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UP talkback

Pixar’s UP opens today. I gave you my opinion last week – what is yours?

Please comment below only if you’ve seen the film.

  • The Movie simply blew me away. I’ve never had my heart strings played like a symphony the way this movie did. And everything, The design, direction, story, music, color and animation were splendid!

  • Vixie

    I just came back from seeing this in 3D and can sum it up in 2 words-Pixar’s Best. I love the Pixar films, and have yet to be disappointed, and I haven’t been this excited about one of their movies since the original Toy Story. It’s funny, fast paced, and the most mature film Pixar has yet produced. I don’t want to give anything away, but I feel they have reached a new level of maturity with this one, and elevated this movie above the rest. A must see, I want to see it again just to see what I missed the first time around.

  • Saturnome

    I’m a bit decieved by Partly Cloudy. Very great looking, but storywise kinda generic. Cute, not too funny. I guess the expectations were high after Presto! But I must say I liked the idea and the partnership of the two characters.

  • Ange

    UP! was amazing! It was enchanting and heart warming <3

  • Sutton

    Amazing. A very touching film. I’m gonna send everyone I can to see it.

  • Hector

    I loved every frame of this movie. At one point during the film, I heard people sobbing out-loud and looked around the theater and people(grown men) were wiping away tears from there eyes. It’s a very touching film and Pixar’s best movie so far in my book.

  • Brannigan’s Law

    Pete Doctor’s early short, Next Door, was a foreshadowing on the dynamic of the characters and their designs in Up. Old grumpy man is square and slow and the young bubbly child is bouncy and organic. Very entertaining… also go See Drag Me to Hell for a super fun ride!

  • Naveen Shetty

    gosh. u guys get me all jealous.
    any ideas when does it release in India??? can’t wait to see this.

  • Saturnome

    I’ve been thinking about it the whole day (okay, I was doing lot of stuff while thinking), and I can’t decide about Up. As much as I like the beginning (because it is usual for animation and really well made – love the first static shots of lonely Carl), and that the scenery is always pretty (those lights!), I couldn’t help but think how much the middle and final part felt… weird.
    Yeah, so, what’s the explanation behind those talking dogs? with airplanes? What’s their point? Oh, I can see the narrative structure point: they’re the menace the antagonist can’t be. And how old is that guy anyway, if Carl is 78? 100 years old at least! All these things, they’re a bit weird because the begining is more humble. We can accept this beautiful flying house. The bird, sure! The dogs went too far.
    Despite this, the climax of the film felt like a Ghibli film. Films like Castle in the Sky, Nausicaa… It had a great fantasy feeling. Up mix a lot of styles I think. Oooh I can’t decide.

  • I’ve actually never heard alot of sobbing when I saw it. I didn’t, but I was nearing there.

    It’s ranking as one of Pixar’s absolute best in my book as of now. It’s adventurous, dazzling to look at, funny, and it’s also really emotional.

  • come on. definitely not pixar’s best. it had some grand operatic and Classical themes, like grief, loss and disappointment in one’s idol, but brad bird or stanton could have milked those scenes for more, and frankly, already have in the past. giaccino’s score was not as inspired as his others, but still very appropriate, and tried it’s best to glue together a pretty disorganized and strangely paced movie. god bless coraline for being an animated film that pacing-wise, was secure enough with itself to plod along at some points, without break-neck excitement at every turn. the incredibles jumped between island and suburbia and metropolis, and yet had a strong enough plot and pacing so as not to get lost with frankly quite pedestrian and distracting gags, like up did. some hit the spot, like dog toys on the biplanes, but still felt inappropriate in a scene that was meant to be threatening and tense. a terse reaffirmation of pixar’s core Lasseter values, but docter is no miyazaki, who always shot for deeply embedded subtext, not broad, sweeping Romantic metaphor.

  • Trevor

    I absolutely loved it. I did not see it in 3D because I agreed with the post earlier this week about how the tinted glasses might destroy some of the excellent color work. To those that didn’t like the dogs? I loved Dug, but hated the design and voices of the other dogs. They really did not mesh with the rest of the film.

    It really struck me how fast I could go from on the brink of tears to grinning like a child.


    I think it’s their best film to date. It has everything- comedy, romance and adventure.
    Long live Carl Fredricksen!

    And PIXAR!!

  • Mike

    This movie really touched me and my wife. We have both lost a parent in the last year and there were scenes in this movie that I felt were speaking directly to me- and she said the same thing. I have never seen a Pixar movie that I did not really really like or even love. But this one really transcended all others for me personally. It was the kind of movie that proves the superiority of animation for speaking to the heart. It is at times both heartbreaking and renewing without ever feeling manipulative. My wife is not an animation fan like I am, but she came away with her new favorite movie. Me too. Great job Pixar and thank you for making UP.
    Plus it had a lot of really great humor, and great action. (Even if you do not like 3-D, this movie was a great choice for 3-D. The scenes depicting great heights were dizzying, and that added a lot of excitement and tension to the action.)

  • I particularly loved how very much “all ages” it was, in every sense. Pixar does an amazing job at making a film that treats both adults, young kids, and everyone in-between or beyond like capable, thinking humans.
    The dogs, oh the DOGS! They were so incredibly well animated! I loved the contrast of them acting like dogs, but their thought dialogue was so well expressed by the acting. There were only a few lines where I felt the dogs were toeing the cartoony animal line.

    I thought it was awesome, when I thought back on it later, how the villain was by all means a nice, hospitable person who was immediately likable, but in a second he’d become a crazed, senile, obsessed maniac. Its such a stark and believable contrast. I can only imagine how unhealthy an obsession like his can grow with that much time and that much solitude.
    The only thing that bothered me, REALLY bothered me, was my desire to know what the hell Russell’s backstory was. I was satisfied with the allusions to his dad slowly becoming to distant and busy for his son, but the part where Russell mentioned a woman, and then never explained who the woman was really irked me. Are his parents devorced? Is his mother dead? Is the woman a nanny or maybe his father’s assistant? Is this the same woman that appeared at the end of the film or was that his mother? GAH! It really wouldn’t have been hard to clarify.

  • Easily the best since “Nemo.” Damned impressive.

  • I’ve got a new favorite pixar film!!!! their previous work is stellar, with great fun and moments of emotional depth, but gave only a glimmer of the kind of heart this film showed. Pixar’s best!

  • Ok, ill try to give my opinion in beats:

    -I read someone said the tinted glasses ruin the colour, They do!
    and 3d is just too much ,for this movie you cant really feel it.

    -Yes! very emotional, and touching it almost got me at the end with the grape soda pin.

    -I really think Giacchino might be the next best thing, his Scores and lay-motives are catchy and the scores are very well composed.

    -As much as I loved the Howard Hughes-Citizen Kane vibe that the villain had…I kinda wondered about his 100year-olderness too.

    -Partly cloudy was a funny gag, but it was just that…no real story to it…and I know Im being a spoiled brat here….
    But Didnt you feel like the models for the puppies and kittens were weird?

  • Bill

    I thought it was very good. Liked the ‘Dennis the Menace’ like relationship between Carl and Russell.

  • Brian

    Just saw the movie today- absolutely wonderfully done. The way the audience was introduced to Carl and Ellie was absolutely perfect, and even within fifteen minutes I was already crying. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Russell (the little Wilderness Explorer kid) had a deeper backstory than I was expecting- as an Eagle Scout, I’ve certainly met kids like him. My only beef is that they didn’t really give much of a reason for Muntz to give his dogs translation collars- I’m sure they could have given him a throwaway line, like he got bored or something. Probably my favorite bit was when Carl pulled out the Adventure book- there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

    Unfortunately, the movie ended up striking a lot closer to home. A friend of mine who was with our movie group was in a car crash on his way home. He didn’t make it. Words cannot describe how wonderful of a friend he was, nor how much he will be missed.

  • …”but the part where Russell mentioned a woman, and then never explained who the woman was really irked me. Are his parents devorced? Is his mother dead? Is the woman a nanny or maybe his father’s assistant? Is this the same woman that appeared at the end of the film or was that his mother? GAH! It really wouldn’t have been hard to clarify.”

    Kate, I thought the scene perfectly illustrated how uncomfortable Russell was with his father’s new living arrangements. His dad is obviously living with his girlfriend or new wife, and I doubt his parents discussed all of the details with him and he’s still piecing things together.

    And that was his mom at the badge ceremony.
    Dad was probably too busy to attend.

  • Jim Syr

    I don’t think UP was any special on any level. Same old story formula, the same soft looking renders, not so funny jokes and let’s be honest, by the time we got to the theater we all had a pretty good idea of what is going to happen. Put UP side by side with The Incredibles and you will see how boring UP is. Pixar went above and beyond trying to market this thing the fact that made the movie very predictable and uninteresting at all… I really would love to see some studio going back to the old “POSTER” method in advertising for movies and leave us wanting more. It seems as though people accept anything Pixar does, Mediocre, Good, Bad, they all are “AWESOME” as long as they have the lamp logo on it… this is sad

  • Jeff McHuge

    I took my friend, who isn’t an animation buff or die hard Pixar fan, to see this movie. We both loved it. I loved the comedy, this movie made me laugh more than any other Pixar movie.

  • I think Jim Syr drank too much haterade. People don’t accept anything Pixar does, Pixar does its best to put out quality storytelling and animation in every project…and does a great job doing that. You can go down the list of Pixar films and pick out a personal favorite, as well as knowing that the others didn’t suck. Jim doesn’t have to like the movie, but calling it uninteresting and predictable shows poor attitude to me. UP wasn’t predictable, and if nothing else, it worked to get the audience’s interest.

    It was a wonderful project to watch, especially in 3D. It wasn’t a typical 3D project, where certain objects will just be out in front, just to do that…instead, it really have a nice balance between the foreground and background. Having the dogs and their crazy antics in the film made it “interesting” as well. All that said, this is Pixar’s best adventure film, along side the Incredibles. In a way, it was a little more believable than the Incredibles when it came to the dangers and perils both characters were going through.

  • Fred Sparrman

    There are too many great ideas in the movie, and they don’t all go together. As fantastic and moving as the first 10 minutes are, they set us up for a very different film than we end up getting. I agree very much with the NY Times review (which I only just read AFTER seeing the movie).

  • Clay

    The trailers dulled alot of the humor for me personally. A lot of the funniest parts in the movie had been spoiled by trailers.

    But over all I loved it. a lot of more mature themes, that may have gone over younger kids heads.

    The animation and art style is still top of the line.

    just looking at the cars at the end, and the style they have blows me away.

  • Jackie

    I thought it was a wonderful movie. I mean, crying within the first fifteen minutes has to mean something. And it defiantly made me laugh out loud plenty of times after that. I had no problem with the dogs. They were easily one of the highlights of the film for me, and I liked how different Dug looked from the rest, he obviously didn’t fit in.

    But I did have one huge problem. The theater I went to did not show ‘Party Cloudy’ in front of the movie. It went from previews to the feature. I always look forward to the shorts and it was really odd to me. I saw it in 2-D but I assume you don’t have to see it in 3-D just to see the short right? Did anyone else experience this?

