I saw "Up" with honestly little anticipation. The trailers didn't intrigue me. Not like "Wall-E." Nothing about the movie seemed to appeal to me but really, am I the target demographic anyway?
I know Pixar is a wonderful company, with "The Incredibles" being one of my all-time favorite films, but I was never a huge fan of "Toy Story" or the other Pixar films - except as mentioned and "Monsters, Inc.".
My first thoughts were confirmed. "Up" didn't thrill me. It's a good film - just not wonderful.
The movie spends a lot of time needlessly setting up the backstory about a young boy who meets a young girl who both love adventure newsreels. They become friends, marry and carry on for what seems an eternity growing old together. Honestly, was anything in that overlong montage worth the hundreds of hours it must have taken to put it together?
Eventually, the woman dies and the old man loses the love of his live. He finds little to like about a world that has gone modern around him - literally. They are building a super, ultra, modern-type building around his little patch of heaven where he married and grew old. He simply refuses to sell or change. When he hurts a workman in anger, he's sued, loses his house and is forced out.
Instead of going to the nursing home, he uses his knowledge of balloons to lift his entire house 'up' and away to South America where he had always promised his dead wife they'd go. He doesn't realize that he's also taken a klutsy little nature scout with him who has to "help an old person" to get his last merit badge.
The story is typically Pixar-like; complicated, at times touching and at (few) times well-told. My problems with "Up" began after the landing in South America. The direction the script takes is nothing short of bizarre. Talking dogs (the one named "Doug" was freaking wonderful); an inventor who is also an old explorer who invented the collar that allows the dogs to talk and also to be his servants. Huh? There was absolutely nothing in the setup that fortold these parts and they come out of nowhere for a lot of head-scratching moments.
The old adventurer has an obsession to find a prehistoric bird which of course is right under his nose. The old man and the kid (and Doug, the dog) have to help the bird escape and fight of the old explorer who was a childhood hero of the old man but now is evil.
Just explode my head now.
I'm sorry. "Toy Story," "Monsters, Inc.," the incredible "Incredibles," etc. had clean storylines that made sense in their individual worlds. This one did not and the convoluted nature of the plot takes away a lot of the charm of the film. Is this really the best story they could have come up with? Based on other, better films I say no.
This one just didn't do it for me. I doubt I'll ever watch it again and I didn't recommend it to any friends although I wasn't negative about it. I just shrugged when they asked me if I liked it.
I say 5 oranges on this one - not sour nor sweet but certainly more sour than sweet.