Up (2009) is another in along line of superior computer animated films by Pixar and Disney. Many animated films of the past and the present do not tackle serious themes, the animators believing a cartoon is no place for such ideas. As times changed, that idea began to change as well, as was evident with the release of The Lion King. The Lion King tackled themes such as life, death, and sacrifice. With Up (2009), these themes are approached both in obvious and sub-strata ways as are the ideas of moving on with one’s life after something tragic has happened, seeing what is in front of you, and keeping a promise. These are commonplace themes in Hayao Miyazaki films and welcome ones in Up (2009). Denoting this seriousness, the protagonist in Up (2009) is an old man, Carl Fredricksen (Edward Asner). Second, the viewer sees him lose his childhood love and eventual wife. Third, he is about to have his house taken away and be shipped off to a retirement home. These are issues that effect everyone at some point in their life and they are handled with care in Up (2009). Besides the serious moments, like any Disney animated film, there are multiple moments of levity within Up (2009). Wilderness Explorer Russell (Jordan Nagai), the golden retriever Dug (Bob Peterson), and the rare bird Kevin are the funniest aspects of the film. Dug, because of his talking collar, reminded me of the genetically engineered breed of war dog, the Caleb, from Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, and is both lovable and funny. When he is sad or happy, Dug will remind the older generation of canine Merry Melodies’ characters. Russell brought the humanity to the story and awakens frozen aspects of Fredricksen’s personality while Kevin was a walking punch line. Up (2009) has more heart than the viewer may expect and actually has multiple messages most being prominent being letting go. Fredricksen is eventually able to let go of the past but Charles F. Muntz (Christopher Plummer), once Fredrickson’s idol soon becoming his nemesis, is unable to and became doomed because of it.
Dug’s Special Mission
A funny short starring Dug. Alpha (Bob Peterson) wants to get Dug out of the way and sends him on a series of mission all ending in mayhem for Alpha and “his minions”.
Adventure is Out There
This extra is a documentary about a Pixar animator field trip. The Pixar animators go to South America for hands on experience with the exotic settings in the Up (2009) so they can better draw and represent them on film. The main setting dor the documentary are the South American tepui, flat top mountains. The South American trip was set up by tepui enthusiast Adrian Warren. Viewers are shown the Valley of Crystal; sink holes, and how the animators were caught in a rainstorm on top of a tepui.
The Many Ending of Muntz
This is an extra that details the many different ways in which animators envisioned how Muntz’s death could occur.
Up (2009) is an animated film that works on multiple layers and has repay value because of everything that is going on screen at any single moments during the film.