  • TK

    I think UP is one of the movies that may end up better without an antagonist. Muntz deserves better, and I was siding with him the whole time.

  • OMG, Brian, I’m so sorry for your loss. How tragic. At least your friend was with people he loved before he left you.

  • i think Muntz is my favorite villain pixar has done since Hopper in a Bug’s Life. what a dick he was. i was scared Doug would become annoying when I saw the trailer, but what a loveable pooch he was.

  • Rob T.

    Pixar does it again! I made a point of seeing this with my three nephews and invited their parents along, and we all (two elementary schoolers, a teenager and four adults ranging in age from 37 to 44) loved it. (I did hear some audible adult sobbing during at least one part; turned out to be my sister-in-law sitting directly behind me. Since my own eyes were filled with tears at the time, I certainly didn’t begrudge her reaction!)

    Up‘s most striking feature, its use of two ordinary human protagonists, may be its greatest strength for some viewers (easy to empathize with) and its greatest weakness for others (not sensational or conceptually daring enough). I sympathize with the latter complaint to the extent that while Up will certainly rank among my favorites for the year, it probably won’t come as close to being my very favorite as The Incredibles or WALL-E.

    In spite of that, I thought Pete Docter rather brave to take the themes of loss and abandonment common to his, John Lasseter’s and Andrew Stanton’s previous films (not so much in Brad Bird’s) and apply them to characters any viewer might recognize among his or her neighbors or relatives (or selves). I also appreciated the effort Docter and his collaborators took to ground even their most fantastic ideas (the flying house itself of course, but also the “Kevin” and the talking dog collars) in the realm of the apparently possible.

    Obviously Up will almost certainly be nominated for a “best animated feature” Oscar, but I find myself wondering if it’ll be nominated for “best original screenplay” as well. I don’t expect it to rank as high in critics polls as WALL-E did (usually in the top 5 if not at the top) but suspect it’ll be up in the same range as Ratatouille (somewhere in the lower half of the top 20).

  • Michael

    What do we want from the movies? To see things we don’t ordinarily see, to be taken places we might never go, to care about characters in whom we see a little of ourselves, in whose struggles we see our own. We want the familiar and the exotic all at once, to be thrilled, to laugh, and to have our emotions touched.

    I’ll be honest, not all of Pixar’s movies move me in these ways. Most of them do, and sit high atop my best-pictures-ever list. I was wondering how I would like Up. I am a huge fan of Pete Docter’s Monsters, Inc. and knew his sensibility would make for an enjoyable picture, but I’d been so disappointed by WALL-E; I was really hoping they would hit another home run.

    Well, I loved it. It is right up there with Bird’s pictures for me at the top of the heap. Here’s a bunch of semi-random thoughts.

    Boy, why don’t more people make movies like this? Movies that are truly family films, and I don’t mean that in the quasi-pejorative sense in which it’s usually applied. I mean, movies that are truly as enjoyable for adults as they are for children. I took my 4-year-old son with me tonight and he was as hysterical at the gags, and as thrilled in the suspenseful moments, as I was. The deeper levels of the story captivated me and my wife, of course in ways that soar over young people’s heads. Carl and Ellie’s life together, the way you can feel how much he misses her. . . I guess my wife and I especially loved the bit about smashing the penny jar you’re using to save up for that big special adventure. Some of this is setup, wonderfully, for the choice Carl makes in the end, and what he does with all that STUFF has extra force as a result of all the care we’ve been shown he takes of it.

    Anyway — what I was saying was, these movies that truly can be enjoyed by children and adults at once — and I don’t mean with a lot of high fastballs deliberately thrown like dog treats over the kids’ heads to keep the bored parents happy — how wonderful and valuable they are! They entertain, they make us think, they make our kids ask interesting and useful questions and we can all go to the movies together and have an equally good time without being condescended to. What a sadly rare event!

    I was at a screenwriting conference where Lee Unkrich spoke, and someone asked him if he felt that Pixar, being so successful, should try to make more serious fare. And what he said basically echoed what Walt said about Disneyland — that he thought there should always be films that kids and adults can enjoy together, and that making them was to him as important as anything else.

    As to these so-called “soft-looking renders.” It’s called CINEMATOGRAPHY. Using LIGHT to express INFORMATION AND EMOTION. Something worth exploring for you. And it’s bloody fantastic, in this case. The color scheme of this movie is so sharp and so on the ball. I love how much the saturation of the palette is played around with, but with subtlety and taste. The way almost anything associated with Ellie had that soft, suffused glow of the early sequences and yet things could be clean as a whistle when the action gets snappy was remarkable for its slickness.

    I was reflecting too that the editing in this picture was particularly good and noteworthy. I find that editors in animated pictures don’t get a lot of the attention they deserve even from animation people, and in animated pictures, in many ways, the editors are pulling a heavy storytelling load early on along with the story and layout crews. There were a number of sequences in Up that, in terms of balancing the emotional content of the scene, were handled just exquisitely. The scale, for me, never tips into the territory of the maudlin and sentimental, but each scene stays true to the emotional core of the film, and kudos to the editor for a job extremely well done.

    Characters: I know Sporn has a beef with these designs but I find it hard to imagine why! I LOVE LOVE LOVE Russell and especially Russell’s design. The moment I saw him months ago tottering around with his huge pack with all that crap attached, I thought he was super swell. I simply must have a vinyl Russell toy. Carl took a little longer to grow on me design-wise, though (but I loved the character himself). The squared-off ears still don’t quite sit right with me, but there is so much to like about him. Dug is my new hero, what a great, amusing design and I was repeatedly struck by how good and really dog-like much of his acting is. Not in his big marquee moments, which are fine, but in subtler, almost background-action moments, I was blown away by his postures and attitudes, when his ears were back or what have you. Just really great stuff, insanely detailed.

    Story-wise, well, this movie really did go to places I’ve never seen in an animated picture before, in the first ten minutes alone. The nearly wordless exposition of a couple’s whole life together was so perfectly done, with a sensitivity and truth that few films of any stripe contain, and the last shot of Carl on the balloon-decorated altar all alone was one of the most poignant things I’ve seen, in any movie, ever.

    To persons complaining that the movie is “predictable” because Disney marketing spewed out easily 1/3 of the film’s running time in clips and “featurettes” I empathize, but I say: do what I did, and simply don’t watch them. I totally avoided anything that came my way except a trailer, and while there were a few things I felt I could bank on, I didn’t feel the movie was predictable at all.

    As to other comments: someone complains of Up being “the same old story formula.” Well, that’s a rather easy and in my view specious criticism. If you can define a pattern that follows the story arcs in Up in any of their other work, I’d like to hear about it.

    And really, Andrew Stanton or John Lasseter could have “wrung more out” of this movie? I was reflecting on what makes this movie head and shoulders and several inches of cleavage better than WALL-E (or Cars for that matter). My three word summation: emotion, not sentiment. Here’s another three words: story, not plot. Up has both of the former in spades. WALL-E has far too much of the latter.

    I found this movie captivating and hilarious and thrilling and thought-provoking and so did my wife who’s ten years younger than me and so did my son who’s a lot younger than me than that. We hit a good batch of demographics in this family and I think this picture is going to be a classic.

  • Cyber Fox

    I saw the film on opening day on a 9:30am showing at my local Regal theatre in ‘Disney Digital 3D’, It’s Be-Awesome!

    Up pretty much made up for that disappointing/confusing mess that was Wall-E (Why THAT won an Oscar and NOT Bolt not Kung Fu Panda is beyond me but oh well, Liberals run the Academy so they are to blame!)

    the 3D made the film believable and very epic which i bet the 2D version couldn’t do

  • I went “awwwww” more times in the first fifteen minutes of Up than all of Wall-E, Ratatouille, and Finding Nemo combined (which isn’t to say that those other movies are inferior, but, as mentioned before by many others, the emotional connections I formed with the characters were just so much stronger)

    Best “senior citizen action adventure” film I’ve ever seen

  • I rather liked it. I thought it was sweet. I definitely felt a bit misty-eyed at some points.

    I thought Dug might be a bit annoying, but I ended up liking him.

    …and now I think the world needs more epic-old-man-fights.

  • anonymous

    Just saw it. Drove half an hour to the only theater NOT showing it in annoying digital 3D.

    The movie was a blast. The short beforehand is one of the best. In fact, I think PIXAR should make more shorts instead of features.

    Kevin steals the show, hands down.

    I have minor issues with the villian. He just seems to go evil out of nowhere.

    Anyways, it’s great, it’s PIXAR.

  • Doofus

    Another year, another perfect film. Wept multiple times during the showing. Looking forward to weeping again, tomorrow.

  • other mike

    the first twenty minutes are probably my favorite piece of film from pixar ever.. it was just so mature and beautiful.. to me, it feels like pixar is a college and everyone there is banding together to make student films.. but that’s not a negative comment at all.. they’re taking artistic risks and giving us amazing, different films than what most would expect from animation in the US.. i applaud them and hope they keep pushing the boundaries

  • pure magic from start to finish. this is one of the most heart-felt films i have ever seen. it is full of so much depth! after the first ten minutes i felt closer to these characters than any other character i have seen in an animated film. i can’t wait to go back and see it more and more!

  • Andy

    I enjoyed the movie very much. The 3-D effects were well done, especially the shot showing the audience watching the Newsreel. The tugging at heart-string moments suckered me in nicely. Looking back on it, it’s Pixar’s sloppiest movie. A ton of clever ideas tacked onto a tired, cliched plot. Honestly, a 78 year old man whose wife is dead finds their childhood “hero” alive and still following his obsession from 70 years ago? With his Zeppelin in perfect condition? Just how old is Muntz? Did he find the fountain of youth while looking for the bird that disgraced him? The “dogfighters” really killed it for me.

    Lots of great ideas shoved into a formulaic Disneyesque plot. A disappointment.

  • Andy

    Addendum to my previous post – A bad Pixar movie is still light years ahead of most crap that they call “movies.”

  • Sam Filstrup

    Fantastic film, nuff said.

  • Count me among the many who enjoyed this film. Whenever I saw the trailer, in the back of my mind I was wondering if they’d ever be able to get a decent story going on the premise of a floating house. In the hands of lesser studios, this would have been a giant WTF??!!. But, in the hands of Pixar as well as Brad Bird (I saw his name in the credits) it went above and beyond excellence.

  • I thought the opening was fine, superior movie-making. The rest struck me as a whole bunch of stuff in search of a coherent film. Some of that stuff was good, some not so good, but it didn’t really hang together. Did it have moments? Oh yeah! It had moments. But moments do not a movie make.

  • Gobo

    UP’s beautiful, and shows Pixar’s creativity in full-bore bonkers mode, as if they needed to have a good laugh after going for the Oscars on the brilliant WALL-E. The first 10 minutes are the most heartfelt (and heartbreaking) of any Pixar film to date, but then it revs up bit by bit until you’ve got TALKING DOGS FLYING BIPLANES, at which point you realize that the Pixar guys are just gleefully throwing everything they want to into this film.

    The character designs were wonderfully cartoony, the direction was restrained where it needed to be (Russell talking about his family, or the brilliant quiet moment where Carl finally sits in his chair at the head of Paradise Falls), and the humor was crazier than I expected. Lots of fun, made me cry.

