As a boy, Carl Fredricksen wanted to explore South America and find the forbidden Paradise Falls. About 64 years later he gets to begin his journey along with Boy Scout Russell by lifting his house with thousands of balloons. On their journey, they make many new friends including a talking dog, and figure out that someone has evil plans. Carl soon realizes that this evildoer is his childhood idol.
Carl's summons notice has the number 94070 - the ZIP Code of San Carlos, where producer Bradford Lewis was once the mayor. See more »
The construction foreman and his two associates are all wearing sunglasses in court, something a real judge would not allow. See more »
Movietown News presents, "Spotlight on Adventure." What you are now witnessing is footage never before seen by civilized humanity: a lost world in South America. Lurking in the shadow of majestic Paradise Falls, it sports plants and animals undiscovered by science. Who would dare set foot on this inhospitable summit? Why, our subject today, Charles Muntz!
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The photographs of characters shown during the end credits thematically match the crew members' positions, as do the "Wilderness Explorer" badges that also appear. See more »
UP, Pixar's latest animated feature, is just delightful. But how do you go about extolling the movie's virtues without giving away its surprises? Like the kid at the beginning of the movie, you don't try to conquer the immovable force; you work around it.
The one clue I can give away – because it's the movie's heavily hyped premise – is that Carl Fredrickson, a gruffy old widower (voiced with gruffy old charm by Ed Asner), miraculously inflates enough balloons to use his house as an aircraft. Soon, he finds himself reluctantly sharing his ride with a short-attention-spanned kid named Russell.
I'll also mention a couple of other items that can gauge your potential interest in the movie. One is a gag that is a take-off on a famous painting – perhaps too inside of an inside joke, but typical of Pixar's cheery attempts to appeal to viewers of all ages.
Also, part of the plot involves Carl's long-held wish to meet a Lindbergh-type adventurer named Charles Muntz (Christopher Plummer!). This is another in-joke that's even vaguer than the first one. Cartoon historians know that Walt Disney started in the cartoon biz by creating Oswald the Rabbit for producer Charles Mintz, who then greedily stole the rights to Disney's creation. This gives you a pretty good idea where the ostensible hero Muntz stands in the scheme of things.
Beyond that, I can only offer you some enticing clues about the characters. There's a dog who's the leader of his pack and in menacing beyond measure, until he opens his mouth and gets one of the movie's biggest laughs. There's a huge, awkward bird that is a big laugh-getter at first. Then she becomes a real enough character that – at least in the audience I was in – when she's injured, she elicits screams of fright worthy of Bambi's late mother.
There's surprising, heartfelt emotion, vivid imagery (you can almost touch the landscapes and skies), and a music score by Michael Giacchino that's practically a character in the movie – particularly in a thoughtful montage that takes Carl from childhood to widowhood.
There aren't many (or at least not enough) live-action movies that are engrossing as this cartoon. Pixar Studios has gotten to be one of those movie icons that shouldn't even have to deliver a premise to get funded anymore. The moneymen should just shut up, hand over the money, and trust they'll get a product that will appeal to everyone.
UP is only the second Pixar feature to get a PG rating, only for mildly intense imagery and action – nothing off-color in the least. Again, if you can handle "Bambi," this film should be a breeze.
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