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Pixar's latest entrance into the category of "Our cartoons are Better than Your Art Film" is epic in every sense of the word. The story seems so simple and universal and yet resonates with depth. A lonely, grumpy widower named Carl decides to float his house away from civilization using helium balloons and go on the journey that he and his wife had planned for years. The everyday problems of life never gave them the opportunity, the time, or money to fulfill this dream. A young "wilderness explorer" stowaway named Russell joins him on his journey to South America and Paradise Falls.
To say that the animation was great is an understatement. Pixar IS animation. They have been leading the industry since Toy Story smashed on the scene on 1995. I was never a huge fan of these animated movies. I loved The Incredibles because it was about superheroes, I liked Ratatouille, I loved Wall-E and now with Up, I must admit that I am now a huge fan. There was no downside at all to this film; no boring, overly-explained beginning, no dragging middle part, no anti-climatic ending. This movie was incredible (heh) from start to finish. The story, dialogue, and action was all simply perfect. You laughed, you cried, and you journeyed along with these characters. During the movie I felt completely immersed in the story and I was swept along with Carl and Russell. The 3D environment certainly did not hurt this aspect of the film.
The voices were spot on. Ed Asner gave Carl a depth that would not be possible for a lesser actor and Jordan Nagai, in his film debut (or at least his voice) was great. I would not be surprised to see a long list of credits for this young man in his future. Bob Peterson is a seeming wunderkind with a co-director, writer, and voice actor credit for the movie. He is the Kevin Smith of the animation world. LOL If you did not laugh your butt off at Alpha's voice when he first appears, you don't know funny.
This was my very first 3D movie (I know, I know) and I was astounded at how unbelievably cool it was to watch in 3D. I flinched several times until I got used to seeing objects flying at my face. That was part of the fun in seeing this movie. The three-dimensional aspect really brings you into the story as it appears that you are literally in the scene. Seeing normal 2D animation will seem so 1990s from now on. (Just kidding, kind of.)
If you are a Pixar fan then you will not be disappointed in this movie. If not, go see it anyway because not many "real" films can match the heart or depth of this story. I cannot imagine watching this film repeatedly and not tearing up or laughing out loud at several points again and again. Simply put, Pixar is making movies that are groundbreaking today and will be viewed decades from now for the story and that is really all you can ask of any studio, real or animated.
5 / 5 stars