JT Film Review

5 – Up (2009)


3.5/5 stars

Director – Pete Doctor/Bob Peterson

Cast – Edward Asner, Christopher Plummer, Jordon Nagai


People love Pixar, and they certainly have predictably turned out good movies. And while Up is certainly no Ratatouille or Monsters Inc. (my two personal favorites Pixar movies), it certainly makes itself entertaining.


The plot concerns a cranky old man who ties balloons to his house and floats off in order to a) escape the life of a retirement home and b) to fulfill a promise made to his dead wife to journey to a half-mythological place called Paradise Falls. He picks up a kid, a dog, and a giant bird along the way, and they have an adventure being chased by an old explorer named Muntz who tries to capture the bird.

Up-Kevin-Russell-webThe movie has the usual Pixar hallmarks; humor, wit, and charm, but this time the “charm” threatens to give way to saccharine sweet mushiness, and the humor tends to be lost at times to rather lengthy action sequences. The sappiness really gets piled on high in a couple places about half way through the movie, and there are a couple extremely formulaic plot developments. But there are some very funny moments; for example one EXTREMELY funny sequence involving the discovery of the large bird that is guaranteed to have you rolling in the aisles; and there are quite a lot of Michael Cera-like lines from a pack of dogs (who serve the villain) that are extremely well written and read.

The best thing about the film is that it does go places which most kids moviesUp-Carl-Ellie-web either don’t go, or go badly. It deals with the death of an elderly loved one, with loneliness, it even dabbles a little with loss of innocence. And it is all done in a very “About Schmidt” way that is a nice breath of fresh air in a “family movie”.

As it is Pixar, I must mention the short film which always precedes their films. This one is called Partly Cloudy, and concerns the old Storks-Delivering-a-Baby myth. In this version, storks deliver the babies , pixar-partly-cloudy-firstlook-full-499x280but the clouds actually make them by sculpting with mist and then electrifying it. One of the clouds however, isn’t very good at it, and the short concerns the relationship between that cloud and his stork, who is all too aware of his clouds inability. Very inventive, sweet, and funny.


Up is a good movie, but more like the quality of Cars or A Bug’s Life than Ratatouille. Recommended, if you have nothing else to do.



“Up” on other websites:

IMDB —– Rotten Tomatoes —– Wikipedia



June 2, 2009 - Posted by | 3.5 Stars, Film Review, Genre - Family, Year - 2000-2009 | , ,

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