Film review: 'Up'

A scene from Up.
A scene from Up.
Buoyant movie uplifting...

> Up

Directors: Pete Doctor and Bob Peterson

Cast: Edward Asner, Christopher Plummer, Jordon Nagai, Bob Peterson, Elie Doctor

Rating: (PG)

5 stars (out of 5)

Review by Christine Powley

The story of an old man running away to South America is hardly going to fly, except when cartoon frontrunners Pixar are the ones pitching it.

Carl Fredricksen (Edward Asner) is facing being bundled into a nursing home and in a last gesture of defiance he attaches heaps of helium balloons to his house and takes to the skies.

Up (Rialto and Hoyts) sounds like an odd sort of kids' movie but Carl is accompanied on his adventure by Russell (Jordan Nagai), a cub scout looking to get his "assisting the elderly" merit badge.

Watching Carl warm to Russell is amusing but the real delight starts when they land in a hidden valley where Charles Muntz (Christopher Plummer), a forgotten explorer, is searching for an elusive zoological specimen.

Muntz is not delightful, being a tad paranoid, but he is a genius inventor and has fitted his many dog companions with collars allowing them to talk.

It may be childish but hearing dogs say things such as "treats, I smell treats, I like treats" is a joke that you just can not get enough of.

From an unlikely premise, Up is more emotionally charged than most cartoons and more delightfully goofy too.

This is one of those happy times when taking your kids to the movies is no penance. In fact, feel free to ditch the kids and just treat yourself.

Best thing: Pixar can cram more into five minutes than most films manage in two hours. The opening montage taking us through Carl's life is a miniature masterpiece.

Worst thing: Carl's character is so well-established that the patchy detail of Russell's backstory looks lazy.

See it with: Those too-cool-for-school young adults. They will be quoting the dogs for days.

 

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