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Up

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This article is dedicated to Ed Asner (November 15, 1929 - August 29, 2021) & Christopher Plummer (December 13, 1929 - February 5, 2021)
Up
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My spirit of adventure is you!
Genre: Comedy
Drama
Adventure
Directed By: Pete Docter
Produced By: Jonas Rivera
Written By: Bob Peterson
Pete Docter
Tom McCarthy
Starring: Ed Asner
Christopher Plummer
Jordan Nagai
Bob Peterson
Cinematography: Patrick Lin
Jean-Claudie Kalache
Distributed By: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Release Date: May 13, 2009 (Cannes)
May 29, 2009 (United States)
Runtime: 96 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $175 million
Box Office: $735.1 million


"So long boys! I'll send you a postcard from Paradise Falls!"
Carl Fredricksen

Up is a 2009 American 3-D computer-animated comedy-drama adventure film produced by Pixar Animation Studios for Walt Disney Pictures. The film was directed by Pete Docter and stars the voices of Ed Asner, Christopher Plummer, Jordan Nagai, and Bob Peterson. It is the tenth animated feature film produced by Pixar. The film debuted at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival on May 13, 2009, and was released in theaters in the United States on May 29.

A streaming series of short films following Up, Dug Days, was released in 2021.

Plot

Carl Fredricksen, a 78-year-old balloon salesman, is about to fulfill a lifelong dream. Tying thousands of balloons to his house, he flies away to the South American wilderness. But curmudgeonly Carl's worst nightmare comes true when he discovers a little boy named Russell is a stowaway aboard the balloon-powered house. A Pixar animation.

Why It Went On A Trip To Paradise Falls

  1. Pixar got it's very good chance to create a aviation movie.
  2. Very smooth, crisp animation, even for 2009 standards. While CGI animation was more developed in 2009 than it was in the earlier 90s, it still isn't as good as it is today. But Up manages to have very nice-looking CGI animation that looks almost as good as most CGI films nowadays.
  3. Most of the 3D scenes are decent, as the adventure of the movie pops right off the screen. That's why, this is Pixar's very first feature film in stereoscopic 3D.
  4. Excellent directing by Pete Docter.
  5. Like many other Pixar/Disney films, the voice acting is great.
  6. Romantic ship: The opening showcasing Carl and Ellie's married life is simply phenomenal, and no doubt one of the most mature and spectacular scenes in any Pixar film. And most likely the saddest scene in a film already overflowing with touching and emotional moments. So much so that it has become known as a cultural milestone, and a key element to the film's success.
  7. The tone is well balanced, matching with light and dark moments.
  8. The formulation of Russell as an Asian-American character, along with the casting of an Asian-American in the role was met positively.
  9. Michael Giacchino delivers an amazing and emotional score. The best example is "Married Life" and "Carl Goes Up".
  10. A concept of a house with cluster balloons as a flying machine, is very original and hilarious.
  11. The main cast are all likable characters.
    • Carl Fredricksen is a great and very strong protagonist. He's a retired salesman and widower who flies his house to Paradise Falls to fulfill a childhood dream he shared with his late wife Ellie. Since his wife died, feeling heartbroken, he decided to create his very own flying machine, a house with cluster of colorful balloons. And in spite of his cynical personality, he still shows how much he cares for others when he goes out of his way to save Russell from Charles Muntz.
    • Russell, the deuteragonist, is an energetic and lively boy who aims to earn a merit badge for "Assisting the Elderly" and becomes a stowaway on Carl's house as it flies to Paradise Falls. Throughout most of the film, he makes several comments to Carl that suggest that Russell's father and mother are no longer together.
    • Kevin (the "Beast of Paradise Falls", who is, in actuality, a giant, South American bird and the main target of Charles Muntz) and Dug (a golden retriever misfit of Muntz's pack of dogs that can all communicate with humans through a device on each of their collars) are both funny comic relief for the film who don't manage to harm it's emotional tone in spite of providing many humorous moments.
  12. Plenty of funny moments like Dug coming back and saying "I was hiding under your porch because I love you", Carl instructing Russell that they will "walk to the falls quickly and quietly with no rap music or flash dancing" as Russell trails behind, only to say "Uh...sand...I found sand!", Mr. Fredricksen shouting, "Hey, get off of my roof!" at Kevin, only for Dug to reply with, "Yeah, get off of his RUFF!", and Kevin attempting to eat Carl's cane, only to end up choking on it and spitting it out, and when she tries to eat a balloon from Carl's house, only for it to pop inside of her throat, and spit it out.
  13. The scene where Russell talks about the time he spent with his father and how the stuff they did may have been boring, but he remembers said boring stuff the most was touching. Especially considering the fact that it comes back later when Carl is reading Ellie's adventure book and realizes that she felt the same way.
  14. Charles Muntz is a surprisingly good twist villain. As unlike most twist villains who are simply revealed at the end of the film, and therefore lack memorability or interesting motives, he's revealed halfway through the film. This, therefore, makes him a more memorable villain who doesn't feel weak or forced. He also serves as a legitimate threatening antagonist and the film isn't afraid to showcast how he's more than willing to kill anyone who gets in his way, including Russell, who, keep in mind, is a child.
    • His motivation also make really sense. He just wants to captured the legendary bird known as a snipe in order to clear the name in Paradise Falls.
  15. The important lesson in the story was: don't ignore what's really important by clinging to your regrets and life is unfair, but you can't let that ruin your chances at being happy.
  16. Amazing Ending: After stopping Charles Muntz and sacrificing Carl's house in the process, he and Russell reunite Kevin with her chicks and fly the dirigible back home, taking all of Muntz's dogs with them. Russell receives his "Assisting the Elderly" badge, and Carl presents Russell with the grape soda bottle cap that Ellie gave to Carl when they first met, which he now dubs "The Ellie Badge". Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Carl, his house has landed on the cliff beside Paradise Falls, fulfilling his promise to Ellie.
  17. "I do not like the Cone Of Shame."

