Up (2009)

Film: Up
Release: 2009, Theatrical
Starring: Edward AsnerJordan NagaiJohn Ratzenberger 
Directed by: Bob Peterson, Pete Docter
IMDB page: Link opens in a new window
Description: To fulfill his late wife's dream of high adventure, the elderly Carl Fredericksen ties thousands of balloons to his house in order to fly it to South America.

Hans' thoughts:

Few modern animation companies has had as long a stride of success as Disney Pixar. This can be attributed to quite a few things, their imaginative stories, their absolutely beautiful animation or, perhaps the most important, their ability to level with children while holding the attention of adults. 

In this case, we're talking about one of their biggest successes: "Up". When I first heard about the plot this movie has, I was convinced that it was based on a childrens book or something to that effect. As it turns out: This is an original work through and through! Stunning actually, that this movie is so simple on the surface, but already in the introductory sequences it is made clear that this movie has so many layers underneath. 

What the story is about is up to anyone to decide, although personally I would have to guess that it is about loss. Loss as a subject matter is a pretty dark piece to put into, what seems like, a simple childrens movie. This is where the movie shines, because while it has it as one of the facets of the story, it manages to tell it's story in such an uplifting and step-by-step oriented manner. 

Mixing up the story with just the right amount of comedy, and this is one of the most desperate Disney villains I've seen yet. Right up there with Claude Frollo from Hunchback of Notre Dame. The story manages to show us what he's doing and sets up a believable reason for what made him go over the edge. Of course, without approving of his actions: He's still believable as a villain and the audience still root for the heroes.

Another thing that really shone through for me in this movie is the score, while very simple, we see early on that a change in something as small as rhythm can make the main theme convey a lot of different emotions, the same song that can make you happy and cheering for the heroes can get you down and, personally, I actually got kinda misty eyed at times. That's a sign of a strong connection between picture and sound.

Up is one of those "complete" movies. All loose ends are tied, the story is told in a very sweet manner and the fact that they made the audience convey emotions about a building is quite a feat. I could never imagine a sequel to this movie, so take it for what it is. A story that just might go ever-green.
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