First Reaction: Pixar’s Up

Last night, was invited to take a look at 45 (well, 47.16 to be exact) minutes of Pixar’s latest, Up, in Los Angeles.

Directed by Monsters Inc’s Pete Docter, Up follows retired balloon salesman and all-round crank Carl Fredricksen as embarks on the sort of adventure he’s never gotten the chance to live before.

What we got to see comprised an almost completed version of the movie’s first 45 minutes – some of the music was temp, the rest was Michael Giacchino’s beautiful score. And some of the sound needed tweaking.

Plus, while the final version of the film will be in 3D, we saw the current working print, which had yet to be converted.

So how was it? Everything you’d expect from a Pixar movie – touching, funny, inspired and a serious blow to anyone who expects the people who made Wall-E and Finding Nemo to have stumbled this time out.

We meet Carl as a callow eight-year-old, inspired by tales of adventure and desperately hoping to be like his heroes. He meets Ellie, a rambunctious tomboy who quickly becomes the love of his life.

In a moment of pure Pixar beauty, we get to experience their lives together in a series of moments – some heart-warming, some seriously heart-breaking and all cleverly blending real emotion with the movie’s stylised cartoon world.

But when Ellie dies, Carl is left to live alone, frustrated at a world that no longer respects him. When he gets into some trouble, he’s ordered to go and live in the local old folks’ home.

Carl decides to ditch the dull reality of life and – as the film’s current showcase scene reveals – floats his house off to South America to live the adventure that he and Ellie always planned.

Things don’t quite go to plan for Carl as along for the ride is Russell, an overly eager eight-year-old wilderness ranger who just wants to help – and earn his latest badge.

When the two land in South America, they meet an odd bird that Russell names Kevin and a dog with a very special collar, about whom we’ll say nothing for fear of spoiling one of the footage’s greatest gags.

Up looks like another marvel from the Emeryville bunch – now what we want is to see the rest of it. Get a move on, Pixar bods!


Total Film


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