Bad Qualities

  1. The story can be somewhat predictable occasionally.
  2. The sad scene where Carl scolds Russel and Dug after Charles Muntz burns his house is mean-spirited and painful to watch.
  3. Plot-hole: It's never explained how Russell got on the front porch. When the house is taking off and the retirement home orderlies turn to face it, you can clearly see there's no one on the front porch. When the house is seen flying later (before Russell's let into the house), the porch is clearly still empty.

Reception

Up was widely acclaimed by media for its characters, themes, narrative, Asner's vocal performance, and Giacchino's score, as was the montage of Carl and his wife Ellie growing old together. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a 98% approval rating based on 298 reviews, the highest-rated film of that year on the website, with an average rating of 8.70/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "An exciting, funny, and poignant adventure. Up offers an impeccably crafted story told with wit and arranged with depth, as well as yet another visual Pixar, treat." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 88 out of 100 based on 37 critics, indicating "universal acclaim". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film a rare average grade of "A+" on an A+ to F scale.

Film critic Roger Ebert gave the film four out of four stars and called it "a wonderful film." The Hollywood Reporter lauded the film as "Winsome, touching and arguably the funniest Pixar effort ever, this gorgeously rendered, high-flying adventure is a tidy 90-minute distillation of all the signature touches that came before it." Although the San Francisco Chronicle noted that the film "contains many boring stretches of mindless freneticism and bland character interaction," it also declared that there are scenes in Up of "such beauty, economy and poetic wisdom that they belong in any anthology of great movie moments ... to watch Up with any attention is to be moved and astonished by the economy with which specific visuals are invested with emotion throughout [the film]. ... " Variety enthused that "Up is an exceptionally refined picture; unlike so many animated films, it's not all about sensory bombardment and volume ... Unsurprisingly, no one puts a foot wrong here. Vocal performances ... exude a warm enthusiasm, and tech specifications could not be better. Michael Giacchino's full-bodied, traditional score is superlative ..." The Globe and Mail stated that Up is "the kind of movie that leaves you asking 'How do people come up with this stuff?'" along with an overall positive review of the film, despite it being predictable.

