It’s never too late to take on the adventure of a lifetime and what an adventure recent widower Carl Fredrickson has in Pixar’s latest offering UP, a film which expertly mixes sentimentality, ever-lasting love, action, and of course plenty of laughs.
UP, written and directed by Pete Docter (Monsters, Inc ) and Bob Peterson, has a much more grown-up feel to it, especially in the opening scenes.
The film begins in the 1930s with the young Carl Fredrickson eagerly watching a newsreel showing the latest exploits of his hero Charles Muntz (Christopher Plummer ), who uses a giant airship to explore exotic lands and discover rare creatures. However, Muntz’s discoveries are discredited and he disappears with the promise of some day clearing his name.
Fredrickson soon meets fellow adventurer wannabe Ellie. There are tender scenes showing their first kiss, marriage, renovating their house, and the promise to one day make their dream of some day travelling to Paradise Falls in South America a reality. Suddenly old age has crept up on them, and then they are forever parted.
The film then cuts to the present day where grumpy 78-year-old balloon vender Fredrickson (Edward Asner ) desperately tries to save his home from greedy developers. He hits a construction worker, and threatened with the prospect of being put in a retirement home he decides to keep his promise to Ellie. Thousands of balloons expload out of the chimney launching the house into the air. Fredrickson is free and feeling happy until he finds he has a stow-away, an eight-year-old boy scout named Russell (Jordan Nagai ).
The two soon turn out to be the worst travel team ever and crash land into a mysterious jungle. Determined to get to Paradise Falls, this unlikely duo, tethered to the floating house the entire time, embark on an adventure where they encounter a rare bird nicknamed Kevin, hilarious talking dogs, and an unexpected face from the past. One dog in particular, a rather intellectually challenged but fiercely loyal labrador, tags along and is a scene stealer at times. There are some spectular scenes including a Zeppelin chase and where Russell, hanging from the house’s water hose, is dragged squeekily along the glass of the enemy’s giant air balloon.
This is definitely a enjoyable film which will appeal to all.