    And I can’t disagree more with Cyber Fox about the 3D; it was a nice frosting on top of the movie, but seeing it without the polarized specs wouldn’t have made the movie any less “believable and epic”. That’s what a smart story and great characters do, not gimmicky tech.

  • Sara

    Well. Firstly I will say I don’t think kids will understand a lot of the movie. The kids in my theater were laughing a lot, but they also kept asking a lot of questions out loud. They also can’t understand the symbolism of the house, etc. They didn’t understand that Ellie died or why they didn’t have a baby. All these out loud questions kind of annoyed me but y’know kids whatever.

    Having said that, this movie was pretty amazing. I love the range of films Pixar is capable of doing. Each one is very different in terms of scenery and theme. I think this had the best cinematography of any Pixar film. Every scene was beautiful and well planned out. It is a pretty heartbreaking film and my dad, who I have never seen cry, was sobbing. I agree with what some said about the whole dog thing getting way too weird. The film starts out in a very grounded, real world place and then rapidly goes somewhere very fantastical way too fast. I was pretty much on board with this until the dogs in the airplanes. It got a little too weird at that point. I don’t think it was as good as Wall-E and Ratatouille for me, but it was something truly spectacular. Ed Asner was brilliant!

    Also, I saw it in 3-D and there was no short in my theater for some reason, but the 3-D does not mess up the color and it is really affective and beautiful.

  • Trevor

    “I think UP is one of the movies that may end up better without an antagonist. Muntz deserves better, and I was siding with him the whole time.”


    Every character deserved better, but where the protagonist and antagonists differ was that they realized that they couldn’t ever get approval from those that they were working so hard to impress.

    Ellie had passed, besides her adventure WAS Carl.
    Russel’s father was not going to care if he got that final badge, but that was ok with him. He found a new father figure in Carl.

    And now Muntz…even if he caught that snipe and brought it back to the US, it’s been, what? 60 years at least. Who would care? Whoever he wanted to rub this in to would be dead. The reason Muntz was so likeable is because you could see both Carl and Russel BECOMING him if they allowed their futile quest for approval to consume them.

  • Despite certain particulars going unanswered, I loved the film and was moved by it more deeply than any other movie in memory. I was nearly in tears as well a couple times.

  • Sara – I think it’s incredibly healthy that the film explores themes children don’t understand and causes them to ask questions.
    It’s called “learning”.
    (I’ve not seen it yet btw).

  • DC

    I thought it was very entertaining and human. Big hats off to Pete and the folks at Pixar :)

  • Matt Sullivan

    I loves me the Pixar. I want to eat it to absorb its awesomely goodness.

  • Candice

    GREAT movie. Hats off to the crew. And especially to production designer Ricky Nierva!!! Brilliant, and the best looking animated feature in a LONG time!!!

  • Jim Syr

    So sorry that my opinion and point of view are now considered bad attitude. I made it clear that I loved “The incredibles” and that I don’t HATE Pixar I just say it as it is, no sugar coating business ..I Didn’t know that I logged into the Pixar fan club here…

  • UP is for anyone who has ever loved their grandparents, who has ever known love themselves…basically for anyone human.
    If you’re human, it’s impossible to not become completely enthralled in this feature. The characters were so compelling and their dynamic all worked so well together, it was honestly and truly a masterpiece.
    No doubt, PIXAR’s best film, and quite possibly, the BEST CG animation of all time.

    I laughed, I cried, I gave it 10,000,000 balloons UP!

  • Ryoka

    I had no idea what to expect since the trailers were released and I was very amazed! Pixar’s most emotional and risky feature yet. Awesome stuff. Very touching and realistic in both the beginning and when we are introduced to the characters shortly after. You become to get so worried for them in the situations they get into!

    Then it gets so wacky on so many different levels. Reading here that people get too weirded out by the dogs as the movie progresses just makes me like love those parts more and more.

    Like with Bolt, the 3-D was subtle and not distracting (unlike MonstersVS.Aliens which was just a huge disappointment in itself). But I pretty much forgot I was watching 3-D after you see the audience watching the reel. I’m sure its not much of a difference for your viewing pleasure.

  • Mr. James


    I went to see UP last night and when the movie started I realized, “Wait! Where was the short?!!” The theatre I went to did NOT play the short!!! I’m royally ticked! I went to see it in 2-D though so maybe the shirt was only shown with the 3-D version of the film. I was NOT going to see it in 3-D. It’s already 3-D and I was disappointed to see Pixar using this recent “gimmick” to sell a few more tickets. Very cheap trick of them and I refuse to see one of their films in 3-D with an inflated price for the glasses they charge you. I watched the entire film in 2-D and never once thought, “Wow! That would have looked awesome in 3-D.” Not once.

    Anyone know where I can watch “Partly Cloudy” online?

  • Jake

    “Liberals run the Academy”

    And they make better movies, too.

  • I give an A+ !!

  • Murray Bain

    I agree with Trevor, Muntz motivation mirrors Carl and Russell’s.. seeking approval of others, instead of having your OWN adventure. that’s what you get the Ellie grape soda badge for.

    This is a great looking film, with naunced animation and heartfelt moments.


    to be picky, muntz would be 120 years old at least. they could of made the kevin eggs the fountain of youth, and had Muntz the same age as when he left or something. Muntz had a great captain hook quality to his animation, wow!

    I heard the same out loud questions from kids about the baby and when ellie died, but as elliot mentioned, kids learn from films as they do from real life.

    the 3D looks great, but the polarized glasses dim the colors and saturation slightly. 3d will always be a gimmick, but it’s a neato gimmick. I want to see this one “flat”, it feels like you can’t honestly experience a film as a film in 3D.

    the dog characterizations were spot on. So great they weren’t cartoons, but real dogs.

    The set design of the zeppelin was really nice, lavish art deco/paleontology museum, I want to live on the “spirit of adventure”!

  • Connie Pinko

    Andy, I couldn’t agree more.

    Loved the short though.

  • this is from Mick LaSalle, Chronicle Movie Critic of San Francisco Chronicle… I can’t agree more with what he said about this film, and a stab at the heart at Pixar’s movie…

    ” There are scenes in “Up” of such beauty, economy and poetic wisdom that they belong in any anthology of great movie moments – and this is already apparent today, on the morning of the film’s release. As was the case with “WALL-E,” “Up” shows that, for Pixar, progress is not just a technological matter. It is moving forward in artistry, cultivating realms of wordless splendor that evoke the best of the silent days.

    Yet “Up” also contains boring stretches of mindless freneticism and bland character interaction that test the ability of any adult to stay conscious. “WALL-E” was like that, too, and like “WALL-E,” “Up” has a moving opening and a satisfying finish, but too much dull stuff in the middle. The movie more than survives – it even thrives – but that extra padding, there as a concession to kid-movie formula, should have been tightened up or thrown out altogether. ”


  • beautiful and refreshing. I had no idea where it was going. It showed emotion while still exercising a sophisticated level of restraint. There are a lot of layers, much to analyze, much to ponder.

    It was very strange too. like a wonderful dream.

    is there any place in nyc I can see this without 3d?

  • andy o

    Spoiler, maybe, not really: Did anyone think the ominous business man was implicitly Russell’s father? I was expecting him to show up at the badge ceremony. I bet he originally was, and they justifiably cut it.

    As far as Muntz’s age, the ‘Art of Up’ mentions that there was originally a fountain of youth subplot, but it was dropped.

  • I’m hoping someone can tell me who animated the scene where Carl finds that Elly has finished the scrapbook and he’s balling up? That was some A+ all star inspirational animation. I’m going to see Up again tonight.

  • sploooshi

    First time I’ve seen a 3D film since Captain EO at Disneyland. Interestingly enough, I thought that the 3D was done a lot better in “Up” than in “Partly Cloudy”, or “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” (since that preview was also shown in 3D). The 3D seems to get rid of the illusion of space, if it’s not done well.

    Pixar’s film making bar continues to go UP.

  • startend

    I saw an egg as one of the exhibits on Muntz’s airship. I bet that was left-over from the ‘fountain of youth’ subplot.

    At the end, I heard a father walk down the isle with his children and told his wife that it was ‘too scary for kids’ (not his kids, in general). True, there were a few babies who had to be carried out, but it’s rated PG! And an adventure film! Starring a man who has issues that no kid has yet experienced! Some parents should show some judgment!

  • Michael

    PLEASE don’t quote Mick LaSalle on anything. This is the same doofus who loudly proclaimed (after “Monster House” I think) that FINALLY, with motion capture, there can be convincing performances in animated movies. Reading this guy write about animation is like filling your eye sockets with lye, and his criticism in the main is facile at best. How he got a job as a film critic is beyond me.

  • “Some parents should show some judgment!”

    Startend as someone who cashiers at a video rental store and sees alot of movies at the theatre, I can safely say parents are the worst judges of what their kids should and shouldn’t see.

    I still remember all the crying babies during the Dark Knight. People just dont THINK.

  • Paul N

    Mr. James, I saw the film in 2D and the short was shown, so it must just be the theater you went to. “Partly Cloudy” is a gorgeous film, but the story feels like a thesis project. Not one of their better shorts, IMO.

  • I was amazed at how unique all the elements of the film were and what an interesting package they all made when they came together. Wonderful film!

  • Okay, I really don’t have all my thoughts together yet on Up, but this is my initial, and hopefully fair opinion:


    I liked two general aspects of Up, one being that it was an emotional film, in which the characters had believable feelings. The second being that it was, in my opinion, Pixar’s most creative. It did not have any sticks up its butt, creatively, meaning, it allowed for details and story points that were truly fun and imaginative. An old man being the main protagonist. The Alpha dog’s collar being broken and high-pitched, and the colorful, kind of un-Pixarlike bird…I liked those surprises. I wished that it went even further into the creative/imaginative territory.

    I also loved the efficiency and classiness of the opening sequence that goes through Carl and Ellie’s life-long relationship, almost silently, beginning with Ellie and Carl meeting, and then as it shows the ups-and-downs in their partnership over the years. I thought that was effective storytelling, and quite honestly, had both my boyfriend and I in tears (not quite Dumbo tears, though).

    That being said…Unfortunately, I found this film difficult to thoroughly enjoy. The script, in my opinion, was not very clever. You watch Nemo or Toy Story…those are scripts with clever dialogue. I felt most of the lines fell flat, and jokes that were only okay to begin with were overused. Like the “mailman” reference. I just don’t understand why the story team didn’t write better stuff. I know they have in the past.

    The two main relationships that were meant to guide us through the film were between Carl and Ellie/the house, and Carl and Russell. Though the Carl and Ellie story was most touching to me, the house symbolism, I felt, was a little obvious, and already done recently in Monster House. The other relationship between Carl and Russell just felt kind of insincere, or maybe just not that strong, in my experience of watching the film. Again, I think about the relationships in some of Pixar’s strongest films…

    Toy Story: Woody and Buzz. So much chemistry! Rivals who become friends.

