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From the revolutionary minds of Pixar Animation Studios and the acclaimed director of MONSTERS, INC. comes a hilariously uplifting adventure where the sky is no longer the limit. Carl Fredricksen, a retired balloon salesman, is part rascal, part dreamer who is ready for his last chance at high-flying excitement. Tying thousands of balloons to his house, Carl sets off to the lost world of his childhood dreams. Unbeknownst to Carl, Russell, an overeager 8-year-old Wilderness Explorer who has never ventured beyond his backyard, is in the wrong place at the wrong time -- Carl's front porch! The world's most unlikely duo reach new heights and meet fantastic friends like Dug, a dog with a special collar that allows him to speak, and Kevin, a rare 13-foot tall flightless bird. Stuck together in the wilds of the jungle, Carl realizes that sometimes life's biggest adventures aren't the ones you set out looking for. Including the hilarious short film "Dug's Special Mission," UP reaches new heights on Blu-ray(TM) and DVD. "You will want to see it again and again," raves Christopher Kelly of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. It's adventure that will send your spirits soaring!
At a time when too many animated films consist of anthropomorphized animals cracking sitcom one-liners and flatulence jokes, the warmth, originality, humor, and unflagging imagination of Up feel as welcome as rain in a desert. Carl Fredericksen (voice by Ed Asner) ranks among the most unlikely heroes in recent animation history. A 78- year-old curmudgeon, he enjoyed his modest life as a balloon seller because he shared it with his adventurous wife Ellie (Ellie Docter). But she died, leaving him with memories and the awareness that they never made their dream journey to Paradise Falls in South America. When well-meaning officials consign Carl to Shady Oaks Retirement Home, he rigs thousands of helium balloons to his house and floats to South America. The journey's scarcely begun when he discovers a stowaway: Russell (Jordan Nagai), a chubby, maladroit Wilderness Explorer Scout who's out to earn his Elderly Assistance Badge. In the tropical jungle, Carl and Russell find more than they bargained for: Charles Muntz (Christopher Plummer), a crazed explorer whose newsreels once inspired Carl and Ellie; Kevin, an exotic bird with a weakness for chocolate; and Dug (Bob Peterson), an endearingly dim golden retriever fitted with a voice box. More importantly, the travelers discover they need each other: Russell needs a (grand)father figure; Carl needs someone to enliven his life without Ellie. Together, they learn that sharing ice-cream cones and counting the passing cars can be more meaningful than feats of daring-do and distant horizons. Pete Docter (Monsters, Inc. ) and Bob Peterson direct the film with consummate skill and taste, allowing the poignant moments to unfold without dialogue to Michael Giacchnio's vibrant score. Building on their work in The Incredibles and Ratatouille, the Pixar crew offers nuanced animation of the stylized characters. Even by Pixar's elevated standards, Up is an exceptional film that will appeal of audiences of all ages. Rated PG for some peril and action. --Charles Solomon
Stills from Up (Click for larger image)
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- Dug’s Special Mission: An all new film original short that follows the misadventures of Dug as he attempts to complete his “special mission”.
- Partly Cloudy: The hilarious short film that preceded screenings of UP. In it, a fanciful world where cherubic clouds jovially create the earth’s cuddly animal newborns, one depressed cloud must find the silver lining in his assignment: fashioning the less-loved critters like crocodiles and porcupines.
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This is one of the most enjoyable movies you could ever watch. It has so much heart and soul, it just reaches out and grabs your inner kid. This is right up there with the Incredibles, Brave, and Toy Story 3, if not better.
It really doesn't get much better than this movie. Also, my little girl who is 2 loves to watch this. Obviously, she doesn't get the same experience as me, but this movie really is for all ages. While you're likely to appreciate this for different reasons than me, you should watch it if you haven't.
TITLE: Up (2009) • PG • 1:36:08
Edward Asner, Jordan Nagai, Delroy Lindo, John Ratzenberger
Pete Docter, Bob Peterson (Directors)
With this movie, Pixar offers up a RESOUNDING rebuttal to all of those close-minded, misguided souls who insist that "cartoons" are ONLY for children. Case in point: the montage very early in the film that shows many of the major events in Carl's life is some the most emotionally moving film-making — in ANY medium (using either "real" people or animated characters) — that you will EVER see! And, that doesn't even include the action, adventure and humor that follows! Though it is ONLY a "cartoon", this movie is an amazingly touching, and sweet, rumination on the joys and sadness of relationships — and, by extension, life. So, the lesson here is: just because the kids like it, does NOT mean that it has nothing to offer us poor, jaded adults. Buy it today, and watch it with your kids — heck, buy it today, and watch it EVEN if you don't have any kids. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
See the other reviews for more detail and/or other opinions regarding the plot of the movie.
VIDEO: 1.78:1 • Color • 1080p • MPEG-4 AVC (29.7 Mbps)
This movie's image, while featuring vivid well-saturated colors, and sharply rendered, finely-detailed objects, has — in quite a few scenes — some slight banding on large areas of the same (or nearly the same) color. Aside from that, it also has very good, to frequently excellent, contrast; and, it has very good shadow detail (as seen in the many dark and shadowy areas, such as the night scenes, and the dark scenes located in Carl's house). Also, fine detail is frequently evident in the brighter scenes (such as those in the jungle settings), and in the many close-ups of the "rare" bird and of Charles Muntz's dogs. Lastly, there are no obvious artifacts such as specks, white dots, hair-lines or color fluctuations (obviously, because this is a CGI-based, animated movie). Overall, this movie's presentation on blu-ray has very good picture quality; and, it should satisfy the vast majority of viewers.
AUDIO: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48 KHz, 24-bit)
The sound quality of the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack for this disc, was pretty good (not great, but still pretty good) — while, it is NOT amongst the very best examples of the art, it is still better than many of the audio presentations out there. The film's dialog is clear and well placed, and the rear and side channels (I used the Dolby PLIIx mode on my processor while listening) are sometimes active and fairly directional; with clear, well recorded, sound cues and (on, all too rare, occasion) a decent amount of bass. Overall, the audio for this movie is a pleasing affair, that should satisfy all but the pickiest of listeners.
EXTRAS: Director's commentary
Several Short Films
Several 'Making Of' videos
Global Guardian Badge Game
None of the extras were reviewed.
The storyline is quite unorthodox. It starts with the happily ever after! The montage depicting Carl and Ellie's happy married years is absolutely astounding. Ironically, given the film's title, it's very down to earth. It's some of the most masterful and touching motion picture work I've ever witnessed - animated or live action.
The adventure segment kicks in at the absolute least likely of junctures: the morning a cantankerous old Carl is scheduled to get trucked off to assisted living. The premise - rigging his house with thousands of balloons to turn it into an airship - is comically absurd. Perfect for an animated fantasy.
I'm not much for dogs in real life but here they really cracked me up. (Especially all the "Dogs Playing Poker" references...) The golden retriever Dug is easily the most funny and least annoying of all comic relief sidekicks.
Overall, this is one of the most brilliant and original things I've ever seen.