Monday, June 8, 2009
Up is a beautiful movie. It’s full of symbols, well-rounded characters you can connect with, imagination, stunning visuals and more than anything else it is a film that knows what it wants to tell you and how it wants to tell it. There is no wasted space in a pixar film. From start to finish every shot, line and beat is plotted, purposeful and concise in a way that no one else can do simply because it is what their production process dictates. This perfection has led to making Up one of the most beautiful movies I’ve seen this year.
Perhaps what I love best about Up is that it is a movie about fatherhood. Carl Freidrickson is an old man that never got a chance to be a father. He and Ellie tried but couldn’t become parents; once Ellie was gone this left Carl alone in the world until Russell accidently came into his life. Russell is the child that Carl never had. Though Carl is annoyed and aggravated by Russell he slowly comes to develop affection for the boy; this happens in large part because Russell needs a father. As Russell talks incessantly to Carl he begins to reveal that his parents are divorced, and he rarely sees or talks to his father – this has lead Russell to Carl’s doorstep, literally. Russell joined the Wildreness Scouts because it’s something fathers are supposed to do with their sons. When that doesn’t work to get his father’s attention he earns every badge in existence, because the fathers are supposed to come to the ceremony to pin them on, and when that doesn’t work he goes after the final badge which will lead him to his promotion and Carl – the helping the elderly badge. As their adventures wind to a close Carl realizes that Russell needs him as much as he needs Russell and the actualization of this is beautiful.
I am not a crier at movies. However, Up had me very close to crying. I dare you to not be emotionally affected by the montage of Carl’s life with Ellie, or the ending sequence between Russell and Carl. Also, Dug the dog cannot be missed.
Directors & Writers: Pete Doctor & Bob Peterson
Carl Fredricksen: Ed Asner
Charles Muntz: Christopher Plummer
Russell: Jordan Nagai
Dug: Bob Peterson
Beta: Delroy Lindo
Carl Fredricksen: This is crazy. I finally meet my childhood hero and he's trying to kill us. What a joke.
Dug: Hey, I know a joke! A squirrel walks up to a tree and says, "I forgot to gather acorns for the winter and now I am dead." Ha ha! It's funny because the squirrel gets dead.