    Finding Nemo: An overprotective father and his son. There is a clear tie between a widowed father and his son. It must be. There’s a clear purpose to why the two of them must learn to understand each other.

    The Incredibles: A film about a family. Again, these family members must learn to get along with each other and stay a strong unit. “Family isn’t a word, it’s a sentence.”

    I can’t tell if it’s the story or the acting. Or the script/dialogue. But I just wasn’t so drawn into the relationship of Carl and Russell. I didn’t escape into story either…I’m sorry to say. There were other lingering relationships that were unfinished, unresolved, like the dog, Dug, and Carl/Russell. The villain’s motives were only so-so to me. I think the strongest story in the film was the story of Carl and Ellie.

    It’s hard not to feel bad being critical of Pixar. After all, compared to most other animated films that come out (I’m talking Shrek, Madagascar 1&2) can’t compare to Pixar’s maturity and risk-taking. You gotta love them for putting out one truly thoughtful animated film per year. And the fact that I’m even comparing a current Pixar film to past Pixar films says a lot of good about their legacy.

    But for the record, I liked Coraline better than Up.

  • Jason

    **“Liberals run the Academy”

    And they make better movies, too.**

    Fie on you. Better than whose? Docter and Lasseter do good work, but they haven’t done anything that approaches good ol’ conservative Walt’s Pinocchio or Snow White or Lady and the Tramp.

    Haven’t seen UP yet, but will on Monday. Will report back then.

  • My wife and I just took our 2-year-old daughter to see UP and she kept saying over and over as we left, ‘That’s a great movie!’

    We agree. That sums it up.

  • PJ

    Ok, first off….

    ~To those of you who are questioning certain logic points of this movie, such as Muntz’s age or how he kept his airship in such great condition…..um, I’m not sure if you noticed, but the movie is HINGED on the fact that Carl FLIES HIS HOUSE TO SOUTH AMERICA BY TYING A LOT OF BALLOONS TO IT.

    I mean….seriously?

    ~Someone mentioned the NY Times review of this movie, which I then went and read….and Dear God was it ever pompous. And hey, I don’t mind if someone disliked Up, but this reviewer was obviously less interested in reviewing the movie than she was in earning some literary cookie points. She didn’t really offer any clear criticism of the movie, aside from calling it “banal and predictable” and then talking about all the things she loved; the references she tried to draw to the movie seemed to be related less to UP and more to her desire to drop “sophisticated” cultural references (I literally rolled my eyes when she mentioned Botero); and heck, a lot of her sentences got shoved so far up their own rear-ends that they stopped making sense. Blegh.

    Calling UP banal and formulaic just because its plot is divided into acts, or because it brings in a villain and a conflict, is like calling Paris an uninteresting city because its just a bunch of streets and buildings. Just because there IS a villain and there IS a conflict doesn’t automatically make the movie formulaic. What matters, what determines whether a movie is banal and formulaic, is what the movie DOES with those elements. Jeez.

    Now, my opinion of the movie is probably obvious at this point: I absolutely loved it. It hit me emotionally in a way I was not at all prepared for. I cried numerous times throughout the movie, and I laughed, and I cared about the characters and their problems, and I was on the edge of my seat during the action sequences. The film played me like a damned violin.

    I thought the villain was genuinely creepy. The scene in the dining room, where Muntz starts knocking over flight helmets for all of the people that he met in the jungle (and most-likely murdered), was chilling and tense and great.

    UP was a beautiful movie, and I agree with all the other people singing its praises: it was uplifting and heartbreaking and hilarious and scary and tender and original and unexpected. I saw it with my wife, and it made me want to cling to her and never let her go.

    To anyone who found it formulaic and predictable: please, tell me what movies you’re watching that make UP seem banal and predictable and unoriginal. ‘Cause I’d love to experience more of this.

  • Mike Johnson

    Just got back from seeing it (3D) and here are my feelings.

    Partly Cloudy: For the most part enjoyable, but that’s about it. In my opinion, the weakest of Pixar’s shorts. Just didn’t seem that anyone’s heart was truly in it.

    Up: Loved the film, start to finish. Surprisingly, I have no nitpicks or even minor criticism. Certainly one of Pixar’s best efforts, and especially touching in how they handled the story of Carl and Ellie’s life together with nothing more than Michael Giacchino’s magnificent score (is it just me, or is Giacchino quickly becoming the best composer in Hollywood?) supplying the soundtrack.

    Voice work was top notch, and Ed Asner deserves some kind of award for his work in the film…just really, really great.

    Also, I guess I must be in the minority in actually liking the 3D format. I know there is an overall loss of “brightness” and such, but speaking purely as a non-industry person, I feel the enhanced viewing experience more than makes up for it, and honestly I really wasn’t distracted at all.

    Way to go Pixar…you all continue to provide the coattail that everyone else rides on!

  • Paul N

    “they haven’t done anything that approaches good ol’ conservative Walt’s Pinocchio or Snow White or Lady and the Tramp.”

    Of those three movies, only one of them was produced when Walt was what one might call “conservative.” Walt became more conservative as he aged; in his younger days, he was very liberal.

  • ILikedIt

    Wonderful movie; Pixar has outdone itself. I was about to cry fifteen minutes into the movie. There is a delicate balance of drama, comedy and adventure – and the protagonists of the movie have enough depth to transcend into real and likable characters.

  • i felt like i needed to feel ellie’s loss a little more. there was too much action adventure stuff for my taste and not enough of ellie. i didn’t feel her loss as much as i should’ve. the movie was good and tackled a few things i didn’t think they would’ve, but the most intriguing stuff was kind of left to the side for the comedy and action. i just couldn’t connect that well. i enjoyed it. but i didn’t have the same reaction to wall-e or the incredibles. i have to see it again to pass full judgement. though i have to say the 3d was overwhelming but also worked to show how far up they were. acrophobics beware! (i held my breath a few times because of it)

  • Justin

    Just thought I’d be annoying and say that I didn’t like the design of the dogs EVEN MORE SO because Dug’s design was top notch.

    And the clouds in partly cloudy were very unappealing.

    but overall, UP was good. It was no Chicken Little, though.


  • Excellent film. Something for young and old. I used to work with a Carl Fredrick at ILM, then I saw he was a TD on “UP”! Must be an honor to have your name used (inspired) as the main character! I’ll see this again in 3D next time before I buy the DVD. Please go see it.

  • uncle wayne

    We have just come back from it!! More heart than 12 Tin Men. We were at a fully-restored digital theatre (Prytania, in New Orleans!) We could actually hear the house’s boards creak!! The audience’s age was from around 5….on UP! Not a dry eye in the house….plenty of giant laffter, and awes!! Just what every film should have!!

    If ya wouldn’t’ve loved it….you are heartless….plain & simple!! Bravo!!

  • BWSmith

    Good comments by all!

    The one thing I would add is that this movie struck me as one that Walt himself never would have greenlit, because its (postmodern) theme is the antithesis of that triumphant Disney positivism. (so evident in the last pre-Pixar-merger Disney effort, “Meet the Robinsons”).

    Walt was a “Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” kind of guy, and Disneyland itself was designed on the premise that going off on big, wonderful, noble, romantic adventures was a good thing.

    “Up” pushes the notion that the only “good” adventures are the ones that involve interpersonal relationships, while romantic enterprises of the kind celebrated in the days of the newsreels are reduced to a kind of shallow individualistic imperialism, aka Charles Muntz.

    (If there’s a formula to be extracted from this picture, its that the great promises and adventures of modernity (positivism) are shallow and hollow (late modernity) and are only sustainable if one turns inward (postmodernity) and discovers one’s own adventure within.)

    While there is a lot of truth in the theme that one mustn’t neglect family and friends in pursuit of one’s lifelong quests, there are real-world Charles Muntzes in the world who go on real adventures and are not ridiculed and do make the world a better place.

    (Perhaps I’m too hard on Pixar, given that their previous effort was set in a post-apocalyptic nightmare world that only a liberal Democrat could take seriously.)

    Nonetheless, I was disappointed to see the “spirit of adventure” and “family” played out against each other. “Up” would have benefited more from striking a balance between the two, (as was accomplished beautifully in Meet the Robinsons).

  • jim

    I saw an opening-day matinee screening of ‘UP’ (2D) in a multiplex with many kids present, and didn’t hear a single peep from the audience during either the short or UP. Generally I’ll consider that an overall success for the movie, because the youngest weren’t losing interest and chattering about other things like they were in my screening of ‘Cars’. (i.e. Twenty minutes into ‘Cars’ my 5-year-old nephew leaned over to me and asked why the movie was so long.) ~~ On the same note, no one was laughing or getting exuberant over the action in UP, either. It was quiet as a library for the whole film. So, on that note, maybe it isn’t an all-out grand-slam that Pixar may have hoped for, either. Simply a great solid hit for a double. (?)

    But I really did enjoy ‘UP’ and my nephew did, too. It’s a classy project and I rank it amongst my Pixar favorites, despite its weaknesses. Indeed, as others have alluded, it felt to me like during production the original rough-cut was probably way too long so they hacked at it with thinning shears — and lost a few too many random informational story-bits on the cutting-room floor in the process. Granted, most of the lingering questions could be figured out or assumed or simply let go without impacting one’s overall understanding of the story — but when enough of those little things needle at a viewer, it becomes a distraction from the immersive experience. Many scenes seemed redundant or on the long side to me, as well. ~~~ But it’s a beautiful, enjoyable film nevertheless!

    (minor story spoilers ahead…)
    I didn’t get into “Partly Cloudy” at all, though. Looked nice, but ‘meh’. Seems to me that the classic cartoon studios of yesteryear pretty much covered the same sort of material with much more bite and character and humor than this had. Storywise, for all the suffering that the stork endured due to either a bad-luck assignment from his “employers”, or else simple friendship/loyalty for the raincloud, I just didn’t buy into it one bit. The “I’m sticking with you, buddy” ending rang sappy and contrived to me. Also, for me, the whole baby-making cloud idea didn’t come off as magical or delightful or clever or surprising or whimsical or anything of the sort. It just seemed strange and silly and only half-baked. I hold Pixar at the highest of standards, and for me this one was weak in that regard.

    Also the absence of dialog (in the same tradition as most Pixar shorts) was wrecked for me by the utilization of consistent vocal “noises” that I found annoying as the short played out. If the inflection of throat noises from the characters is necessary to tell the story, then maybe limited dialog should be used afterall.

    I had the choice between a 2D or 3D screening, and I chose to view the 2D version of UP. After getting recently hyped (suckered) into both Coraline and Monsters vs. Aliens as 3D novelties, my curiosity toward the spectacle is spent. My take on the technological gimmick is that: At their best, the 3D effects are a distraction because you’re thinking “Whoa, that’s some nifty 3D stuff going on there” and you’re knocked right out of the movie. And then at their worst you start to get annoyed with the bulky glasses and you check to see what the screen looks like without them… and again you’re knocked out of the movie. Good 3D technology may be impressive, but it’s a stupid, cumbersome, and un-needed addition to the cinema experience in my opinion.

