Just among friends, I’m not ashamed to admit that Pixar Studio’s latest creation found me with ‘something in my eye’ at several moments. That one of those moments occurred within the first ten minutes is a testament to both my emotional fragility and the skill with which this charming adventure has been lovingly crafted.
Up, a tall tale about an elderly man attempting to fulfil his late wife’s dreams, is easily Pixar’s most affecting film. Refreshingly free of gimmickry, the modest film contains some ambitiously mature ideas.
Our hero, Carl Fredricksen, is a curmudgeonly geezer whose warmth is teased out by an ebullient (yet equally lonely) young boy, Russell, when they find themselves on a journey straight out of a ‘30s serial adventure, climaxing with zeppelins, aerial dogfights (literally) and, to top it off, a dashing sword fight.
All is painted with bright, colourful animation, conveying a storybook exoticism of rocky mesas, lush jungles and luxuriant waterfalls. Michael Giacchino’s musical accompaniment is whimsical and airy, childlike yet nostalgic.
Up is a ready-made classic; an imaginative, invigorating story that will transport you to a time in your childhood, like Carl’s, when dreams were just a handful of crayons away.