Box Office

Up earned $293 million in the United States and Canada and $442.1 million in other countries for a worldwide total of $735.1 million. Worldwide, it was the sixth-highest-grossing film of 2009, the fourth-highest-grossing Pixar film, and the 24th-highest-grossing animated film.

In the United States and Canada, Up is the 59th-highest-grossing film before inflation, the tenth-highest-grossing Disney film, the seventh-highest-grossing 3-D film, the sixth-highest-grossing animated film, the fifth-highest-grossing film of 2009, and the fourth-highest-grossing Pixar film. On its opening weekend, it performed stronger than analysts had been expecting, ranking number one with $68,108,790. This is the fourth-highest-grossing opening for Pixar and the third-largest post-Memorial Day opening. It set a record for opening weekend grosses originating from 3-D showings with $35.4 million (first surpassed by Avatar). The opening weekend audience was 53% female and 47% under 17 years old. The film experienced small drop-offs on subsequent weekends but lost first place to The Hangover.

Outside the US and Canada, it is the 43rd-highest-grossing film, the tenth-highest-grossing animated film, the fifth-highest-grossing film of 2009, and the third-highest-grossing Pixar film. It was on top of the overseas box office for three consecutive weekends and for four in total. It is highest-grossing opening weekends were recorded in France and the Maghreb region ($8.88 million); the UK, Ireland, and Malta ($8.44 million), and Japan ($7.24 million). These three were also its highest-grossing countries in total earnings. Among major countries, it was the highest-grossing animated film of 2009 only in Spain ($37.1 million). Australia ($25.3 million), and South Korea ($6.32 million).

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Trivia

  • Despite Pixar's track record, Target Corporation and Walmart stocked few Up items, while its regular collaborator Thinkway Toys did not produce merchandise, claiming the film's story is unusual and would be hard to promote. Disney acknowledged not every Pixar film would have to become a franchise. In Colombia, unexpected publicity for the film was generated due to the uncanny similarity of Carl with Colombian ex-president Julio César Turbay Ayala. Docter intended for audiences to take a specific point from the film, saying: "Basically, the message of the film is that the real adventure of life is the relationship we have with other people, and it's so easy to lose sight of the things we have and the people that are around us until they are gone. More often than not, I don't really realize how lucky I was to have known someone until they're either moved or passed away. So, if you can kind of wake up a little bit and go, "Wow, I've got some really cool stuff around me every day", then that's what the movie's about.".
  • This is the second Pixar film to be released in May to date.
  • Originally titled Heliums, Up was conceived in 2004 by director Pete Docter. He developed the fantasy of a flying house on the idea of escaping from life when it becomes too irritating, which stemmed from his difficulty with social situations growing up. Actor and writer Tom McCarthy aided Docter and Bob Peterson in shaping the story for about three months. Docter selected an old man for the main character after drawing a picture of a grumpy old man with smiling balloons. The two men thought an old man was a good idea for a protagonist because they felt their experiences and the way they affect their view of the world was a rich source of humor. Docter was not concerned about an elderly protagonist, stating that children would relate to Carl the way they relate to their grandparents.
  • This marks the final Pixar film to be released in the 2000s.
  • It was speculated by Disney fans that the name of Charles Muntz was a jab at producer Charles Mintz, who infamously screwed over Walt Disney when he was working on the silent Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons. This rumor was shot down by Pixar staff, who claim the similarity in names was a complete coincidence.
  • The montage has a scene where Carl and Ellie decide to have a baby, then we cut to the two in the hospital as the doctor explains something we can't know, and Ellie is crying. According to the creators, Ellie suffered a miscarriage and is infertile, and therefore cannot have any children.
  • The film was originally scheduled to be released on June 12, 2009, but in April 2008, it was pushed forward to May 29, 2009.
  • It bookends with both films by Pete Docter in 2000s, Monsters, Inc. in 2001 and Up in 2009.
  • Early concepts differed from the final film. The initial version featured a floating city on an alien planet populated with muppet-like creatures, with two brothers vying to inherit their father's kingdom, and when the brothers fell to Earth, they encountered a tall bird who helped them understand each other. But the story just didn't seem to work properly, and Docter and Peterson realized that the most intriguing element was the isolation of the floating city. Yet the people living there would consist of a whole community, and were therefore not really isolated. So the whole city was stripped down to a single flying house with just a single occupant, where balloons replaced the magic which kept the floating city up.
  • It is Pixar's first film to be presented in 3D format. It is also the debut of the 3D Pixar logo, other releases followed, except for Toy Story 4 (uses the original 2D version for some reason) and the Disney+ original Pixar movies.
  • This is the first Pixar film to have an audio description track on its DVD release.


