An old man goes on the adventure he always promised his wife as he finds a way to get his house to Paradise Falls in the Pixar classic, “Up.” Carl Frederickson and his wife Ellie had always wanted to go do Paradise Falls to try to find their hero, Charles Muntz. But life kept getting in the way and eventually Carl was left alone after Ellie passed away. When he was about to be forced to leave the house he and Ellie had made a home, he uses balloons to try to fly the house to Paradise Falls. Along the way, he has a wild adventure with a young scout who was along for the ride, and a bird and talking dog they met along the way. Eventually, Carl finds purpose and learns to never meet your heroes.

Many people say this is the best Pixar film, and while from a subjective point of view, it’s not my favorite; I can see why they view it that way. From a storytelling perspective, it’s nearly perfect. “Up” pulls at your heartstrings and then makes you life. You cry and smile at the same time. It hits every note at just the right time. There’s action. There’s adventure. There’s emotion. It’s incredibly difficult to tell a story better than this film does.

Part of what makes this film great is the villain. Charles Muntz really seems like the hero that Ellie and Carl thought he was when we first see him. He is jovial and pleasant. It really seems like he’s just a nice old man who went on an adventure. But Carl quickly realizes that Charles is looking for Kevin, the bird Carl and Russell found earlier. Carl understands what Charles wants to do and how that will be devastating for both Russell and Kevin’s children Carl heard earlier. Like I said, it’s the never meet your heroes moment. The villain pretending to be friendly before revealing his true nature has been done more times than most can count, but it’s still effective when done right. Muntz is an example of the trope done right.

Despite the emotional torture of the first ten minutes of this film, it’s impossible not to enjoy yourself as you watch the rest of it. As I said, it’s a near perfect movie with near perfect storytelling. This may be the zenith of Pixar storytelling. They’ve done a remarkable job since this film, but I don’t think they have ever been able to match how well this story is told.

Rating: 5 stars

What did you think of “Up?”

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Jeremy Brown

Jeremy has been a big Disney fan since he was a kid growing up during the Disney Renaissance. One day he hopes to go to every Disney Park in the world.

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