Up is exactly the type of movie that viewers should expect from Pixar Studios by now. Beautiful CG animation, a whimsical story line that is directed at both adults and children, and humor that is chuckle-worthy but hardly ever belly laugh inducing. If you liked previous Pixar movies, you will undoubtedly enjoy Up. If you have grown tired of the trend pioneered by Toy Story and Shrek, Up will not be the movie that changes your mind.
The story is centered on crotchety 78-year-old Carl Fredericksen (Ed Asner). We are first introduced to Carl as a quiet child daydreaming of becoming an explorer like his idol Charles Muntz (Christopher Plummer). While out searching for adventure one day, he comes across Ellie (Elie Docter), an extravert who helps pull Carl out of his shell. Later in life, the two marry and make plans to retire to Paradise Falls. But they never make it as a couple. After Ellie’s passing, Carl decides that he is going to spend his golden years living his and Ellie’s dream. After being ordered to move into a retirement home, Carl floats his home in the direction of Paradise Falls propelled by a bundle of helium balloons.
Unsurprisingly, the humor in Up is good-natured. Most of the laughs come from Carl’s curmudgeonly personality and his unsuccessful attempts to ditch the assortment of characters that he meets during his voyage. He sends Russell (Jordan Nagai), the young, pudgy wilderness scout trying to earn his elderly assistance merit badge, on a snipe hunt. He attempts to ditch Doug, a dog with a collar that enables him to speak, by yelling squirrel. But by the end of the film, Carl realizes that Ellie would not want him to be alone and miserable and accepts Doug and Russell as his new family.
Does Up sound like a sweet movie to watch with the kids? By all means, rent it. Are you sick to death of Pixar’s saccharine sentimentality? Well, you know to avoid it. At this point, Pixar has realized that they do not need to reinvent the wheel. The studio will still receive the Oscar for Best Animated Film and gross well into the high 200 hundred million dollar box office mark.