Thursday, September 13, 2018

Animated Addict: "Up" (2009)


The Animated Addict is back in town, and in the Basement with another review!  Today, I'm going to take a quick look to the skies as I review Pixar's 2009 release, "Up"!

Carl met the love of his life at the age of nine.  Ellie was fearless, adventurous, and energetic... and she had her own clubhouse.  They both shared a dream to visit Paradise Falls- a dream they would work to accomplish throughout the length of their relationship.

Until tragedy struck the loving couple.

Soon, Carl would learn what it really means to have an adventure... and that it can be found in the most unexpected places...

Right up front, I'm going to tell you that "Up" is in "The Good" for me.

Wait, my bad- SPOILER ALERT!

There, corrected my faux pas.

But it's true.  This animated film is one of my favorite Pixar films- right up there with "WALL-E", "Finding Nemo", and "Inside Out".

Pixar has always had the ability to bring such a strong foundation of emotional connection to their movies.  You CARE about the characters, and WANT to cheer them on as they travel the animated journey they're on.  When something bad happens, you feel sympathy; when they experience something joyful, you feel happy.  They make you feel- which is what great cinema is supposed to do.

The opening portion of the film dealing with Carl's and Ellie's relationship showcases their skill at that masterfully.  If you didn't cry, sniffle, or just even sigh with sympathy by the end of it, then fuck you.  That segment is one of the most romantic and dramatic love stories ever told in an animated film. EVER!

The animation is beautiful- both the character designs, and the scenery.  The character designs fit the character voices perfectly.  The voices of Ed Asner, Christopher Plummer, Jordan Nagai, and Bob Peterson lent their voices to the lead characters, and filled them with depth, charm, and humour.  Even the antagonist, Charles Muntz (played by Plummer) wasn't just a villain.  You could understand how he came to be the emotionally disturbed man he was.

I especially want to commend Pixar for NOT using a white voice actor to play the Asian role of Russell.  Nagai did a great job, and I hope opens the door for further use of ethnic voice actors being used for the appropriate ethnic roles.

The story's ability to connect with people, and draw from them a good emotional response; the characters's likability and depth; the tremendous voice actors, and the beautiful art direction and character designs; all of these things are what firmly put Pixar's "Up" into "The Good".

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