For what seemed like a long time ago I watched what was to be the greatest film of 2009. Unfortunately I could not share with anyone this revelation as the release (for the UK) was delayed from May to October and the only reason I saw the film was due to an unexpected visit to our American brethren. The simple fact is Pixar
’s latest release (Up
) is nothing short of pure entertainment brilliance.
By tying thousands of balloons to his home, 78-year-old Carl Fredricksen sets out to fulfil his lifelong dream to see the wilds of South America. Right after lifting off, however, he learns he isn't alone on his journey, since Russell, a wilderness explorer 70 years his junior, has inadvertently become a stowaway on the trip.
I am angry at Pixar and it is not for the reason you may think! Up was released in May of this year to a highly anticipated crowd. We British however sat quietly in the queue (as usual); politely hoping that the distribution network would hurry the hell up already. We waited and waited and whilst the world saw countless positive reviews of their amazing new film we continued to wait. As the summer has progressed into a meaningless string of letdowns after letdowns (such as Inglourious Basterds and Jennifer’s Body) and the odd surprising film (Bandslam) we have subsequently forgotten all about the gem that was Up.
I can only imagine that Up (in the UK) will not receive anywhere near the revenue it deserves at the Box Office due to a badly timed released. An autumn semester release is what you’d expect for the latest in the Saw series or another quite awful “parody” film. It is not the time of year to release the 2009 Disney
/ Pixar collaboration.
You may be wondering why I am spending half of this review moaning about release dates and the answer is simple. It is because if you were even slightly interested in Up then you would have read other reviews by now and probably have gone to see it. In fact I imagine for the greatly impatient amongst us, they would have considered downloading the film. This is a great shame as Up needs to be appreciated in the cinema (much like Wall-e). However if given the option to watch it in 3D or 2D, I would opt for two dimensions as 3D doesn’t add anything to the film.
Beginning in a way that you’d think would alienate half of the audience, Up manages to reduce us all to tears within the first 8 minutes. In fact if you are unsure if your partner is actually that emotionless, I suggest you take them to see this film and if they are not welling up in the allotted 8 minutes then they really are much more likely to be an emotionless deviant. If you have a heart (and even an ounce of empathy) then it will be broken in support of the main character Carl (aptly played by Edward Asner
Accompanying vocals are provided by Christopher Plummer
(making a welcome high profile comeback in recent years) Jordan Nagai as the ever-annoying but still amusing Russell and not forgetting Bob Peterson
as the unforgettable Dug. Each of these voices are perfectly cast and contribute to the fine-tuned perfection that we all expect from Pixar.
From the heartfelt beginnings to the absolutely hilarious scenes with a talking dog named Dug and the bad guy with his Smurf-sounding lead Doberman, Up takes you on a ride worth travelling.
I’ll be honest and admit to not expecting much from Up. The teaser trailer
was a little vague and the fact that they had a boy scout and old man as main characters did nothing to sell the film. Perhaps it was because Pixar has consistently churned out memorable, profitable and highly entertaining films from their first to their most recent. There is not one bad apple of the bunch. I was expecting a lull in their output and was pleasantly proved wrong. Up is a triumph. If you have not watched it and have no intention of doing so then I feel sorry for you... I really do.
Who would have thought that Pixar’s tenth film was to be better than all of its quite brilliant predecessors? How far can Pixar raise the bar? Why haven’t you gone to see this yet? Take the children, yourself, your neighbour and even your worst enemy to Up and if you are not all crying within the first 8 minutes and laughing uncontrollably at the squirrel-obsessed dogs then you have no right to call yourself human.
Up is a truly emotional ride which will entertain children and the elderly alike (along with the other 80% of the population. Go and see it!
Rating: 5 out of 5