Thursday, July 16, 2009


Every time I see a Pixar film, it's my new favorite. I loved Finding Nemo. And when I saw Ratatouille, I was enchanted. Then there was Wall*E, and my heart was stolen. Now it's Up, and, yes, it's now my favorite film. Not just my favorite Pixar film, but my favorite film of the year, at least so far.

Young Carl Frederickson meets a young, spirited girl named Ellie, and they both dream of going to South America when they're both old enough to travel. We speed along to 70 years later, and Ellie has passed away, when Carl remembers the promise he made to Ellie when he's being forced out of his home. Before they can take him to a retirement home, he ties balloons to his house and sets them free, which allows the house to travel up, up into the clouds. However, he has a stowaway, Russell, an 8-year-old boy scout who's just trying to get a badge for helping the elderly. Together they embark on an adventure in, yes, South America, where they encounter large, colorful birds and talking dogs.

Don't come in late to this film, I'm begging you. In the first 15 minutes, you'll see how Carl and Ellie meet, and how their relationship progresses. And that first segment sets up the entire film.

I saw Up with a minister, who was wondering afterwards how she might use it in counselling sessions with those who are aged who have lost their partners and wonder if there's anything worth living for. The film shows us what kinds of adventures lay ahead for us, only if we're willing to open our hearts.

It's a love story; it's an adventure story; and, at the end, it's still a love story. Up flies higher than any film you'll see this year. Thumb's up.


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