Written by Hombre Divertido
Up is too much of a downer.
On May 29th, Disney/Pixar released Up and proved once again that they simply cannot make movies that are consistently funny anymore, or even cute. Yes, some will find it tugging at their heartstrings as dreams become fulfilled, but fundamentally the story is too inconsistent to engage an audience that is looking deep.
Up has some wonderful moments but takes far too long to get going, and has too many violent and unnecessary emotionally depressing moments for children. The trailers clearly denote a comedy, and though it has some very funny moments, it tends to indicate there might be something to hide when the funniest moment in the trailer does not actually make it into the movie.
Hide is exactly what Up does. Behind the veil of a summer animated comedy is a story that is more heavyhanded than other Disney/Pixar offerings, but has comedic moments thrown in that are too obvious and appear to simply be an effort to even things out.
Where Up does shine is in the vocal talent. Though Disney/Pixar has suffered in the past from casting name actors in roles rather than lesser known but more experienced voice actors, Ed Asner does an excellent job as Karl Fredrickson, the 78-year-old man who ties thousands of balloons to his house, and floats away to South America in hopes of finding the place he and his wife had always hoped to visit. Jordan Nagai adds consistent comedic delivery as Russell, the stowaway on Karl's trip, as does Bob Peterson as Dug, one of many talking dogs in the film. Christopher Plummer is fine as the antagonist, but the writing lets him down as the character of Charles Muntz has inconsistent motivation.
The story by Bob Peterson, who co-directed with Pete Docter, is all over the map. The premise is just cute enough for the audience to enjoy, but unnecessary factors continue to get thrown in that will leave you scratching your head. The story is also an emotional roller coaster as it starts out cute, and actually gets depressing before the story even…takes off.
Visually the film is also inconsistent. The film looks good in certain scenes, but seems to lack the attention to detail that was appreciated in other Disny/Pixar endeavors such as Cars.
The fact that Peterson wrote, co-directed, and provided vocal talent, may have proved to be too much and negatively impacted the final product.
Recommendation: The adult audience at the 12:01 am showing appeared to enjoy the film, but children may have a completely different reaction.
As the first animated release of the blockbuster season and first Disney/Pixar release since the highly overrated Wall-E, it’s bound to make a mint over opening weekend. The film is something new and shiny to look at but is inconsistent in its energy, and does not capture the consistent humor of previous Disney/Pixar films such as Toy Story I and II. Finding Monsters vs. Aliens still in the theatres will provide more laughs.