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Movie Review: Up (2009) November 30, 2009

Posted by pacejmiller in Movie Reviews.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

I’m not usually a big fan of animated films.  There have been a few very good ones (such as Toy Story, Shrek and Ratatouille), plenty of terrible ones (such as Shark Tale, Astro Boy and the worst of them all, Resident Evil: Degeneration), and a whole lot of average or overrated ones (in my opinion just about everything else, such as Finding Nemo and Happy Feet).

Accordingly, I approached the latest Pixar/Disney venture, Up, with plenty of scepticism.  I’m not going to discuss the plot – the poster is about as much background as you need.  Anyway, I ended up loving it.

For starters, Up is one of the funniest animated films I’ve ever seen.  It has that Toy Story quirkiness to it, that matter-of-fact approach to completely random and outrageous situations.  There are plenty of WTF? moments, but the execution is so sweet and cute that you can’t help but be captivated, regardless of how crazy it may all seem.

There’s also the wonderful characters – extremely unique characters.  Can you imagine any other film carried by a grumpy old man and a fat little Asian kid (plus a whole bunch of dogs) from start to finish?  Incredible.

Most of all, Up has plenty of heart.  The opening sequence summarising the life of old Carl Fredericksen up to that point is one of the most bittersweet and moving I’ve seen in any film.  And when he comes on board, the back story of Russell the kid is also very touching.  The balance between humour and drama and action is handled brilliantly, each hitting the spot at the crucial moments.

And did I mention the amazing animation?  The gorgeous blend of colours and crisp textures, coupled with the beautiful scenery and perfect character design, took the exuberance and warmth to a whole new level.

Granted, Up is not perfect – it started off wonderfully but dipped a little towards the middle before picking itself back up before the end, but on the whole it is hands down one of the best animated movies I’ve had the pleasure of watching.

4.5 stars out of 5!


1. Lou C. - November 30, 2009

Dude, Astro Boy was EXCELLENT. I went in to see it with some doubt but it was awesome. It had more heart than Up, had better animation and character design than Ratatouille (those awful-looking plastic people), great animation and voice acting (especially Freddie Highmore). As for UP, it was…okay. The first half-hour or so, just okay, but the rest was boring except for Dug the talking dog, and even that got silly after awhile. Nope, Astro Boy for the win.

pacejmiller - December 1, 2009

No!! Astro Boy left me almost in tears after destroying my childhood memory of my favourite topless boy hero in black metallic undies and red rocket boots. See my review of Astro Boy here, which I only gave 1.5 stars out of 5. Are you a fan of the original series?

2. Nate - December 6, 2009

Are you falcon kidding me? Lou C……..ok well, I don’t really have anything civilized to say so I’ll just leave it at: “everyone is entitled to their opinion” and that’s that.

Pace: yeah Astro sucked, your childhood and mine ruined. I’ve actually thought about it in retrospective and I still come up disappointed. I’m glad you liked UP! and that opening sequence? Didn’t your eyes get watery? The saddest, most touching opening ever. Now I hope that “The Incredibles,” “Monsters Inc.,” and “WALL-E” aren’t included in your *overrated/average* category or we’ll have a problem. On “Finding Nemo” though, when I first saw it, I thought it was good but not the masterpiece everyone held dearly to their hearts, and then some years later I re-watched it and I supremely enjoyed it much better, and now I truly think it’s one of pixar’s best, so you may have to give it a second try.

pacejmiller - December 6, 2009

Hehe – UP was sensational. And I really liked the Incredibles as well, though I thought Monsters Inc was decent but not great. As for WALL-E, thought it was very good, but not quite the masterpiece I thought it would be – probably because I had read your review first! Finding Nemo was another one of those that got too much hype for its own good. I wouldn’t mind checking it out again. I am hoping Avatar doesn’t turn out to be the same.

3. Nate - December 7, 2009

I was gonna argue my love for WALL-E but now you’ve giving me the idea of simply do a super Pixar post counting down my pics for their best AND why.

Avatar? I can’t tell if you are talking James Cameron soon-to-not-be-all-that-and-the-popcorn, or M.Night Shyamalan’s adaptation of the nickelodeon’s cartoon that….it pains me to say this because I’m a HUGE fan of the cartoon….just can’t possibly live up to its source material. I think he was the wrong choice for that BUT I’m hoping that at the very least its watchable.

pacejmiller - December 7, 2009

I was talking about the James Cameron crap, though I must say the font they used is curiously similar to the cartoon, which I’m afraid to say I don’t know very much about.

4. Nate - December 7, 2009

Watch the cartoon, all 3 seasons/series (what do you call them down there?). It’s a must! it isn’t completely gear toward kids, there’s pretty adult stuff in it. You’ll want to know EVERYTHING about it before M Night ruins it.

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