Pixar once again finds away to not only create beauty on film, but to define what an animated movie should be. Up places itself easily on Pixar's wall of fame, and with few flaws, is likely to be remembered as one of the best Pixar films of all time.
Much like WALL-E or Toy Story, Up is an adventure movie for children that cleverly and seamlessly becomes a film for adults. The plot is a fantastic journey through faroff destinations as well as the soul. Not to be outdone by WALL-E, Up is a tearjerker, both sorrowful and remarkably rejoiceful at times.
And that's an important point, a winning formula that Pixar has been re-imagining for years. Up is not a story about loving life. Up does not face the audience and tell them firmly (like so many children's movies do) that everything will be okay, there are no boogeymen, and happiness is assured in life. Up is relentlessy realistic in it's outlook towards life, yet this theme is blended perfectly into a fantasy story full of wonder and beauty. Up reminds me that the spirit of adventure is not bound in physical objects, or any corporeal form at all; it comes from the heart. It is a spirit that reaches inside of all of us and assures us that there really is beauty out there, if we care to find it. And Up tells me all of this without ten celebrity voices and a cheap, predictable plot. And thank God, no singing.
Up is indeed a massive achievement, even with its flaws. Some scenes feel a bit longer than they have to be, and occasionally the film pulls antagonists out of a hat, but these issues are minor, and the film is heavily enjoyable regardless.
I can't believe I waited so long to see this movie. Up is the kind of movie that you'll hear and see in your head for months afterwards, until you give in and see it in theaters again. Go see Up, and marvel at Pixar's amazing ability to take life and animate it for us all.
And because this is a popular thing to do, a list of my favorite Pixar movies:
2) Finding Nemo
3) Toy Story
5) The Incredibles
6) Toy Story 2
7) Monsters, Inc.
10) A Bug's Life