Monday, May 21, 2012

PIXAR Animation Studios: Part 10: Up

Series Intro: In my purposeful retrospective of WDAS I couldn’t ignore it’s younger sister: PIXAR. This is Part 10 in the retrospective of PIXAR

Official Title: Up
Release: May 29, 2009
Running Time: 96 minutes
Estimated Cost: $175 million
Estimated Revenue: $731.34 million
Overall Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Plot Summary:
A young boy, Carl, falls in love with a young girl. We watch a montage of them growing up, getting married, growing old and the girl (Ellie) dies, never getting to Venezuela – her life long dream. Carl, still living in their honeymoon house, is staying in the house, despite a huge construction project around his house. Then after an incident, Carl is sent to live at a retirement community. He has other plans. A former balloon salesmen, he blows up hundreds of helium balloons and makes his house float away, his ultimate goal is Paradise Falls, Venezuela. To Carl, the house represents Ellie.

Along the way, Carl picks up a Wilderness Explorer, Russell. Russell tries his best to help Carl make it to Paradise Falls. Along the way, they encounter Kevin, a large female bird with a penchant for chocolate, and Dug a dimwitted dog with the ability to talk due to a device around his neck.

Carl and Russell drag the floating house around the jungle surrounding Paradise Falls and meet up with Carl’s childhood hero explorer Charles F. Muntz; owner of Dug and the troop of talking dogs. Muntz turns out to be hunting Kevin and chases Carl, Russell and Dug around the jungle and up onto his blimp. Carl chooses to save Kevin, Russell and Dug and let his house (nee: Ellie) go.

Kevin returns to her children and Carl takes Russell back home (and adopts Dug). Carl and Russell have a lot of fun together, doing all the things Carl and Ellie did together.

The house landed exactly where Ellie had wanted to live.

Plot Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
There are a few plot holes that I’ll talk about below.

Animation Rating: 4 out of 5
The characters looked like they where traditional stop motion characters. They had a wonderful “real” feel. The character designs were refreshing and enjoyable. However, they didn’t quite match their environment. They stood out. There were moments when this was reminiscent of WDAS’ use of CG in hand drawn movies like Treasure Planet or the opening of Tarzan.

The Test of Time:
I’d like to take this moment to note that the events of this movie have Carl and Russell in South America for three days. For the length of this part of the movie, I couldn’t help imagine Russell’s mother back at home. Were there no missing persons’ reports? And when they return, there were no questions asked, Mom was just sitting happily at the merit badge ceremony. Although it had already been established that his dad was not a part of his life, nothing was said about his mom. I just couldn’t get past this point for most of the movie.

As far as its test of time. not much seems to have happened with this movie.

Next Up:
Toy Story 3

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