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Pixar/Disney is cunning. I watch previews for the movies the company produces and never really have a clear idea about the movie. Yet, the short blips always wet my appetite to watch their movies.
So when I watched a preview for “Up,” which showed a house with thousands of party balloons floating through the air and an old man sitting on the porch saying “Howdy,” I was ready to immediately head to the theater.
Turns out the preview just showed the tip of the iceberg. There are a lot of laughs, thrills and action sequences in the film but also a few tears. Plus, I think the film offers one of the sweetest and sentimental endings I’ve ever seen in a movie.
The story begins with the protagonist, Carl, as a child meeting a skinny, toothy girl who will later become his wife. You get snap shots of their life together, which is a happy one despite their inability to have children. To make up for it, the couple dream about going on a great adventure to a far away land called Paradise Lost.
The dream comes to a halt when tragedy strikes and the main character’s wife dies. The dream may have been delayed but Carl sets out to fulfill his late wife’s childhood wish of reaching Paradise Lost.
What he discovers along the way is much more than a fantastic land.
There are so many things to love about this movie and one of my favorites aspects is that an elderly man assumes the lead role. It seems so often in films senior citizens are exiled to retirement homes or forever trapped in rocking chairs.
In “Up,” not only does the senior citizen take the lead, but he is a great character. Carl is a bit thorny and grouchy but underneath the thorns is a sensitive, caring man.
I loved the antagonist as well, a cute-as-a-button, roly-poly Boy Scout named Russell. The boy’s naïve nature makes him endearing to watch.
Additionally, even though the movie is set in a fantasy world and reveals a lot of fantastic events, there are a many real-life situations the audience can relate to: divorce, death, loneliness, friendship and hope.
Plus, its messages of living a complete life and having the courage to move onward from tragedy are ones that anyone at any age can benefit from hearing.