Up (U)



Family (2009)
101mins US

Starring: Edward Asner, Jordan Nagai, Christopher Plummer, John Ratzenberger, Paul Eiding
Director: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson
Writer(s): Bob Peterson
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

Animated comedy from Pixar about a grouchy old man who uses helium balloons to turn his house into a flying machine. Finally able to fulfil his lifelong dream of exploring a legendary lost country in South America, he discovers he has an unwanted travelling companion on his adventure in the shape of an eight-year-old boy scout.

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LondonNet Film Review
Up

"The latest computer-animated masterpiece from the wizards at Pixar (WALL-E, Ratatouille) is an airborne adventure in the company of a cranky 78-year-old man and an excitable eight-year-old boy. Parents would be well-advised to pack a family-sized box of handkerchiefs...

Up. ©Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved. By turns hysterical and heartbreaking, this rumbustious romp is guaranteed to have even the hardiest and most cynical soul choking back tears long after the lights go up. Even more exciting, Up is the first film from the Disney-owned studio to screen in Digital 3D at selected cinemas, promising eye-popping thrills and spills to keep younger viewers whooping with glee. As with other Pixar releases, there's a hilarious short to whet the appetite. Here we are treated to Partly Cloudy, featuring a lonely, grey cloud called Gus who has problems sculpting baby animals for the storks to deliver. The opening 10 minutes of Up are among the finest Pixar has ever crafted, introducing widower Carl Fredricksen (voiced by Ed Asner) via a montage of his childhood years and his subsequent marriage to soulmate Ellie (Elie Docter).

Alone in the world following Ellie's death, retired balloon salesman Carl refuses to be parted from the ramshackle house he built and shared with his late wife. So he ties thousands of brightly-coloured helium balloons to the roof, causing the property to break free of terra firma and take flight, bound for Paradise Falls in South America, where he and Ellie had always planned to visit. Unexpectedly, a Junior Wilderness Explorer called Russell (Jordan Nagai) is stranded on the porch as the house gains altitude, and the plucky tyke nervously joins Carl on his big adventure. The mismatched duo crash-land close to the Falls and encounter a talking dog called Dug (Bob Peterson), a 13-foot-tall, flightless bird called Kevin and long-lost explorer Charles Muntz (Christopher Plummer), who was once Carl's childhood hero."

Up. ©Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved. Up is another modern classic from Pixar and arguably their most sophisticated and adult film to date, although there is plenty to engage children, including Dug and Kevin. The script takes its time building up the relationship between Carl and Russell, which mellows from mutual tolerance into the most extraordinary yet utterly believable friendship. Their banter is delightful, like when the old man snaps, "Hurry up or the tigers will eat you!", and his portly, young travelling companion retorts, "There are no tigers in South America", pointing to the hard-earned zoology badge on his Explorer sash. The visuals are astounding in their vibrancy and minuscule detail, and you soon forget that you are watching something that has been created meticulously on computer hard-drives. The 3D is used to stunning effect, including an exhilarating chase over tumbling pillars of rock involving all of the characters. Directors Pete Docter and Bob Peterson shoot for the moon here, and they sail to breathtaking heights."

- Kim Hu


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