Pixar’s tenth feature film is a wonderful, highly entertaining, charming, and well-paced movie, directed by Pete Docter. The animation is expectedly gorgeous, with beautiful and bright colors. Just like in the case of WALL-E, the very touching first and best act of Up says so much without relying on dialogue and is a prime example of marvelous storytelling.
Carl Fredricksen and Russell, the protagonists, are two delightful characters that the viewer almost instantly comes to care about. The heart of the movie and the source of much of its emotional power lie not only in the friendship between Carl and Russell but also in the heart-warming relationship between Carl and Ellie.
Up has many great moments, both emotionally resonant ones and hilarious ones. The sight of Carl’s house taking off and flying away, lifted by thousands of colorful balloons, is awe-inspiring and memorable. In one poignant scene, Carl lets go of his past with Ellie by jettisoning furniture and other items from his house in order to live and make a difference in the present. Towards the end of the movie, there is a similarly powerful scene in which Carl sits down and flips through Ellie’s scrapbook.
The voice acting by, among others, Sten Ljunggren, Elias Eiding Målar, Nils Eklund, and Henrik Dorsin—I saw the Swedish-dubbed version of the film—is very good. That being said, I would have preferred to have seen the original version, whose cast includes Ed Asner, Jordan Nagai, Christopher Plummer, and Bob Peterson.