My favorite Pixar film since Finding Nemo. Clearly not as masterful as Wall-E, but a soaring buddy comedy with just as many tears as laughs. In some ways, its a psychic cousin to Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino, but it goes in a much more optimistic direction. Aside from some of the best Pixar dialogue ever, The soaring score, heartfelt characters, and the life-affirming story make this a film that will be a comfort to me for the rest of my life. Like Wall-E, the first act is truly so touching, so powerful so... perfect, that once the thing keeps going, it's almost impossible to keep its promise. Then, for reasons that the filmmakers may find themselves questioning for years, Up pulls one of the oldest tricks in the Kid Film book:(Spoiler Altert)
Talking Animals. Yes, the dogs are cute, but it was a tonal shift that I felt wasn't neccesary. And fine, Doug is cute. But it descends into a predictable narrative quagmire in the third act act, which is the only thing that keeps me from giving this a higher grade. This film could have used someone to cut about 10 of the scenes with those damn dogs out.
Then again, Disney needs those dogs to sell tickets/video games/stuffed animals. Cause lets face it, Mr Fredrickson is not as cute as Wall-E. Wait, yes he is. I guess dogs are still cuter than men with accordian-shaped faces.
I love how he's like this little kid who has taught himself to be a curmudgeon and how all it takes is the promise of adventure to wake him up, while Russel is a utter wimp that has convinced himself that he's an adventurer. It's a multigenerational buddy-comedy. I'd be lying if I said I didn't cry a little at the end.