Pixar Animation Studios
Movies:

Toy Story - A Bug's Life - Toy Story 2 - Monsters, Inc. - Finding Nemo - The Incredibles - Cars - Ratatouille - WALL-E - Up - Toy Story 3 - Cars 2 - Brave - Monsters University - Inside Out - The Good Dinosaur - Finding Dory - Cars 3 - Coco - Incredibles 2 - Toy Story 4 - Onward - Soul - Luca - Turning Red - Lightyear - Elemental - Elio - Inside Out 2

Short movies:

Theatrical short films:

The Adventures of André and Wally B. - Luxo Jr. - Red's Dream - Tin Toy - Knick Knack - Geri's Game - For the Birds - Boundin' - One Man Band - Lifted - Presto - Partly Cloudy - Day & Night - La Luna - The Blue Umbrella - Lava - Sanjay's Super Team - Piper - Lou - Bao

SparkShorts series:

Purl - Smash and Grab - Kitbull - Float - Wind - Loop - Out - Burrow - Twenty Something - Nona

Feature-related:

Mike's New Car - Jack-Jack Attack - Mr. Incredible and Pals - Mater and the Ghostlight - Your Friend the Rat - BURN-E - Dug's Special Mission - George and A.J. - The Legend of Mor'du - Party Central - Riley's First Date? - Marine Life Interviews - Miss Fritter's Racing Skoool - Auntie Edna - Lamp Life - 22 vs. Earth - Ciao Alberto

Short series:

Cars Toons:

Mater's Tall Tales:

Rescue Squad Mater - Mater the Greater - El Materdor - Tokyo Mater - Unidentified Flying Mater - Monster Truck Mater - Heavy Metal Mater - Moon Mater - Mater Private Eye - Air Mater - Time Travel Mater

Tales from Radiator Springs:

Hiccups - Bugged - Spinning - The Radiator Springs 500½

Toy Story Toons:

Hawaiian Vacation - Small Fry - Partysaurus Rex

Forky Asks a Question:

What Is Money? - What Is a Friend? - What Is Art? - What Is Time - What Is Love? - What Is a Computer? - What Is a Leader? - What Is a Pet? - What Is Cheese? - What Is Reading?

Pixar Popcorn:

To Fitness and Beyond - Unparalleled Parking - Dory Finding - Soul of the City - Fluffy Stuff with Ducky and Bunny: Love - Chore Day the Incredibles Way - A Day in the Life of the Dead - Fluffy Stuff with Ducky and Bunny: Three Heads - Dancing with the Cars - Cookie Num Num

Dug Days:

Squirrel! - Puppies - Flowers - Smell - Science

Television series:

Buzz Lightyear of Star Command (co-production) - Monsters at Work - Cars On The Road - Win or Lose

External Links

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