Anyone over the age of ten who has seen Up will be the first to tell you– Pixar now makes movies for adults. Kids are just an afterthought.
Exhibit 1– WALL*E.
Exhibit 2– Up.
That’s not to say there aren’t some perfectly funny moments in Up that kids will bust a gut over. It’s just that the movie is poignant, visually stunning, and even a little (‘Blech!’ the kids will say) romantic.
The only two ‘big names’ in cast are Ed Asner (Carl Fredricksen) and Christopher Plummer (Charles Muntz)– both of whom are 79 years old.
In fact, there’s only one child in the story (not counting the young’uns at the beginning)– Russell, the eight-year-old Wilderness Explorer who tags along with Carl on the ride of a lifetime.
The movie begins with a young Carl meeting a young Ellie, both of whom share a love for adventure and exploration. They make it their life’s mission to visit Paradise Falls in South America, inspired by their hero, the dashing Muntz– who now takes up residence there full-time.
When Ellie passes away (I’m not giving anything away– it happens in the first 15 minutes), Carl decides it’s time to voyage to the falls on his own. And upon his arrival, he meets a rainbow-colored peacock/ostrich– the same quarry that Muntz has been hunting all these years.
What follows may be the closest thing to a perfect 90 minutes that you’ll see in a theater this year.
It’s ‘PG’, and definitely not for the, say, under-6 crowd– due to some gunplay, a swordfight, a particularly nasty thunderstorm, a fire, and two (offscreen) deaths.
But for those of you over 6 (and even a little closer to 30+), Up is a great escape. The characters are three-dimensional (though the movie, truly, needn’t have been), the visuals are just as astounding as in WALL*E, and the ending arrives right on time.
If you have the option, see it in 2D, and don’t waste the extra cash on 3D. It could be argued that the 3D (while fun) detracts from the beauty of Up. You’ll probably miss a lot of the truly stunning visuals…and instead just notice how cool it is that a Doberman is jumping out of the screen right at your head.
Either way, you’ll still walk out of the theater very happy…the adult in you will be touched and dazzled. The kid in you will be yelling, “Squirrel!” at least a few times.