    …and as an aside: I have an unimportant question about a quick bit of business that happened in UP… I probably just blinked long and missed something, but at one point on the way to Paradise Falls, Carl tries to lower Russell down through the window and into the city below, and then it appears that he drops him— however in the next instant montage cut, Russell is back in the house whereupon they try a different plan. So why didn’t he fall to his death and how did he get back into the house? What’d I miss? :)

  • OtherDan

    First to Brian: I very sorry to hear about your friend. That’s tragic, and I hope the movie today somehow helps with your grieving.

    I tried very hard not to look at the spoilers, art of, and even today, I was hoping to see it before the Gallery Nucleus book signing thing (too crowded-I couldn’t see his presentation-The little that I did see and his anecdotes were enlightening). For some reason, the first act of animated movies is usually my favorite. Same goes for “Up”. I was riveted up the the point where he sails away, from then on out I sat back and just enjoyed the film. It was really great. The lighting was exceptional as was the direction and animation. Not too thrilled with the dog pac design-though I can see that it’s a reflection of the cubist main character. The little kid looked like a caricature of Peter Sohn-yet, he was pretty dang cute. As far as the opening act, I thought it was so well done with minimal dialog. Showing once again that as a visual medium, it can stand on it’s own. The kid versions were so fun to watch. And the short, I thought was their best yet. It had the charm of those early Disney shorts like Ferdinand the Bull, etc. It was very funny. And it seemed like it was a study for the atmosphere of “Up”, because some shots looked similar to the short. Overall, it was among my Pixar favorites. I couldn’t even compile a top three because they are so good on so many different levels. I thought it did have the same tenor as Monsters in some scenes. And, some of the score seemed right out of it. I agree with someone up there that it was like an outgrowth of Pete Doctor’s student film which was also great. I saw the gamut of ages in the theater. Our three year old enjoyed it and never said the dreaded, “I won go home”, or “is it done yet?” Thanks for a unique and moving movie. Now, I want to see the 3D version!

  • OtherDan

    BWSmith, It’s interesting to hear an intellectualized take on it. I don’t really agree with your analysis though. Mainly, that spirit of adventure was intact throughout-just side tracked-as often happens. I don’t agree that the theme involves neglect. There really wasn’t neglect. There was plenty of documentation in the scrapbook and montages to illustrate that. I think the theme was really about dreams, promise and love. And that the present should be cherished. Even the most successful among us, be it adventurer’s or simply elites, often find that it’s the relationships and shared experiences that fulfill and bring happiness over fame. As a surfer, I can tell you a great wave is even better if you’re with a friend. Especially, if they see it!

  • How many motion picture studios, in Hollywood or anywhere, can boast TEN consecutive hits? Pixar already has over Disney more numbers of consecutive hits for all of their animated features, and UP continues that trend quite well.

    The music played an integral part in telling the story, not only in the montage of Carl’s life with Ellie, but in many other parts too, including his balloon journey to South America.

    Carl’s attachment to Ellie was a very strong theme, and was far more successful than the loss endured in Finding Nemo. In this instance, we learn more about the lead character’s main influence, and it serves as a better drive for his adventure throughout the film.

    The film was dedicated to some of those who passed to the Pixar creative team their own “Adventure books”, including Joe Grant and Alice Davis.

    UP is definitely in my Top 5 list of Favorite Pixar Films. As for whether it’s the best animated film of the year, it is for now. We’ll have to wait and see how Disney does with The Princess and the Frog.

  • Up was fantastic man.

    I cared about Carl and Ellie immediately, and got so invested in these characters that I had only known for about 10 minutes. How many films can do that? Most couples ,young and old, are going to be able to see a lot themselves in Carl and Ellie’s relationship. I mean, what couple can’t relate to trying to put money away for the grand vacation, only to have it dwindle down due to unforseen circumstances, time after time?! Details like that made that relationship and those characters feel real to me.

  • Cyber Fox

    Liberals run the academy hence why the Oscars is now a joke, They award movies on pushing the liberal agenda (i.e. An Inconvenient Truth) let alone decent talent, WALL-E won an Oscar due to it’s subliminal preachiness even though BOLT and Kung-Fu Panda are better films than Wall-E and either of the 2 deserved the oscar than WALL-E. One big proof of this is Happy Feet, It had a subliminal context of Global Warming (oops, i mean “Climate Change”) plus the hero of the film was the frickin’ U.N. thus it won an Oscar

  • Kate

    It was wonderful. And I agree with what’s been said, 3-D completely takes away from the experience. It ruined the color palette, a lot of the scenes were still in 2-D, and some of the 3-D scenes were just fuzzy. It would have been really nice to see a digital projection because the quality of the textures was amazing. My jaw dropped every time they showed Russell’s badges. The stitching looked perfect. Even little details like having one of the nursing home orderlies’ tag sticking out were just the right touch. Ellie was a great character and it’s so great to have a studio that gives a girl something to do other than look pretty.

    The second time I saw it I was in a audience full of kids and they loved it. Whoever believed Pixar would flop with this because kids only want to see movies about young people is a bonehead. “Awwws”, laughing, crying, and a huge gasp in one scene were all in the right places. The situation with Russell’s parents was a little vague, but apart from that he was great. Muntz was an outstanding villain and the dogs were a huge hit, especially Alpha. And y’know what a really good sign was? The jokes that had been used in almost every trailer – Dug’s introduction and distraction by squirrel, and Russell sliding across the glass of Muntz’s blimb, got HUGE laughs. They were still funny after all the promotion.

    And much love for the Star Wars reference at the climax with the fighter pilot dogs.


    I wonder what Roy Disney thinks of this film?

  • Mitch Kennedy

    A million times better than Wall-E.

    It was gutsy, touching, engaging, and they weren’t afraid to slap-stick some kids around.

    The film had a very mature tone, which is needed more in feature animation.

    AND Party Cloudy has one of the the coolest croc design I’ve ever seen!

  • I loved the movie… I think it made me well up about 3 times. Thought the 3D was great – though I heard some kids behind me complaining it wasn’t showing “enough” 3D – which I took as a good thing. No 3D gimmicks thrown in, just drawing you deeper into the film. Forgot to use my movie cash that I got with Bug Life BluRay so I’ll definitely be seeing this one again.

    Personally, I have enjoyed Pete Docter’s 2 films much more than Andrew Stanton’s. Monsters Inc is probably my most watched Pixar movie, with WallE and Nemo being my least.

    I guess I’m glad I’m kind of disconnected from TV and constant movies, because most of the movie was a surprise to me.

    I took my brother to see this with me. We’re both grown men. I think both of us liked, but didn’t love Partly Cloudy. It was beautiful, and very cute, but I kept waiting for something to happen… we did participate in the massive audience “awwwwwww” for the baby kitten though.

  • Kevin Durr

    I thought it was great, like a lot of other people. The short was amazing, the look and the feel and the colors were just flawless. Part of me still thinks Wall-e was slightly better. That first 45 mins or so of wall-e is some of the best story telling i have ever seen.

  • yoshitoshi

    every time pixar releases another movie, it just blows the others away. I love the characters.

  • startend

    @JIM: “…and as an aside: I have an unimportant question about a quick bit of business that happened in UP… I probably just blinked long and missed something, but at one point on the way to Paradise Falls, Carl tries to lower Russell down through the window and into the city below, and then it appears that he drops him— however in the next instant montage cut, Russell is back in the house whereupon they try a different plan. So why didn’t he fall to his death and how did he get back into the house? What’d I miss? :)”

    Jim, it was revealed that it was all in Carl’s imagination. That’s why it just bluntly cuts back to a scene that happened a few shots before that, and why Carl says, “Well, that’s not gonna work!”

  • Gobo

    CyberFox, thank you for that moment of paranoia. Let’s stay on topic and talk about UP, rather than theorizing about liberal agendas, OK? That’s like saying that UP is pushing an elderly agenda. They’re both brilliant movies for different reasons.

  • I saw UP at a midnight show with my wife on Thursday and we were so blown away we just saw it again last night.

    I think it may be Pixar’s best, but I don’t worry about which of their movies is better than another, I love them all!

    I thought there was some wonderful art direction, the music was incredible, and the humor was non-stop.

  • Rodrigo

    Up was solid. Monsters Inc., being my 2nd favorite after The Incredibles, gave me high hopes for this one.

    After Ratafooey and Wall-E, I was worried Pixar was losing it’s touch. Rat bored me and the kids in the audience to tears, and the pretentious Wall-E fell short as a whole. Humor wise, both those films had too many jokes that made my little sister groan. “Get ready to have some kids!”

    But again, Up was solid. The characters were very appealing & all their idiosyncrasies made it feel sincere. The sheer concept was so fresh and imaginative. There’s no way this film’s concept & characters would have been greenlit in any other animation studio, so lucky for us Pete is in good hands.

    And it was funny. Like I said before, it felt like Pixar was losing its touch especially in regards to humor, but I actually had audible laughs during this one. Some visceral (any time Kevin gobbled, Alpha’s voice) and other situational (Carl’s fantasy of hanging Russel out the window, Trying to outrun Dug and Kevin, etc . . .)

    My little sister approves. Good show.

  • William

    “How many motion picture studios, in Hollywood or anywhere, can boast TEN consecutive hits? Pixar already has over Disney more numbers of consecutive hits for all of their animated features, and UP continues that trend quite well.” – Mr. Semaj

    Besides box office numbers (which have no relation to artistic merit) and Hollywood awards (which may or may not reflect cultural significance and popularity), what exactly IS today’s definition of a hit anyway?

  • P.N.

    Interesting Jim. In the packed theater where I saw it (matinee, 3d) the place was practically shaking with laughter. More laughter than I’ve ever heard in an animated movie.

    Wonder why some crowds go silent.

  • I saw UP in 3D this afternoon with Mom.

    Pixar definitely has another hit on their hands! This is their most touching film yet. Mom cried, even for a while after the movie was over. But I felt really good after seeing it.

    I totally empathized with Carl Fredrickson, even as an old man. I feel a lot like him! His character development is absolutely captivating. My other favorite character was Dug, as I’m a dog lover (especially Golden Retrievers)!

    No offense, but whoever called this film “artsy-fartsy,” based upon early footage, should eat those words. Once again, Pixar has turned up an impressive, and surprisingly mature, masterpiece.

    So far, this and CORALINE are the best animated films of the year, as far as I’m concerned.

  • Mark

    I’m not an animation professional – just a fan who goes back far enough to remember the seemingly endless downward spiral of Disney feature animation during the late 70s/early 80s.

    Old enough to remember a time when both movie and TV animation were all but given up for dead.

    What Pixar has achieved in 10 feature films is unprecedented in film history, both creatively and commercially.

    Pixar’s story skills have evolved to the point where their movies are arguably more emotionally authentic than most of today’s live-action films.

    I would have to rank “Up” alongside “The Incredibles” and the underrated “Toy Story 2” as among the studio’s very finest overall achievements. Sitting in a packed theatre filled with every demo from teens and tweens to parents, toddlers and AARPers (sorry – I’m a marketing guy), I couldn’t help but notice how “Up” grabbed this amazingly diverse audience from the beginning and never let go. I heard sobs from a nearby seat, and it took me a few moments to realize they were actually coming from my too-cool-for-words 15 year old daughter. Quickly looking elsewhere, I noticed that even kindergarten age children were absorbing and understanding more than I’d have given them credit for.

