Annabel's House of Books

Noli domo egredi, nisi librum habes – Never leave home without a book.

Up, up and away…

I missed Up when it was in the multiplexes – a friend of my daughter’s had a movie party to see it, so I didn’t get to take her to that one. I couldn’t wait to watch it when the DVD arrived, so on this dull half-term afternoon we snuggled up on the sofa and pressed PLAY.

Yet again, Pixar has got it absolutely right. This is a true family film that works on all levels and I adored it, despite it making me well up within the first few minutes!

It starts by telling the story of how Carl met Ellie, and their life-story together into old age until Ellie dies (this was where I first needed a tissue). Now Carl lives alone in the old house and the city builders want him out – his is the last house left on the block. Then one day Russell, a Wilderness Scout, knocks on the door wanting to earn his last badge – helping the elderly. Carl packs him off on a ruse, then gets into trouble with the builders, and instead of being carted off to the retirement village, he ties thousands of helium balloons to his house and floats away – little does he know that Russell has come back. Anyway they float off together to South America, to Paradise Falls, which was somewhere that Carl and Ellie had longed to go to together, and they have a big adventure involving big birds and talking dogs, plus encountering Carl’s boyhood hero the explorer Charles Muntz who has turned bad.

There is joy, sadness, humour, danger, excitement, heroism, happiness, redemption, not forgetting love – a full range of emotions are experienced in this lovely film. The animation is fabulous, the little details and in-jokes are as always brilliant; and again there is an environmental message in the film. The reflective moments are particularly good. I couldn’t imagine anyone other than Ed Asner voicing Carl – he does grumpy old man perfectly; and Christopher Plummer as the mad explorer was clipped and nasty too. But key to it all is the story, and the partnerships between Carl and Ellie, and then Carl and Russell – as the young scout is the child they never had.

This may be Pixar’s best yet … I defy anyone to not enjoy this film – adults will love the sentimental touches (which are light and not overdone); children will love Dug the dog and the big bird, and everyone will wish they could fly away on balloons for an adventure.

20 Comments

  1. Oh this sounds beautiful! My flatmate watched it at the cinema when it came out and at the age of 23, it was the first time she’d ever cried at a film, so I know it must be good because of that, but the synopsis you’ve given has made me want to watch it even more!

    • gaskella

      February 16, 2010 at 10:32 am

      I must admit, it doesn’t take much to make me cry watching a film, but this one was lovely and up-lifting. I think it will be my favourite Pixar film so far, surpassing Monsters Inc which was my previous no 1.

  2. Oh this sounds beautiful! My flatmate watched it at the cinema when it came out and at the age of 23, it was the first time she’d ever cried at a film, so I know it must be good because of that, but the synopsis you’ve given has made me want to watch it even more!

    • I must admit, it doesn’t take much to make me cry watching a film, but this one was lovely and up-lifting. I think it will be my favourite Pixar film so far, surpassing Monsters Inc which was my previous no 1.

  3. This was definitely one of my favourite movies of 2009! My husband (then fiancé!) and I went to see it in the theater, and I bawled during the beginning, and then at the end, and then all the way home in the car. But in a good way! We’ve since purchased it on DVD, but all those memories of crying have prevented me from watching it again… but I will soon. It’s just so good!

    (But Monsters Inc may still be my favourite Pixar film…)

    • Steph – I didn’t want people to think it was a weepie, but I did tear up again later – but in a good way too. Mind you I always do… We share good taste in Pixar films though! Monsters Inc is so cool and original.

  4. This was definitely one of my favourite movies of 2009! My husband (then fiancé!) and I went to see it in the theater, and I bawled during the beginning, and then at the end, and then all the way home in the car. But in a good way! We’ve since purchased it on DVD, but all those memories of crying have prevented me from watching it again… but I will soon. It’s just so good!

    (But Monsters Inc may still be my favourite Pixar film…)

    • Steph – I didn’t want people to think it was a weepie, but I did tear up again later – but in a good way too. Mind you I always do… We share good taste in Pixar films though! Monsters Inc is so cool and original.

  5. I cry every time I watch this film! I was such a mess at that part where Carl’s sitting in the house looking at the adventure book. When I saw it in the theatre, as we were leaving, this old woman was saying in a really cranky voice to her husband, “I’d had enough of that Ellie.” I believe this old lady must have been MADE OF STONE.

    • gaskella

      February 16, 2010 at 7:52 pm

      That was a lovely scene. You’ll get me started…

      Let me just reassure any guys out there – this film does have plenty of action and nasty dogs too.

  6. I cry every time I watch this film! I was such a mess at that part where Carl’s sitting in the house looking at the adventure book. When I saw it in the theatre, as we were leaving, this old woman was saying in a really cranky voice to her husband, “I’d had enough of that Ellie.” I believe this old lady must have been MADE OF STONE.

    • That was a lovely scene. You’ll get me started…

      Let me just reassure any guys out there – this film does have plenty of action and nasty dogs too.

  7. I just watched Up for the first time the other night and just melted. Such a lovely film. It’s also funny too – loved the Doberman’s malfunctioning voice. I think I laughed every time he spoke – it didn’t get old.

    Also, count me in as another person with Monster’s Inc as my favorite Pixar (tied with Toy Story 2 actually), but now I’m thinking that Up will either tie or unseat these previous favorites.

  8. I just watched Up for the first time the other night and just melted. Such a lovely film. It’s also funny too – loved the Doberman’s malfunctioning voice. I think I laughed every time he spoke – it didn’t get old.

    Also, count me in as another person with Monster’s Inc as my favorite Pixar (tied with Toy Story 2 actually), but now I’m thinking that Up will either tie or unseat these previous favorites.

  9. Watched this on Blue-ray HD last night. Very
    good indeed, Thought the last scene where Carl discovers that Ellie had already had her big adventure and then when he was sitting on the step with the Boy Scout watching the cars go by were great.

  10. Watched this on Blue-ray HD last night. Very
    good indeed, Thought the last scene where Carl discovers that Ellie had already had her big adventure and then when he was sitting on the step with the Boy Scout watching the cars go by were great.

  11. I really *must* see this. My Other Half watched it on the plane to Oz (I watched “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” instead) and he is still raving about it 6 weeks later!

  12. I really *must* see this. My Other Half watched it on the plane to Oz (I watched “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” instead) and he is still raving about it 6 weeks later!

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