“This is crazy. I finally meet my childhood hero and he's trying to kill us. What a joke.”
- Carl Fredricksen
“Hey, I know a joke! A squirrel walks up to a tree and says, ‘I forgot to store acorns for the winter and now I am dead.’ Ha! It is funny because the squirrel gets dead.”
Here’s what I wrote about this one in my original theatrical review back in 2009:
“In the latter stage of his life and unwilling to be sent to a retirement home, widower Carl Fredricksen (voiced by Edward Asner) decides to fulfill his and his wife Ellie’s lifelong dream of flying to a secret South American locale and experience the adventure both have them always said they longed for. Using his skills as a balloonist, he manages to rig a contraption that takes his entire home skyward, onlookers gasping at the sight of him and his abode floating on by.
Unbeknownst to Carl, a young wilderness explorer some 70-years his junior named Russell (Jordan Nagai) has inadvertently hitched along for the ride. Together, these two strangers must find a way to bond as adventure comes calling the both them, striking from angles and destinations neither could ever have anticipated. It is a friendship neither expected but both were in desperate need of, the lessons they learn ones both will take solace in long after the world forgets who they even were.
Okay, I’ve had it. There just isn’t any more to say at this point. The bottom line is that Pixar, company head John Lasseter, the entire creative team there, all the people they have working for and with them, can absolutely do no wrong. It’s become an impossibility, and no matter the concept or the subject matter time and time again they prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they make films better than just about anyone else.
Their latest Up is certainly no exception. This is as charming and as moving an animated family marvel has they have created yet. Directors Pete Doctor (Monsters, Inc) and relative newcomer Bob Peterson (who also wrote the captivating screenplay) have taken arguably the studio’s most outlandish scenario yet and transformed it into a timeless marvel viewers of all ages are certain to adore. From the sweetly enchanting opening scenes to the energetic set pieces closing it out this movie does no wrong, and when it was finally over the only thing I wanted them to do was rewind the projector so we could watch it again.
I guess the only thing you can maybe do is try to rank it against what Pixar has done before, but even that is pretty much an absurd waste of time. From WALL•E to Toy Story, Ratatouille to Finding Nemo, The Incredibles to A Bug’s Life very little of what the studio has attempted has even come close to resembling what they’ve done before. They simply do not repeat themselves, and even when they tackle a sequel, like with Toy Story 2, they still somehow manage to do it in a way that feels fresh and original, a talent the rest of Hollywood would do good to try and emulate.
The simple truth here is that it is the story, stupid, and focusing on that particular aspect of a film’s creation is what has put them head and shoulders above everyone else and then some. When you watch the DVDs of classic Disney films like Sleeping Beauty, Pinocchio and Lady and the Tramp time and time again you can look at footage of Walt stressing the importance of the script, that the characters must ring true or nothing they attempt to do within the plot will ever matter to the audience.
Lasseter and company have followed that policy to the letter, each of their pictures, even relatively slight efforts like Cars, ringing of an authenticity few other pictures – animated or live action, it simply doesn’t matter – can match. Their characters resonate with you long after the film is over; their decisions and relationships having a tactile authenticity that makes whatever happens to them feel alive and genuine.
In this case of Up this, once again, is certainly the case. The longer I mull it over the more I realize that, once again, this will undoubtedly be one of the best films I see this year, just about certain to take its place at the upper reaches of my year-end personal top ten as well as secure industry-wide accolades no other 2009 production will probably come close to matching. It is, and forgive me for saying this (because I feel like I do so each time out with these guys) a masterpiece, and as streaks of brilliance go here’s my hope that Pixar’s never comes to an end.”
If you do not already own Up, and my gosh why don’t you, by all means now is the time to add it to your personal library. Pixar’s new 3D Blu-ray release is sheer perfection and seeing as the movie itself it is as timelessly entertaining as ever I can’t think of a single reason not to purchase a copy right this very second.
UP is presented on a dual-layer 50GB 3DBlu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video with a 1.78:1/1080p transfer. It is also presented on a standard 50GB Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video with a 1.78:1/1080p transfer.
This Blu-ray features an English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 soundtrack as well as a plethora of other audio tracks and features optional English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
All of the special features (which are awesome, just look at them all, especially the ‘Cine-Explore Commentary’ feature) and extras from the original 2009 Blu-ray are ported over to this release, all contained on the 2D Blu-ray disc (the 3D disc contains no extras).
The set also comes with a DVD and Digital Copy of the movie.
Up is classic Pixar. Disney’s new 3D Blu-ray release of the film is absolutely perfection. As I’ve already said, if you don’t already own this motion picture than by all means by this new edition the very first moment it goes on sale; it’s awesome.