    “Up” is a mature work – not because the protagonist and antagonist are seniors – but because its point of view, its very message, is rooted in a mature sensibility.

    My only qualm (which others have commented on) is the supposed age gap between Muntz and Carl. Even allowing for the usual suspension of disbelief, if Carl is 79, his boyhood hero would have be pushing 100 – at least! Perhaps that’s an indication of a shade too much “tightening” during editing?

    I can’t help but feel that Pixar is being taken to task for having had too much success (artistic and commercial) for too long. It simply doesn’t satisfy our cultural desire for the usual American arc of Dazzling Fame!-Self-Induced Collapse!-Gutsy Comeback!

    It reminds me of the theatre critics who carped about Cole Porter for years because none of the shows he wrote allegedly came up to the level of his “Anything Goes” or “Kiss Me Kate.” Of course, people started developing a newfound appreciation for Porter’s entire body of work once he was safely dead and buried. I hope the same doesn’t happen with Pixar. We are living in an astonishing new Golden Age of Animation, but Pixar is providing its locomotive force.

    As Mr. Beck said in his original post, “Pixar leads.” Thanks to its dedication to the art of storytelling, Pixar doesn’t simply lead in animation anymore – it’s setting some unbelievable standards for scriptwriting in American film.

  • PJ

    I was checking out the post from Lou Romano’s blog that was highlighted here on Cartoon Brew a few days ago, and came across this paragraph, which I think offers a lot of insight into UP in general:

    “After returning from the trip [to Venezuela], we were inspired to illustrate what we saw. A challenge in film is conveying how something feels, not how it exists in reality. Research trips can be a blessing and a curse: the blessing in that visiting an actual place surpasses what you can get from video and photos alone, the curse in being too much a slave to the actual place. Imagination and feeling should dictate everything, not reality.”

    I’m not sure how to verbally express why, but I feel like this is a very good insight into the film.

  • Cameron

    I’m going to go slightly off-topic here.

    Up is absolutely wonderful, but I must make my voice heard after all the jabs at WALL-E. Not only is WALL-E among Pixar’s best films, but the second half was BETTER than the first.

    Now, as much as I loved the silent opening, it was nothing revolutionary. Leone’s used it, Spielberg’s used it, and God knows the silent directors have used it. It was nice to see it in a mainstream animated release, but, to be frank, I didn’t even notice that until after the movie was over.

    Now, an emotional connection, that is what’s compelling to me. Seeing WALL-E shake these people out of their blindness moved me profoundly. In my city of Los Angeles, there is just so much BS that this clicked for me. It’s astounding how this film took what seemed to be joke characters and instantly made them compelling. That’s far less conventional than silent storytelling.

    Now, back to Up.

    What really surprised me with this movie was the intimacy. In a way, it’s quite different from the expansive, world-driven stories of Brad Bird’s films, or the sentimental mythology of Stanton’s, or the gag driven fun of Lasseter’s. Monster’s Inc. was great fun, but it seemed a little too similar to Lasseter in style (which makes sense, since it was the first one not directed by him). It’s absolutely fantastic to see Doctor defining his own style. I can’t wait to see how these directors continue to develop.

    In a way, I think Pixar is becoming a very director-driven studio. I also can’t wait to see what comes of the next batch of directors.

  • Agreeing with Cameron, Wall-E was a solid movie, don’t know why people thought it was so boring (maybe they’re not sci-fi fans). Anyways, happy to hear that it earned $68.2 mil this past weekend. More than what Monsters vs Aliens earned in its’ opening weekend. Way to go Pixar, continue to show Katzenberg how it’s done! :D

  • In Awe

    Even though I’ll be labeled a hater because I’m going to say something negative about Pixar I can’t hold back.

    First off, Partly Cloudy was horrible. The story was pedestrian and their little grunts were laughable. Read the comments above. Everyone who has something negative about this short feels the need to apologize. Don’t. It’s crap. It’s ok to admit it.

    As far as predictability goes. If you didn’t know Carl was going to arc by helping Russell out, I don’t know what to tell you. You couldn’t see him “emptying” out the house that represented his psthxholofical ties to his wife coming? Come on. It’s obvious.

    And what about that villain? He ties The kid to a chair and then leaves him to slide down a ramp to his death. I really need to expose my kids to such violence? The answer will be, don’t worry your kids can take it and yes they can. But I didn’t really spend all this money to see such senseless violence, did I?

    Oh wait I did.

    Without Doug this film would be a complete waste. Bring it on, fanboys.

  • Michael R.

    Just got back, and there’s not much to say that hasn’t allready been said. Other than the fact that it’s one of my favourite Pixar flick yet, and I absolutely loved it.

  • In Awe

    Back home now. The above is supposed to say ‘”psychological” ties to his wife’ not psthyxhological…stupid iPhone.

    And you know what? It wasn’t so much that the villain was overly violent (which he was), I think it had more to do with the fact that it seemed to come out of nowhere. This guy has really been killing people for 70 years now? I’m assuming that’s why he keeps their hats and goggles stashed away in his dining room – to remind himself of how greedy people can be when they come to South America.

    “Here come into my house, let’s eat, talk about old times…wait a second! You know something about a bird? Time to die!!”

    What the hell is Russell going to do to him? He’s tied up to a freakin’ chair. I think that’s why I reacted so much to him putting Russell out there on the ramp to die – it’s not so much that he’s violent, but that it strains credibility. Ugh.

  • PJ

    Well, I guess I’m a “fanboy,” so…

    In Awe, just because you safely guessed that the hero of the movie will decide to start caring about the other hero of the movie doesn’t make the whole thing predictable. If you foresaw Muntz’s eventual defeat, again, that doesn’t make the whole thing predictable.

    As for Muntz trying to kill Russell, I feel like you’re stepping on your own point’s toes here. You detract points from the movie because its what you call “predictable,” but when Pixar takes a risk by giving you an insane villain that’s truly menacing and dangerous, you turn around and detract points again.

    And plus…Muntz is the movie’s villain. His actions are ~supposed~ to be reprehensible. That’s why the heroes defeat him. I guess I’m not quite sure what to tell you?

    Again, if the movie wasn’t your thing and you didn’t like it, fine. I can dig your opinion. But the points you made there just don’t really add up.

  • In Awe,
    any one who has seen this movie and sincerely enjoyed it has no need to indulge inflammatory remarks or “bring it on” as you say. Just sayin’ ;)

    That said, I dug this movie. I tried to go with no expectations, expectations are movie breakers for me, but I could not help it because Wall-E left me with warm, fuzzy feelings. I’m glad I was not disappointed!

  • PJ

    And to respond to your follow up, I think the whole point was that Muntz was batshit crazy. I mean, how “out-of-nowhere” his insanity was was what, to me, made him much more menacing. When Carl and Russell meet him, he’s charming and insanely likeable. When it suddenly becomes apparent that he’s lost his mind and that he’s been killing people, it makes him scary and unpredictable.

    In fact, considering that Muntz’s behavior adheres pretty strongly to the behaviors exhibited by common serial killer, I would argue that the way he acts is VERY credible. They’re unbelievably charming, which is how they lure in victims and lower their defenses. And serial killers also keep trophies of their victims, which is the reason I interpreted for Muntz’s helmet and goggles collection.

    So when he ties Russell, a helpless child, to a chair and then leaves him to drop to his death, in my opinion, that doesn’t strain credibility. That’s pretty freaking crazy, which is in line with the behavior I’d expect from someone who’s pretty freaking crazy.

  • UP definitely makes up for CARS (and Wall-E). Oh, kudos to Ronnie DelCarmen!!! Way to go!

    PS – The talking Dug was a little too Will Farrell-ish for me. “Squirrel!” Ugh!

  • elan

    I agree with Vince here. While I enjoyed UP, I never really felt the death of Ellie, or more accurately, I never felt that Carl had a life unfulfilled which drove him to float his house to South America. It seemed more to me like they had a GREAT life. Sure, they had some setbacks (couldnt have kids, popped that darn tire) but overall they lived a pretty happy, long life. When she died, I wasnt sad; she lived a long, active life and was fortunate to have someone she loved with her until the end. So, I had less empathy for him than I should have had as a viewer.

    I think if Pete Docter would have played the tragedy card a bit more, I would have been more into it. What if, in her 20’s, Ellie had an accident and became paralyzed/bedridden, and Carl spent his life, sacrificially taking care of her, and after her passing he took her ashes to South America. (or better yet, took his dying wife who couldnt leave the bed to South America as her last dying wish) That to me would have been more visceral.

    Other than that though, it was very well done. I wasnt a huge fan of the dogs in the airplane (kinda cheesy) and the pack of dogs looked a little less developed technically than I expect from Pixar. (sliding feet in many, many shots, and the fur didnt look that great on many of the dogs) The grape soda pin was extremely predictable. But these are nit picks. I was more impressed with Russell than I expected to be originally.

    Overall, great film, but it still falls short for me compared to The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc, and Toy Story 1 & 2.

  • I have nothing to add about Up – I really liked it, and I imagine I’ll only come to like it more upon repeat viewings – but I want to comment on “Partly Cloudy.”

    For the first minute and a half or so, when the babies and being delivered and then it pans up to the clouds, I thought it was going to be a completely plotless series of random frolics about storks and clouds and baby animals. I actually thought to myself, “Boy, this is essentially a Silly Symphony in CGI.” As it turned out, I thought it was an okay cartoon, but now I want to see Pixar actually attempt a Silly Symphony-style short.

  • Cameron

    Elan, I think the point was exactly that Carl had a fulfilling life. However, rather than seeing this beauty, all he could see was one unfulfilled promise. Rather than finding a new life, he thought continuously of better days, and had he stayed this way he might’ve become as crazy as Muntz.

    A tragic life wouldn’t have worked for me. It’s more interesting to see Carl go from that great, upbeat attitude of his to a crusty, crazed old curmudgeon and back again over the course of the film. Had his life been tragic, the more compelling story would have been an upbeat old man…which would have made this a completely different film. A better film? Couldn’t tell you, but I really doubt they could have done better than they did.

  • Dave

    Just got back from UP! What a great piece of entertainment! And how about that opening! Just… out of the park. I was definitely tearing up.

    Partly Cloudy was fantastic as well. Super funny and heart warming which most of us know is tough to do in such a short amount of time – especially at that level of quality.

    A BIG congrats to Pete Docter, Peter Sohn, and their teams! Run out to theatre now if you haven’t yet!

