281 of 311 people found the following review helpful
An emotional triumph,
Here's a movie for dog lovers, the elderly, children of divorce, FOBs (Friends of Birds), former Boy Scouts, people yearning for adventure, and anyone who has ever loved... and lost. Up is for everyone. It made me laugh out loud, and it made me cry.
I thought it would be tough for Up to match the emotional power of Wall-E. The two Pixar films are similar in their lack of dialogue in the first act, which helps deepen the emotional impact. Up begins with Carl, a shy young boy star-struck by a famous explorer; and kookie Ellie, who has a similar obsession. The two kids become fast friends, and vow to one day travel to Venezuela. After getting married, they buy their dream home and fix it up, hoping to fill it with children. Carl and Ellie's life together from childhood through old age is depicted, silently, with delicacy and subtlety. These first 15 minutes is like a celebration of a happy marriage, and you truly feel Carl's pain when he is left alone. He sits slumped in his chair, talking to the house as if it is the missing Ellie.
When developers close in on Carl's beloved home, he decides to fulfill his promise to Ellie and travel to Paradise Falls. A former balloon vendor, Carl lifts his home with hundreds of colorful balloons. Stowing away on the porch is Russell, a plump, plucky kid trying to earn a scouting badge.
Later, man and boy are joined by a golden retriever who can talk with his collar, and a huge, colorful bird. Dug the dog is priceless: spot-on for every dog that ever lived, including his obsession with squirrels. Through a series of close calls and adventures, the quartet vanquishes a villain and saves the day. And Russell earns his scouting badge.
In the process, Carl learns to let go of his mourning for Ellie, and live life again. When this happens, a magical thing happens. Before, Carl's craggy face is gray and monochromatic. At the moment of his transformation, Carl's face is awash in color, and he is surrounded by beautiful hues. It reminded me of The Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy steps out of her gray world and into a candy-colored Munchkinland. Carl, too, enters a whole new world.
Up is an emotional movie, full of truth. It's one of the year's best films. Score another triumph for Pixar.
-- By Julie Neal, author of The Complete Walt Disney World 2010.
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Showing 1-10 of 21 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 12, 2009 3:40:51 PM PDT
Tante Maren says:
WONDERFUL Review! After reading your input, I can't wait to buy this dvd for the family to see! Thank you!
Posted on Jul 22, 2009 6:27:07 AM PDT
Charles Allen says:
Great review! I want to see this movie even more now. My daughter (7) has been wanting to see it for a while (among quite a few others) but it was never really high on her "to see" list. Now I think I'll have to move it up on that list myself.
Posted on Aug 12, 2009 11:23:32 PM PDT
Mr. P says:
Posted on Aug 20, 2009 9:37:51 AM PDT
Really terrific review! Thanks...
Posted on Aug 25, 2009 3:28:55 PM PDT
Lady Fracas says:
Wow! No need to read any other reviews! Yours is EXCELLENT and expresses everything I experienced when watching the movie! I can't wait 'til the DVD with commentary comes out!
Posted on Aug 27, 2009 1:24:48 PM PDT
Nathan Webel says:
How is the transfer presented on this disc? Is there combing or edge enhancement? What about excessive DNR?
Posted on Sep 2, 2009 7:38:41 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 2, 2009 7:40:13 AM PDT
Mark Blackburn says:
Fine review . . . deservedly in the "spotlight" (with other, excellent reviews by Julie Neal). Not for the first time, you had me hooked at the opening words,
"Here's a movie for dog lovers, the elderly, children of divorce, FOBs (Friends of Birds), former Boy Scouts, people yearning for adventure, and anyone who has ever loved... and lost. Up is for everyone. It made me laugh out loud, and it made me cry."
Been trying to leave you "helpful" votes -- hope they show up! Oh yes, and congrats for rocketing up to "Top 20s" New Reviewer status -- among the 5.89 million (correct) of us ordinary souls pouring our hearts out at the world's biggest website.
Mark B of the (soon-to-be-frozen-again) North
Posted on Sep 4, 2009 7:00:58 PM PDT
Thorough and spot-on, you capture all that this film offers. It is most certainly going to be a classic, one to be shared with every generation as the messages are timeless, positive and uplifting. I loved the music as well, mostly composed and performed by Michael Giacchino and available in MP3. Disney-Pixar apparently chose not to release a CD soundtrack but luckily the music can still be found here on Amazon.
Posted on Sep 29, 2009 10:58:08 PM PDT
Jesse Z. says:
Wow, I have absolutely no desire to see this movie now. This review seems to have revealed every single little bit of plot that could have possibly been put into the movie. Unlike what decent people do, there is no spoiler alert or any kind of warning sign that says "If you have not watched the movie yet, do not read. Otherwise it will ruin it for you." I will remember to ignore all further reviews by you if I have not had the chance to watch it in theaters. Thanks for ruining my day.
Posted on Oct 19, 2009 7:14:11 AM PDT
A. Deal Finder says:
Thanks for the review. I am a bit concerned about the comparison to Wall-E. I absolutely LOVE Pixar films but Wall-E was the biggest disappointment, which is why it scares me that you compare this emotionally to Wall-E. Now I'm beginning to wonder how I am going to react to the movie UP and hopefully they handled it in a much different manner from Wall-E.