Up (Pete Docter, 2009)

Reviewed by Jacqueline Gomez at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2010.

The film “Up”, directed by Pete Docter and co-directed by Bob Peterson, is the story of Carl Fredricksen.  The film opens to a very young Carl meeting an adventurous young girl named Ellie.  Carl is a very shy little boy, but Ellie is the complete opposite.  She is adventurous, and everything but shy.  Underneath Carl’s shyness, he too is adventurous.   Ellie and Carl both want to be explorers, and indeed share the same role model, Charles Muntz.  The two of these friends eventually get married, and grow old together.  Their life long dream was to move to Paradise Falls, and live their life as explorers.  Unfortunately, Ellie passes away before their dreams of moving to Paradise Falls becomes a reality.  Due to Carl’s neighborhood being commercialized by hip and upcoming  businesses, Carl is forced to move out of his house.  Tired of being lonely, and feeling the pressures of having to move, Carl decides to live his and Ellis’ dream of moving to Paradise Falls.  He does not travel in the most conventional way though, he uses tons of balloons and attaches them to his house and flies to Paradise Falls.  Carl does not travel alone though, he meets many fun and interesting characters on the way.

The voices that were lent to this film fit perfectly.  Edward Asner, who plays Carl Fredricksen, is able to portray the emotions of happiness, grumpiness, and sadness with brilliance.  Jordan Nagai, who plays Russell makes this film.  His comedic timing is very on-point.  You can’t help but think to your self how cute Russell is and Jordan Nagai’s talent shines through in this role.

The screenplay, written by Bob Peterson who did the screenplay for “Finding Nemo”, and also written by Pete Docter who wrote the screenplay for “Ratatouille” did follow a three act structure.  It started when Carl was young, showed him grow into an old man, and then he did reach the goal of getting to Paradise Falls.
Overall, this film is not your typical animated feature.  Every age group would enjoy this film.  I am very happy to hear this is film is nominated for an Oscar Award, because it definitely deserves to win.

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