Monday, 1 June 2009

UP 3D (2009)

Directed by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson (co-director)
Written by Bob Peterson (screenplay)
Cast Edward Asner, Christopher Plummer, Jordan Nagai, Bob Peterson, Delroy Lindo, Jerome Ranft, Elie Docter, Jeremy Leary


Reviewed by Sari

UP 3D is yet another 3D-animated film on the theaters and it's also the latest Disney-Pixar production from the makers of Toy Story, Finding Nemo and Cars. This colorful story starts from the early childhood of an old man, Carl Fredricksen (voices, young Carl by Jeremy Leary, old Carl by Edward Asner), who is the leading character in this animated film.

He once was a quiet little boy, who meets a rascal girl called Ellie (voice by Elie Docter), falls in love with her and finally marries her. So it's the classic love story, so to speak. Carl and Ellie are one extremely happy couple, and they share the same dream of going on an adventure to South America one day. They even dream about having their house at the edge of The Paradise Falls. But their life passes by and the adventure seems always to be postponed further. Until the day Ellie gets seriously ill and passes away.

Carl is now alone, being an 78-year old man and is facing the fact that the adventure they so wanted to experience never took a place in their life. But things start to change for him and one day he decides to literally "take off" and is soon flying high on the sky in his house, thousands of balloons carrying him to his destination, South America.

For his suprise a young wilderness explorer Russell (voice by Jordan Nagai) is going to share this experience with him and these two soon find they way to South America and face the most interesting situations and characters while trying to move Carl's house to the right spot, next to The Paradise Falls, that Ellie so dearly loved.

On their way to the falls they run into a rare bird species, a pack of talking dogs and end up inside a large cave, where Carl's childhood hero, the ultimate explorer Charles Muntz (voice by Christopher Plummer) lives and has trained all these obedient dogs. Carl is excited to meet him, but it's soon quite obvious that Charles is not a good man, but he is actually after something they possess and this leads into an exciting and intense chaise.

The story starts quite smoothly and takes you to the early years of Carl's life, giving you a nostalgic feel of his past. It's also quite funny to see him and Russell battling their way to South America flying on a house carried by colorful balloons, trying to find the perfect spot to that beautiful, old house. At some point the story gets a bit chaotic though, especially from the point where they run into a talking dog called Dug, and then into a whole pack of talking dogs, leading their way to an old explorer behind them, Charles Muntz. I wasn't sure if I understood the funniness behind the talking dog theme, but then again, I really loved that old man Carl and his little companion Russell and felt that those two were meant to be together on this adventure.

UP being and animated film is of course a film made for the whole family and especially children, so perhaps the storyline and all the peculiar characters will open up better for the younger age groups than us grown-ups. Visually the 3D-film is just stunning and I especially enjoyed all the vivid colors, the high-quality animation and all the 3D-effects, which we could all expect to be excellent after seeing all those previous Disney-Pixar films.

UP is an entertaining animation which you want to take your kids to see and let them enjoy all the craziness and chaos of this everyway colorful, animated film. And don't be suprised if you enjoy it yourself, too.


Paivi said...

Thank you for your review Sari! I'm so looking forward to seeing this because the trailer looks just awesome and I have always loved Pixar -animations.

I was actually expecting even higher rating based on the hype and talk in Cannes for example. But 3 stars still sounds reasonable - I'm waiting for a few months until able to see this here in our neck of woods.

Sari said...

After reading all the good reviews I was probably expecting too much. I really liked the visual side and thought that Carl and Russell were both cute in their own ways, but the story just got a bit tangled at the end and I just didn't get the talking dogs thing at all...

You may think differently though, so I am curious to hear your thoughts about this later.