It’s official, I’ve seen the greatest animated movie ever – I know it’s quite a statement but I can tell you that the outright winner of that title is UP.
What a movie! Pete Docter, the genius behind Monsters Inc. and WALL.E has surpassed even those with UP, a sublime piece of film-making about how a friendship that may at first seem unlikely, can ultimately save your life.
Carl Fredricksen (fantastically voiced by the legendary Edward Asner) is a pretty grumpy old man but he has a good reason – his wife and soulmate Ellie has passed away and now their beloved home is about to be bulldozed by developers. Russell (so winningly voiced by Jordan Nagai) on the other hand, is a very eager, young boy scout, one badge away from becoming a ‘Senior Wilderness Explorer’. And what’s the one badge he needs to get? Helping the elderly.
When Russell knocks on Carl’s door, a dazzling adventure begins for them both involving a lost explorer (exquisitely voiced by Christopher Plummer), a bird called Kevin, a talking dog named Dug and a hell of a lot of balloons. If you have children, they’ll love Russell and the animals; if you’re a parent, you’ll love the dry humour of Carl. You don’t need to be either though to love this film because it’s one of that very, very rare breed of movies that seem to hit something quite profound and epic and touching in all of us, whatever our age. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial had it and so did more recently Toy Story 3 but there aren’t many others.
I love animated movies and haven’t yet blogged about that many here – Megamind being one of the few so far. That should change because apart from some of the terrific ones I’ve already mentioned from those geniuses at Pixar, a truly great animated movie – like UP – can make you reassess everything about your life, the world, and humankind in general when watching it.
So catch up UP at your very earliest opportunity and you certainly won’t be – “SQUIRREL!!” – disappointed.