It will come as no surprise to learn that Pixar’s latest cinematic offering is outstanding. In fact it is hard to convey in words just how brilliant Up really is, you just simply have to see it for yourself. The tenth film by Pixar delivers both heartbreak and humour in a way that will leave you wondering just how they manage to instil so much personality and character into a computer generated image.
The story of Up follows the adventures of 78-year-old widow Carl Fredricksen who decides to fulfil his dream of moving to Paradise Falls when he is faced with the prospect of life in a retirement home. So in typical Pixar fashion, he accomplishes this by attaching hundreds of balloons to his house and then simply floating away. However once he’s airborne he discovers a stowaway; a young ‘Wilderness Explorer’ named Russell whose happy demeanour contrasts with Carl’s gruff exterior. Once the pair arrive in the tropical haven that is Paradise Falls, they quickly realize they are not alone; an endangered bird and a talking dog named Dug (easily one of the funniest Pixar characters ever created) accompany Carl and Russell as they discover there is a sinister element lurking in the jungle.
Of course with every new Pixar film you would expect some spectacular animated visuals and Up certainly delivers. The task of bringing an immense tropical paradise to life on the screen is one that director Pete Docter accomplishes magnificently. However his greatest achievement is most definitely the films opening fifteen minutes, the montage chronicling Carl’s relationship with his now deceased wife Ellie is as stunning as it is heartbreaking, it alone merits an Oscar nomination for Up.
Up is the first Pixar film to be released in 3D, which at first would seem perfect for enhancing the fantastic imagery an audience would expect, yet it is if anything a distraction. It adds nothing to the overall enjoyment of the film, which would be just as fantastic on a standard screen, it would seem that 3D is still yet to prove its worth in cinemas.
Aside from the annoying 3D aspect, Up is nevertheless a breathtaking piece of cinema, a film that is undoubtedly Pixar’s finest work, that is until Toy Story 3 arrives.
The true genius of Pixar’s films lies not in their beautifully crafted animation, nor with their eccentric main characters, but in their ability to be just as entertaining to an eight year old as they are to an eighty year old. If you thought that the brilliance of WALL-E wouldn’t be matched anytime soon, think again.