So far the summer season for kid’s flicks is batting 100%, with a homerun with Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian and now Pixar’s UP. With the glut of computer generated kids movies that have been hitting the scene over the past few years, it could have been easy to overlook this gem. The novelty of CGI movies wore off on me awhile ago, so I haven’t been as eager to see them lately. I should have known better with a Pixar flick. Pixar hasn’t made a movie yet that hasn’t touched me and thrilled me in some way. The trend continues with UP.
This movie is a heart tugging adventure that tells the tale of an elderly man (Frederickson) who years before had lost his wife, just days before they were to go on their grand adventure to South America that they had been planning since childhood. The following years he spends in seclusion and regret wishing he had taken the time to go on the journey with his life long partner. Just before being sent to a retirement home, Frederickson, who was a balloon salesman, outfits his house with hundreds of balloons and sails off in his house towards South America. Along the way he picks up a boy who is a Wilderness Scout, a talking dog and a giant bird, and his great adventures begin. If you have children or know children they have to see this movie. Adults, you won’t be disappointed either with this film. It is grounded in reality for the most part, and even the talking dog (Doug) has an explanation. The talking dog Doug is pretty funny, and his character is not portrayed as a human in a dog’s body. Doug is portrayed as a dog, and I think that perspective is hilarious and marvelous at the same time.
This film also has an emotional core that I think everyone can relate to, which is the idea of growing old, losing a loved one and being lonely. My tear ducts were trying to fire up, but I was able to hold them at bay. If you have loved Pixar’s other movie fare, such as Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo and the Incredibles, then you won’t be disappointed with UP.