  • Ted

    The 3D was not useful in and of itself. It just sat there for an extra few dollars. Tho as I frequently hate Pixar’s color choices, the dulling effect of the tint may have been a benefit…

    The 3D was put to more active use in the Scrat ad and the G-Force ad. I notice G-Force uses less than the whole screen primarily, but uses the bonus space for some of the 3D to effectively emphasize it, which is enough to make a trailer for a bad looking movie at least interesting. Partly Cloudy didn’t seem to benefit from the 3D either. (I liked both Partly Cloudy and Up, tho; this is purely about the 3D…)

    It’s too bad Muntz didn’t pop up out of something after the credits…

    “Docter and Lasseter do good work, but they haven’t done anything that approaches good ol’ conservative Walt’s Pinocchio or Snow White or Lady and the Tramp”

    I’ve never understood why people put Snow White on a pedestal. It was a fine achievement for its time, and certainly has some great animation and some beautiful bits, but it’s never felt particularly fulfilling as a whole to me, being humorless (Dopey is powerfully unfunny) with an ugly lead and a story that has never kept me interested in and of itself. So Snow White is like the Toy Story movies that way…

  • Matt Sullivan

    I thought partly cloudy was brilliant.

  • Amazing and I can’t wait to see it again! Personally, I don’t know if I can rank it as Pixar’s best yet, but it’s definitely in my Top 3.

    I coulda used a tissue during those first 15 minutes… but at least I had a napkin with my popcorn.

    Anyone who has/had a Golden Retriever will relate to Dug and his quirks and mannerisms. They got that Golden stuff down perfectly. I loved all the dogs in the film, but obviously Dug was the canine star. Dog lovers will appreciate all the dog humor. If you watch the credits roll at the end, there is a photo of Carl and Russell making shadow puppets, while Dug has a very concerned look on his face. I know I have various photos of my old dog giving that exact same expression.

    Pixar also does it well with the birds. Kevin was by far my favorite character in the film. A giant, colorful bird doing random things. Some of the animations of Kevin were borderline Clampett. I found myself laughing out loud more than once anytime Kevin was prancing around on screen.

    A Pixar grand slam!

  • Karen

    “the underrated “Toy Story 2”

    “Toy Story 2” is HARDLY under rated! It’s got 100% at Rotten Tomatoes, and did terrific at the box office.

  • Wow I commented a few scrolls “UP” yesterday, and now
    theres 119 comments.

    I DID NOT read em all, just the last ones
    and I gotta say something about this guy TED:

    How dare you, who are you?
    Respect the classics dear Sir, your opinion is acid.
    (some people dont like the Beatles ,some people dont like DaVinci, some people dont like the way Pelé played soccer, but still show some respect)

  • kapnkarl

    Saw this in 3D with my wife and 5-year old daughter (her 4th Pixar film in the theater – she’s seen them all in some format), and we ALL loved it. I’m sure (maybe) our kid didn’t notice the tears my wife and I occasionally wiped off our faces from behind our glasses – the gags and action kept her (and us) laughing, excited, and engaged, in between the brilliant moments in which the film’s most poignant scenes played out. UP is probably the best film my kid’s ever seen in a theater… so far. (Of course, we can’t wait for TOY STORY 3!)


    By the way – to counter all those who take issue with the biplane-flying talking dogs, whose master is a 100-plus-year-old hero-turned-villain, who’s been able to maintain his ancient dirigible (where’s he getting the hydrogen?… helium?) in the wilds of South America – though in my heart of hearts, I can’t read the film this way… isn’t it possible that all of Carl’s adventures – just after his last night at home, before the Shady Oaks “orderlies” show up to take him away – are in his head?

    Considering the relatively realistic scenes leading up to Carl’s release of hundreds of balloons through his chimney (!!???!!… yet beautiful animation, that) – and the disconnect with the flights of fancy that follow – isn’t it possible that (to echo previous comments about the dreamlike quality of this film), once Carl releases the balloons, viewers are witnessing his dreams, fantasies, or delusions? That’s how some make it through VERTIGO after Jimmy Stewart’s left hanging on that broken drainpipe… and that’s how some make it through many a Fellini, Lynch, and Bunuel film. I DON’T view UP through this reading – I’m willing to suspend all belief when watching animated films – but anyone hung up on such matters (really, how do you all make it through Looney Tunes?) might give it some thought – and the film, a second viewing.

  • So, here’s Up in a nutshell.

    One or more lovable protagonists have existed for some time in a stable but fundamentally flawed routine, which is shaken up by the introduction of a foreign entity, usually another character, around whom attitudes are initially hostile. Attempts to deal with this character eventually lead to the protagonist(s) discovering a new, unfamiliar world, and in doing so discover the nature of the fundamental flaw in their routine. Villains are usually introduced or only become truly villainous from around the mid-point or quite late into the film. Along the way the heroes enlist the help of various lesser characters with clearly definable quirks and at one point reluctantly enter a high-speed chase. The villain is generally finally defeated with surprising ease, and everything concludes in an emotionally manipulative ending in which routine is restored with the fundamental flaw excised.

    Now, consider how many Pixar movies that could be describing.

  • In Awe

    Brilliant, Slash. That’s EXACTLY what I was trying to say about it being predictable.

    Only you said it way better.

  • Slash-
    Very interesting plot/story insights. I don’t think you’re wrong. I can think of a few Pixar movies that follow this general plot formula, but honestly, if the film still works, I don’t care. As in Toy Story (1&2), Finding Nemo, Incredibles…Whether they follow a formula or not, I can watch them again and again and still enjoy their stories. I had issues with Up.

    Every plot has been done before, one way or another. There is a book of plots called Plotto that screenwriters have used to come up with film and story ideas. I don’t think there’s much wrong with re-hatching a plot, as long as its handled somewhat uniquely, and the film is entertaining and fulfilling to audiences. I know this may not be the point you were trying to make, and I’m not trying to oppose your argument at all, but maybe bringing up another.

    And yes, a villain should not be easy to defeat!

  • Amelia

    It is rather predictable how all these movies have character arcs in them. Not to mention inciting incidents, conflicts, climaxes, resolutions and antagonists. As well other characters that aren’t the protagonist. Slash and In Awe, you guys are really onto to something here. Hey don’t Star Wars and the Wizard of Oz have the same structure? Man what a bunch of hacks!!

  • amid

    A friendly reminder: This post asked for your opinions of the FILM, not for your opinions about other people’s thoughts on the film.

  • I guess I should have started my last post with “Objective quality of the film aside, here’s a small plot synopsis of Up.”

    If it will make everyone happy, I will say I don’t hate Pixar and I do enjoy there films for the most part. My buddy and I were pleased with Up and if anything that is a success.

    I will also say I think Pixar is beyond overrated. But that’s just me.

    Amelia, I get the feeling you don’t like me. Can’t we all just be friends?

  • calvinosaurus

    Think yourselves lucky. Disney/Pixar in their infinite wisdom have decided to not release Up in the UK until October 16th. At this rate it will be like Ratatouille, where I bought it o DVD from Amazon.com the week after I had seen it in the Cinema in the UK. Is there some kind of language barrier that i was not aware of. Other countries I can understand there is a translation/dubbing issue – but they are marketing it at a week long Kids holiday opportunity over here instead of a 6 week window right now. And they wonder why piracy is rife, they are handing people a license to make money by doing this
    As for plot predictability, there are only 7 basic plots (alledgedly) with the odyssey/journey being one of them – so it’s how you get there that’s the point – is it entertaining – I’m fairly sure it will be.
    Apologies for being a bit off topic – but it’s frustrating to want to see this film and know that you’re going to have to wait another 5 months to see it.

  • PJ

    I dunno, in my opinion, since Russell and Carl spent the latter half of the movie running from or fighting with Muntz, that kind of by extension made him somewhat difficult to defeat. Or maybe I’m just in the minority here, being someone who’s never dropped a nemesis trapped inside a house off a zeppelin floating over the jungles of South America…?

    And I’ve already cast my lot on this issue, but I’ve just gotta say again that I agree with what Amelia says here. A story implementing universal plot mechanics isn’t what makes it predictable or derived–its HOW the film employs those plot elements. And UP made use of its plot elements in ways that I wasn’t expecting, and to me that matters.

    One last thing: going back to what Cameron said last. I agree, and I’d like to add that I think the way that Carl and Ellie’s life was more or less normal also makes their story so much more powerful. Because, as has been said before more eloquently, couples can pretty much universally see themselves reflected in their story. The things they went through not only remind us of what we’ve been through with our own significant others, but what we will eventually go through: which includes, eventually, dealing with death. That makes it so much more personal, and so much more powerful. It might have been more tragic if something horrible had happened to one or both of them (although I’d argue that discovering you can’t have children is an emotional tragedy in and of itself), but it also would have limited how relatable they were to the audience.

  • AaronSch

    I’ll avoid all nitpicking because taken as a whole, “Up” is a wonderfully executed film. For me, the best gauge of the film’s success is the fact that the children were not restless. They sat quietly in awe and you could hear their laughter at all the appropriate moments. The opening of the film felt very personal to me. My father recently passed and I’ve watched my mother transition from coping with loss to beginning a new adventure in life. I was both thoroughly moved and entertained—quite an achievement for any film. I’ll be taking Mom to see it next. Bravo Pixar!

  • jim

    Thanks STARTEND for clarifying that bit of schtick for me. Don’t know what happened to my attention there. That gag bucked me right off the horse. It seems to me like a glitch in the rhythm of the rest of the storytelling, I guess.
    People are born, they play on the playground, they go to school, they get a job, they fall in love, and they die. How many “predictable” people am I describing there? Perhaps there are a few omitted details that make things more interesting.

    It would be so wonderful if, based on a constant flow of true-and-genuine insightful and witty masterworks released around the world, year after year after year, the quality of UP were simply pale and anemic and sloppy by comparison. But that’s not the case, and thus it isn’t. ~~ I’ll admit, in resignation, I’m judging it more against what I’m used to seeing in the theaters than for what it could have been if it were ‘perfect’. I wish the bar for everyone were higher than it is, but as it stands, Pixar truly is the leader.

    @P.N.: The silent theater vs. pandemonium phenomenon interests me, too! I guess we simply didn’t have that one necessary kid with an infectious giggle and the lovable oaf in the back with a goofy guffaw to get the boisterous ball rolling. At any rate, the silence was an enraptured silence rather than a disinterested one, so that’s probably second-best. :)

  • ovi


  • Blake

    All I can say is it was amazing. The best Pixar film for me in a long time. I love it when CG films are able to get past the idea of duplicating reality, and can live in a world of cartoon logic, it make the expirience all that much more magical.

    I chose not to see the film in 3-D because I still think it’s a gimmic and bad thing for animation, which bring me to this,


    Correct me if I am wrong but I feel there is a bit of a double standard being practiced on this blog about the 3-D experience being introduced into new animated features. When Monsters vs. Aliens was released there seemed to be a large number of posts surrounding the idea that Dreamworks push for 3-D was a horrible and tasteless gimmic, yet now with the release of “UP” there are no such posts that I’ve seen about how Disney/Pixar are creating the same kind of horrible gimmic for their animated features. In fact it’s been suggested on this blog to see “UP” in 3-D. Why the double standard?

    Thanks you, I hope you are able to respond to my question.

  • Carolyn Bates

    I loved, UP. Its tender pathos and comic whimsy were touching, and the old man & young boy’s relationships were beautifully acted & voiced. It was a thrilling adventure but what I loved best was to see an older hero who evolved, learned, & inspired, and the film nostalgically reminded me of classics like, Captains Courageous and Old Man & the Sea. There were so many inspired story gags that I’ll need to get the dvd to savor them all. One of my favorites – which is just a tiny throwaway – was how they balanced absurdity & reality; showing the loopy contrast of having the dogs serve drinks, yet keeping the full physical traits of how a real dog might crazily grapple with the task, spilling most of it, tossing the bottle. The dog / ball & squirrel jokes were hilarious. Wonderful film!!!

