Up was Pixar’s 10th film. It was released in May of 2009 and was nominated for an Academy Award in 5 categories. It won in two: best animated feature and best original score.

Some animated films begin to show their age after 10 years, but Up is still as fresh as the first day in theaters. The animation style has a slight cartoon-ish feel but it still maintains a great deal of realism.

The setup to the film is a short film in itself. It’s a lesson in visual storytelling. After the introduction of the main character to a childhood friend the scene quickly transitions to the couple getting married, buying a house, having a miscarriage, struggling with finances, growing old together, and ending with the death of Ellie all without a single line of dialogue.

In the course of a few minutes the audience is subjected to laughter, joy, sorrow, hope, suspense, and sadness. It’s a whirlwind that leaves you breathless and wiping your eyes. And now it’s time for the movie to begin for real.

Pixar flips the genre on its head by swapping the roles of hero and mentor around. Typically we’d expect a young boy to go off on an adventure and find an older mentor to guide, train, or encourage him on his way (reluctantly or otherwise.) In Up, the hero is an elderly man, late in life, who is encouraged, pushed, and manipulated by a young boy, a dog, and a mythical bird.

The Soundtrack for Up is a wonderful thing. It’s very light clean sound, even the tense moments the music is beautiful and never overpowering. The soft peaceful moments evoke both happiness and contentment. The use of older sounding instruments give a sense of nostalgia and familiarity.

The humor of the Up transcends generations with plenty for both young and old to laugh at. The story has heart, it has relatable characters, and it has lots of talking dogs.

Up really has all the necessities to be considered a timeless classic. It’s one of the highest rated Pixar Films (right behind Toy Story, Toy Story 2, and Finding Nemo) and it belongs there. 10/10.

Review by Phil Wels

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