Friday, 12 February 2010

Up: DVD Review

Up: DVD Review

Released by Disney DVD
Rating: PG

Voice Cast: Edward Asner, Christopher Plummer, Jordan Nagai, Bob Peterson, Delroy Lindo, Jerome Ranft, John Ratzenberger

A Pixar film is always likely to have me excited - animation is one of the things I love - and I know with this animation studio that their animators have spent hours poring over every frame, ensuring every pixel is in place and every moment is perfectly crafted.

Up is the tale of Carl Fredericksen, who, in the twilight years of his life, after realizing he never followed his (and his wife Ellie's dream) of taking a trip to Paradise Falls in South America, decides to do something about it.

So with the bulldozers literally knocking at his door to make way for a development, Carl unveils a roof full of balloons and heads for the skies as he relocates for good.

The trouble is, just prior to his leaving, Carl was visited by Wilderness Explorer, Russell, who's trying to earn his final badge - for helping the elderly - and who was near the house when it took to the skies. With his unwanted companion, Carl and Russell head off for adventure - even if Carl doesn't want it.

Up is quite an adult tale - it's a yarn about accepting what's in your backyard and living life to the full; it has a winsome quality and has some truly touching moments. But none more than the first sequence which fully illustrates Carl's life with Ellie before the present day is just beautiful, emotionally stunning. Quite how a 3 minute sequence of animation can reduce this reviewer to near tears is a testament to the human touch these computer animators haven't lost.

But I didn't feel the resolute joy with the rest of Up that I have done with similar Pixar releases - whether it's because this story didn't resonate with me, I don't know; that said, I do love the fact that Carl loses his purpose in his life after the loss of Ellie - a rare quality for an animated film to portray - and by relocating and following what were his family's dreams, he rediscovers who exactly he is.

However, for every moment of minor misses, there are 1001 visually stunning moments on Up - and even more so on BluRay - and at the end of the day, when you're watching animation sometimes it's more than enough to simply look up and be impressed.

EXTRAS: As ever with Pixar films, you get the short which preceded the film in the cinemas, the winsome Partly Cloudy, alternate scenes, a chance to visit the real paradise falls and perhaps the best bit Dug's Special Mission, a spin off animation about the talking dog Dug seen in the film. It's a great package and continues to push the high limits of Disney DVD releases.

Rating: 8/10 

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