Up is one of those films that sticks with you long after the credits are done rolling. It hits you on a number of different levels, bordering close to perfection. I don’t think I’ve seen a film that manages to switch from hurt to hilarious in such an effortless fashion.
In the beginning you meet Ellie, a cute little girl full of adventure. Her energy and excitement bleed off the screen and you can’t help but smile at her. She’s perfect for Carl, an innocent kid who barely says more than a few words. Their imaginative adventures get you into the story immediately. It’s a relationship that makes the first ten minutes that much harder to watch. There are moments in the film that never lose impact which is testament to the film’s power to stand the test of time.
For a child’s film, there are a lot of layers that really make the film special. It isn’t long before we get to meet Russell, an innocent boyscout turned star of the movie. He’s just trying to earn another badge by helping the elderly. Underneath this unassuming kid is hurt from all the painful things happening in his life. Each character has their own respective backstory that makes them relatable and lovable.
There’s good ole Doug the runt of a talking dog pack who can’t seem to do right even when he tries his best. He’s an outcast amongst the other dogs while still harboring those wonderful dogs traits that humans can’t help but love. And how can you not love the colorful snipe Kevin whose only goal is to take care of her kids (yes, HER name is Kevin)? All of these characters are worthy of their own standalone film which is why bringing them all together for one story makes the film spectacular.
At the core of the story is the odd couple relationship between Kevin and Russell. Young and old meet and it couldn’t be funnier to see the two try and operate together. As they try and understand each other, they form an unlikely bond, a closeness that was lost from both of their lives. At the risk of sounding like a teenager, it will give you all the feels.
There could be some missteps in this wonderful adventure about a man who decides to fly away in his house using thousands of balloons, but those missteps are minute. Not only are the visuals amazing, but the message is also a strong one: Don’t get stuck in the past. Live life for the now.
Up is a classic. I give it a 99.