Even as a kid I wasn't crazy about animated movies, oh I enjoyed some of the classics from Disney which in fairness I still enjoy today but I never went crazy about them. That may explain why I never really got on the animation bandwagon when Pixar came along with their computer generated animations and as I have stated in other reviews I tend to prefer the classic hand drawn animations. But after not being bothered by so many of these modern animations I have to say if they continue to produce movies like "Up" I could be swayed. Here is an animation which has all the ingredients; it looks amazing, it has humour which appeals to adults and children, it has great characters, it has story and imagination and also brilliant music which when combined make something very special.
As a young boy Carl Fredrickson meets Ellie a spirited young girl who shares his love of adventure with both having a dream to travel to Paradise Falls in South America. Over the years they get married and deal with life's ups and downs till Ellie sadly passes away in her old age leaving Carl living in their old home in what is now the middle of a construction site. When Carl accidentally injures a construction worker he finds himself being forced into a retirement home. But before they come to get him he has one last plan and with the aid of hundreds of balloons flies away with his house. The only trouble is that stowed away is young scout Russell who had been trying to win his helping the elderly badge. Despite being a cantankerous old so Russell warms to Carl as they head off on an adventure.
I am not going to review the entire of "Up" because not only is there too much to cover but I honestly recommend you buy a copy and watch it for yourself. Instead I am going to tell you about the wonderful opening 12 minute montage as this is some of the best animation work I have seen in a movie. The depth of colour and attention detail is astonishing in fact it blew me away but this glorious look also has substance because we also had the touching story of Carl and Ellie. Now I am an old softy and this montage which takes us through their life together moved me in such an unexpected way, amusing, sweet but also with a touch of sad realism as their life had ups and downs. And this combined with a fantastic choice of soundtrack makes it simply beautiful.
And the good news is that the rest of the movie is just as good delivering more of the same high quality animation, humour, story telling and much more all of which not only has what is needed to amuse young audiences but entertain adults as well. A huge reason for this is that in "Up" we have fleshed out characters be it the enthusiastic Russell or the grumpy Carl and they are not the only ones as there are many others. But for me personally the wonderful choice of Edward Asner to voice Carl is simply perfection because not only can Asner do grumpy and bellowing but also the soft tenderness of an old man who is wistful about the past.
What this all boils down to is that from someone who is not overly bothered by animations "Up" is something very special and simply a joy for those who have found modern CGI animations at times shallow.