'Up' takes animation to new heights
It's a classic B-movie exotic adventure, the kind that inspired Steven Spielberg and George Lucas to make 'Raiders of the Lost Ark', but it's told through the most high-tech, gorgeous 3-D animation.
It's a mismatched buddy comedy, the kind we've seen countless times before, but the buddies are a curmudgeonly 78-year-old man and a tubby 8-year-old boy - who wind up together in a flying house, traveling to South America.
And, as with many family films that get pumped out each summer, it has talking dogs. But it's how the dogs talk and what they say that are truly inspired, and oddly realistic.
Pete Docter (Pixar's 'Monsters, Inc.') and co-director and writer Bob Peterson turn their imagination this time to human beings, rare creatures in the animated kingdom. But between the richness of the characters, the meatiness of their interaction and the authenticity of the details, it won't take you long to forget that 'Up' is a cartoon and become immersed.
We begin some 70 years ago, when Carl Fredricksen was just a boy, worshipping the glamorous explorer Charles F. Muntz (voiced by Christopher Plummer). Even then, Carl moved with the quiet cautiousness of an old man - that is, until he meets the energetic tomboy Ellie, who brings out the fun he never knew he had inside him.