Movie Reviews

Film Review: “Up”

(Walt Disney Pictures. 1 hour, 36 minutes. Rated PG for some peril and action. Directed by Pete Docter and Bob Peterson.) Featuring the voices of Ed Asner, Christopher Plummer, Jordan Nagai, Bob Peterson and Delroy Lindo. Music by Michael Giacchino.

Up is Pixar’s latest movie. Pixar. Do I really need to tell you anything past that? Regardless, here we go. Carl Frederickson (Asner), in lieu of being incarcerated in a nursing home, ties thousands of balloons to his house and flies it to South America in an attempt to fulfill the dream of his recently deceased wife. Once airborne, Carl finds a stowaway in young Russell, a Woodland Explorer trying to earn his “assisting the elderly” badge, and the two embark on a wondrous adventure.

This movie is fantastic, from the heartfelt and layered story and wonderful voice acting to the funny, endearing characters and beautiful artwork. The first fifteen minutes alone are worth the price of admission. A dialogue-less montage details the life of the Fredericksons, from their young love, their marriage, the happy years in their new house, the problems they’ve faced and ending with the tragic death of Carl’s wife. It’s a definite highlight and one of the more poignant romances I’ve seen in recent memory, especially from an animated film. It also heavily informs Carl’s character and makes him a believable, if not completely sympathetic curmudgeon. His eventual friendship with Russell, though expected, is hard-earned and very rewarding.

The film confronts some pretty heavy themes, and they affect the characters in very real, very human ways, a notion that keeps Pixar’s creations head-and-shoulders above its competition. “Miyazaki-esque” might be an applicable term. Also of note, I attended a 3-D screening of this film, but frankly, I could take or leave that element. It isn’t used in any gimmicky way, but anything it added to the experience is overshadowed by the movie itself. It may not be Pixar’s absolute best, but it’s definitely up there.


Jared Counts

Digital Technology Manager

Jared Counts moved to Houston in 1995, survived high school and college, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Houston with a degree in Communications (Media Production) and a minor in Film Studies. After being hired part-time at KUHF Radio in early 2003, he proceeded to bounce between...

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