Up This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

January 16, 2010
Pixar is known for great films that bring together heart-warming stories and visually striking CGI animation into a package enjoyable for both children and adults. The studio's contribution to 2009, “Up,” proves to be another great addition to the Pixar canon.

The film revolves around Carl Fredricksen, an older man who has become lonely and bitter after the death of his wife, Ellie. She had always dreamed of being a great explorer like their childhood hero, Charles Muntz, however, the couple could never quite get around to traveling due to money problems. And just as Carl was about to give Ellie surprise tickets to Venezuela, she died. Now, facing pressure to leave his home, Carl decides to “fly” his house with many balloons to Paradise Falls, South America – the land lost in time they dreamed of visiting. Along the way, Carl is joined by Russell, Dug, and Kevin.

First off, I'd like to note how amazingly artistic and touching the first 10 minutes are. We're introduced to a young Carl and Ellie and watch through photos as they grow from children to adults to retirees, seemingly without a care in the world except each other. It's a visual and emotional experience, with no dialogue. If that segment alone had been a short film, I'd have been impressed.

The characters are all likable, each having an interesting personality that evolves. Character interaction is the high point of this film. If you came for plot, don't expect much to happen – until the end. The dialogue and experiences with these characters make us sympathetic to their courses of action – a rarity in a kids' movie.

The score is also exceptional, thanks to the composer's decision to make it revolve around the characters. Each piece of music resonates with one of the characters, and that emotional connection is one of the film's strong points.

The humor, to be expected in a film like this, is pretty good. The characters are cute and goofy but not in a cartoonish way. They're captivating in a very human way.

The action scenes in the jungle are enjoyable, and nicely scored and choreographed. These sequences aren't like other children's films, where the action is frantic and nonsensical. Instead they serve as exposition in a tale of motivated, flawed, and cute characters – all looking for meaning in their lives.

One problem I had with the film, though, was how late the antagonist was introduced. And he wasn't even a bad character, since he was also interesting. It was just that his motivations and presence felt out of place in Carl's journey.

Beautifully crafted, visually pleasing, and just plain fun, “Up” is a character-driven film that's sure to please.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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goldendove said...
Jan. 23, 2010 at 11:04 am
This is a great review !!
I agree with you.
I was wondering how did you get the movie cover into your review?
TheGothicGunslinger This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 24, 2010 at 4:16 pm
You actually can't put the cover into your review manually. If whatever you're reviewing is approved by Teenink, the moderators will add an image in for you via Amazon .com 's images. Thanks for liking the review, and be sure to check out more of my reviews if you can. =)
TheGothicGunslinger This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 24, 2010 at 4:17 pm
You actually can't insert images by yourself. A moderator will do that for you, if your review gets approved.
Thanks for liking the review. Be sure to check out more of my reviews, if you can.
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