  • Blake – There is no double standard here. I still believe, as I said in my blogpost last month, that 3-D is a fad. I’m not against 3D movies at all – in fact I’m quite a big fan of 3D films. However, I am convinced that this current trend of using 3D will eventually blow over, as it has done several times in the past. Please re-read my previous post for my reasoning.

    That said, I don’t really know how much 3D added to my enjoyment of UP. In retrospect, I’m thinking more about the characters and story – and nothing about its use of 3D.

  • In Awe

    Hopefully someone can clear something up for me.

    (TONS of SPOILERS ahead…)

    The entire adventure took place on that crescent shaped rock, right? Carl and his little boy landed at one end of the rock then stated that it would take 3 days to get to the waterfall. (Which btw, does not look like it would take 3 days to get there – poor production design).

    I’ll skip for a moment that in the wide shots that crescent shaped rock looked like a ROCK – where the heck then, did all of the shots in the jungle take place?

    So serial-killer Muntz invites them to dinner and shows them how he can’t find the Kevin bird because it’s out near the “Twisty” rocks, which I swore were OFF the crescent shaped rock – right? Didn’t he point to a spot far away from it – almost as if the crescent was continued, it would be in the center of the circle? That was my impression.

    OK, so then after they escape, they head towards the Twisty rock so that they can get the Kevin bird back to his home. They’re within shouting distance right? (You can see the rock, the babies are calling out). Then Muntz shows up in his 70 year old airship.

    I thought the Twisty Rocks were impossible to get to?! Didn’t Muntz say that? For 70 years he can’t find that stupid bird because of how hard they are to get to. And then he just FLIES there!

    But that’s not what bothers me the most – I could buy that for storytelling purposes. The part that bothers me is that now Carl, after stopping his house from burning, returns to the top of the crescent shaped rock.

    Really? A guy who has trouble getting out of bed can suddenly climb up that huge rock face?! Why do they get a pass on this? Does anyone find this completely unbelievable?! To me it speaks of how sloppy the story is in the middle.

    Illogical story events are one thing – but when it is consistently done over and over again, the story becomes ridiculous. What drives me insane is that I KNOW I’m in the minority. 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. I can’t argue with that. But is everyone so desperate for something that somewhat works that they’ll give a pass on all the inconsistencies?!

    Of course, this all becomes moot if I’m in fact wrong about the geography.

    And please stop comparing this to Miyazaki. Come on. Just because it is “wild” and “inventive” does not make it a Miyazaki film, no matter how many times they’ve had him come to the studio.

  • James

    Brilliant movie! There’s as much depth to this one as any Fellini movie I feel.
    I have to agree with kapnkarl. I thought the same thing and think you can also watch it as Carl’s death or death dream. There are those still parts with an empty house at night before he resolves to take his house up with balloons. It changes from realism to wild surrealism the next morning and then the whole adventure is filled with seemingly symbolic things that all point back to his life with Ellie. It’d be interesting watching the movie that way instead of a linear narrative. Anyone else think the bird was Ellie in a way (Ellie had a bird at the Zoo and on the mantle)? Babies she never had? Colors of the bird were like the house? Russell the kid Carl never had? Russell saying cross your heart? Muntz was the dark side of adventure without love? I dunno. Anyone think about this or am I crazy? :-)

  • PJ

    In Awe….you in fact are wrong about the geography.

    If you see the movie again, pay attention when Russell and Carl begin walking after deciding to walk the house to Paradise Falls (around the time when they do the “Let’s play ‘who can be quiet the longest?'” joke). The camera pans and shows the distance between them and Paradise Falls, which is much farther than it initially looks, presumably because Paradise Falls itself is so large. While they are indeed on top of a crescent shaped rock–I think they’re called tepui–the topography of the land between them and Paradise Falls varies greatly, and pretty clearly includes jungle foliage.

    And Muntz never said “Twisty Rocks” was impossible to get to. He said the INSIDE of “Twisty Rocks” was a labyrinth, and that once you went INSIDE you couldn’t find your way OUT. He even said he’s lost “so many dogs” inside there, so obviously its possible to reach it.

    Maybe you just disliked the movie so much that you weren’t really paying attention…?

  • on the use of 3d in Up- When I watched the film (most excellent) I was surrounded by a sea of children. As the audience donned the glasses during the opening disney logo, the chorus of “WHOA!” was exciting to hear, kids are cool like that. in contrast to some the experiences of others posting here, the kids in the audience really seemed taken with the film, only asking questions about plot points that were put over with text, like

    Ellie’s handwritten message to Carl in the Adventure Scrapbook
    *end spoiler*

    I felt though, that while the use of 3d was effective and appropriate, even at times visually breathtaking, it wasn’t really integral or vital to the telling of the story.
    The use of 3d didn’t make or break the film, though i suppose that could be considered a compliment, when so frequently 3d films focus so much on flaunting their 3d-ness that they take you out of the story with constant “coming at you” shots… but the 3d in Up just didn’t seem necessary except as an excuse to inflate ticket prices.

  • KB

    It’s rare a film comes along and completely inspires you to actually “follow your dreams” instead of simply entertaining and pacifying it.

    I am still wrestling with the questions and feelings this film has stirred within me.

  • Chuck

    My wife and I loved UP! as did my daughter but…

    it is interesting to note that my son, who like his twin sister is about to turn 6, was terrified of this movie. He has an aversion to unexpectedly loud noises and was scared for parts of Ratatouille (mostly where the thunder and gun shots were… thought the separation of dad and rat got to him also). The Thunder Storm scene had him in tears as did the fighting with the dogs and the final battle on the blimp. A lot of this is a credit to the animators who really suck him into the story (the same was not true about Cars or the Incredibles, but that might be to his weekly diet of Batman B & B).

    I loved Dug the dog and thought the villain was exceptionally well done. If you look at him as someone who felt he was wronged and then had 70 years to feed his paranoia back over and over again like a broken record, it’s not hard to see how he lost his sanity. This is especially true if someone had tried to talk him back to society and made a careless comment which brought the paranoia back into play. I have similar situations at work as a teacher where a kid is convinced I hate them because of a bad grade and anything I do to convince them otherwise just reinforces the earlier believe as it is molded into their world view.

    Quite honestly, I thought the opening short was one of the weaker ones which Pixar has done. It’s still heads and tails above the competition, but it felt a bit “meh” especially after Presto and the Alien Kid.

  • applejack

    Has anyone else noticed that this is the second Pixar film (along with Ratatouille) with a very anti-Disney message. Perhaps I’m reading too much into them, but the way I see it Charles Muntz is meant to represent the Disney Company: adventurous and adored by their fans in younger days, (the goggles worn by the kids even seem to suggest the iconic Mickey Mouse ears); but once they lose the magic touch (the incomplete bird fossil/a slump in film quality after Walt passed) they become obsessed with finding that perfect specimen/film formula and continue for years without achieving it, but still killing off any new competition that comes along.
    Along comes a plucky new hero (Carl & Russell = Pixar) who stumble upon greatness almost by accident and take it in stride as they move on to bigger and better things.
    Muntz does manage to create some talking dogs which can only be a dig at Disney’s talking animal obsession (e.g. Beverly Hills Chihuahua perhaps). The dogs make no sense in this film otherwise.
    Ratatouille’s underlying critique was considerably deeper and more specifically anti-Eisner, but I haven’t got time to sum it the analysis right now.

  • OtherDan

    James, I think you nailed it. I hadn’t thought of that. I’m getting annoyed at all the trivial complaints, because at the heart of it I think carrying that house and releasing it finally was Carl’s ultimate acceptance of the loss of his soul mate. That’s why he always talked to the house like it was alive. That was the story in a nutshell. To me the whole story revolved around their relationship, and it was beautifully told. The house represented his great love for Ellie. And to take it a step further-that the very rare bird was a symbol of Ellie, makes perfect sense and better explains the boy and her own “chicks” as you state. Great movie! And, great observation.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    Since it has taken me a tad longer than most to get to see it, I feel it is my civic duty to tell my two cents about it!

    I saw it yesterday at the Franklin Park 16: Cinema De Lux at the Westfield Franklin Park in Toledo. They had it available in both regular and 3D, which I choose the pricier option only because I felt I had gotten used to it by now (like a hot tub), and didn’t see any problems I had with my last 3D experience. I did not think the 3D nature took away from the enjoyment some have mentioned about the loss in colors or other disappointing constraints related to it, but I felt the movie was an even blending for the medium to shine, and there were moments when I felt my heart nearly collapsing at key moments during the action sequences.

    Those first ten minutes along with the montage of the line both Carl and Ellie shared where pretty heart-breaking, and I nearly got all teary-eyed at it while watching it. The money jar getting smashed periodically is an interesting point we all have probably experienced before in our lives when the need to save up for something often is overshadowed by the little incidences in life that can’t be fixed too easily. Watching this sequence made me think more of the history of my folks and in particular the kind of wishes and dreams my own mother had before her time passed. Words could not expressed how deep some emotions may lay or or we may experience the loss of a friend the way the movie details it.

    I found the characters real appealing and saw how Pete Doctor’s short film “Next Door” nearly relates to the design and storyline used in “Up”. Dug’s appearance itself is quite an interesting contrast to the other dogs seen in the film by default, yet aside from the dialogue, his mannerisms and personality matched very well the dogs I knew in my life who often were of that sort. Say you came home from work, and the first thing they do is jump at you barking hysterically while being in a ‘kissy’ mood. In the best way possible, they are saying “You’re here!”. There’s no better way for them to express it any further than they can. The talking dog collars was a stretch, but not extremely as much as I thought (though I could live without the “Squirrel” moments anyway). I think the fun moment I had was watching the dogs pour wine in a glass while holding/uncorking the bottle with their teeth, let alone dropping the bottle as what else could they do? It’s a silly moment, but I found it quite amusing, it still tried to work around the limitations while making it appear plausible in an impossible way (what otherwise had been stressed before from the greats). This also leads into the action sequences between Carl and Charles, extreme as it may be, I liked the idea of it feeling like things are just happening without much explanation or things getting throw on because it worked well in the writing. Animation doesn’t have to be too conservative if you know how to bend the rules now and then.

    I did sorta wonder how old these guys were (unless it wasn’t already mentioned elsewhere). I sorta felt Carl was in his mid/late 70’s while Charles Muntz was nearing a hundred, but the thought of him being in solitude with his pup’s make some sense to me if he had to eventually create those talking collars in order to hold some sense of leadership, let alone carry a conversation in such a remote place.

    As a certain Michael had said before, I came to this film having only seen a trailer for it the previous year for Wall-E and maybe one or two blurbs on TV (hardly watch any TV to begin with), otherwise, I was not spoiled entirely on the film alone thanks to the promotional materials, and didn’t find it predictable so easily. I feel it’s worth the time and hassle getting to the cinemas and $15 on food to see.