Home > Movie, Review > Movie Review: Up (2009)

Movie Review: Up (2009)

Elderly man and youngn boy riding on a bird with a dog following them.Summary:
Carl’s wife Ellie has died, and now he’s sitting in the house they shared biding the time until he can join her.  An unfortunate conflict with the developers building all around him leads the court to order that he be sent to a nursing home.  Defiant, Carl decides to take the trip to South America he and Ellie always meant to take by flying there–with his house.  An 8 year old stowaway, a mysterious bird, and dogs with collars that allow them to talk all make for an interesting adventure.

I know, I know.  How had I not seen this already?  I admit, I thought the premise sounded dumb at the time it came out, and was surprised at how into it everyone got.  I don’t entirely blame myself for this.  The advertising ignored everything that makes this movie wonderful and instead focused on the balloon house.

This story showcases the problems faced as an elderly person.  Other stories do this, but this is a cartoon, generally aimed at children, and it is frankly a delightful pairing.  It’s an old wive’s tale that there’s an innate connection between the elderly and the very young, and this movie decidedly backs that up.  Russell, the 8 year old, is lonely due to his absentee father, but in his youth is still full of energy and optimism.  Carl, in spite of living a good life, is depressed and lonely without Ellie.  There is no one who bothers to care for him.  They only see a crotchety old man, which granted is the way he’s behaving, but maybe it’s for a reason?  Kevin respects Carl, and this gradually opens him up to connecting with another human being even at this late stage in life.

In addition to the wonderful themes, the scenes are beautifully drawn.  The colors are just the perfect mix of cartoony and realistic to make for a visual feast.  Additionally, the comic relief of the talking dogs and the mysterious birds are handled with an expert ease that hits the funny button at just the right moments, but are still creative enough to be delightful.

If you happen to have still not seen Up, I highly recommend it.  It’s not your average animated movie plot, and it is visually gratifying.

5 out of 5 stars

Source: Netflix

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  1. June 8, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    I was very much like you didn’t really get very excited about the original premise of this film, as you said the advert just had a house being carried by balloons. But I’m actually worse than you…I still haven’t seen it but really want to!

    • June 8, 2010 at 3:08 pm

      What changed your mind from not being interested to really wanting to see it? I’m curious!

      • June 8, 2010 at 5:07 pm

        Haha changed my mind when I eventually saw a clip of the film where there was dialogue. The talking dog is explaining that his owner made this collar so I could comminicate at which point he loses interest and says squirrel!

      • June 9, 2010 at 9:33 am

        🙂 The talking dogs are excellent, since they talk the way real dogs actually behave, lol.

  2. June 19, 2010 at 3:35 am

    Hi, I recently just watched this movie and I can see why it won Oscar 🙂 I also put this movie in my blog (www.inspiredground.blogspot.com). By the way I think you got the name ‘Kevin’ wrong, it was suppose to be ‘Russell’. Kevin is a name Russell pick for the tall bird ^^

    • June 21, 2010 at 8:06 am

      Ah, thanks for catching that! I’ve always disliked the name “Russell.” Must be why I misremembered it!

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