UP – Pixar’s best film since Nemo?
UP follows 78-year-old Carl Fredricksen (perfectly voiced by Ed Asner), who is completely alienated from the youthful society around him. Carl has longed to be an explorer, ever since he was a small child and holds a certain part of South America very close to his heart. The land around his house is being built on and the developers attempt to have Carl put in a retirement home. As the bulldozers close in, Carl’s only way out is…UP. By using thousands of balloons, he fashions a homemade airship from his house and begins his journey to South America alone. Or so he thinks. As he takes flight 8 year old Russell is still on his porch looking to earn his ‘helping the elderly’ Wilderness Explorer badge.
The 3D is bizarrely subtle and adds depth (figuratively and literally) to the characters and the narrative. As Carl’s adventure progresses, his initial claustrophobic and dull environment is replaced with an incredibly rich and open landscape; a transformation aided by the depth of the three dimensional image. The film hasn’t compromised itself for the sake of 3D, and would work perfectly well in 2D. UP never feels gimmicky or forced.
The imagery and complete visual style of UP is particularly stunning, recalling classic hand drawn adventures such as Disney’s PETER PAN as well as the often stunning efforts from Studio Ghibli. Particularly during the aerial scenes, the film transcends the animated canon and recalls the tone of Lamorisse’s LE BALLON ROUGE.
UP is probably Pixar’s best film this side of FINDING NEMO.It is easily one of the funniest, most exciting and moving films of the year. It is presented through stunning visuals and contains some of the most memorable characters of any of Pixar’s adventures.
Sam Clements Projectionist, The Ritzy