overall, the film leaves you in tears but not in the way you would expect it to. It deals with a number of difficult, real life issues with dignity. The film leaves one feeling geniunely fulfilled as they walk out of the theater.
Go see Up, in theaters, May 29th. You will not be disappointed.