UP is released on May 29th, 2009.
Up footage and Q&A!
I just got a chance to see the first 45 minutes of the new Disney Pixar film, UP and my eyeliner is running. I know it's Pixar, but honestly, I wasn't expecting to find this funny. The marketing so far hasn't done the film justice. An old man in a flying house, powered by balloons and a round little Boy Scout-like kid who hitches a ride didn't fill me with a burning need to see the film. Not like WALL-E, who's cute robot eyes make a little awww come out of my mouth whether I mean it to or not. But after the heart-squeezing intro, I laughed like a hyena. (I pity the poor reporter next to me.)
UP is the story of 78-year-old balloon salesman named Carl Fredrickson, voiced by Ed Asner. As a little boy, he watched films about an adventurer named Charles Monk, who flies in a blimp with his dogs. He explores Paradise Falls in South America and the young Carl dreams of doing the same. While playing in his neighborhood, he runs into another adventure-obsessed kid named Ellie, who dreams of going to Paradise Falls as well. Carl promises to go with her someday, crossing his heart. Then we see a montage of their lives together, marriage, picnics, working as a balloon salesman at the zoo with Ellie, wanting a baby and not getting one, growing old...saving for the trip but never quite making it. When she dies, he turns into a bit of a curmudgeon. Now, I am by no means a crier, no matter how sad the movie. This sequence actually made my throat close a bit...now, I'm not admitting to actual tears, but I hope the person next to me didn't actually check. Director Pete Doctor told us beforehand that the score was being recorded right now by GRAMMY winning composer Michael Giacchino. I can only imagine the sadness when that element is added. And this is exactly what I expected the film to be.
When Carl is forced to move to a nursing home, he decides to blow up enough balloons to lift his house off the ground and finally fly to Paradise Falls. What he doesn't realize is that he has a stowaway. A 9-year-old Wilderness Explorer named Russell. When they land in Venezuela right near the falls, the film changes completely. They almost go over a cliff and Carl and Russell have to tie the floating house to themselves with ropes and hoses and drag it to the correct spot. As they go, they run into a giant bird that Russell names Kevin, (producer Jonas Rivera let it slip that Kevin is a girl, but he laughingly said that it wasn't a major plot point) and dogs who can talk, via a collar around their necks. I don't want to give away more than that, but dogs are so funny that I would suggest a bathroom trip before the film. Don't say you weren't warned. Anyone who has made up dialogue for their dog (oh, you know you do it...don't pretend you're above that) will laugh their ass off. Imagine the Abominable Snowman from Looney Tunes and his Of Mice and Men voice coming out of a dog, saying, My master is so smart, my master is so smart, I smell you, can I get the bird....SQUIRREL!...can I have the bird? My face hurts from laughing. When the footage ended, the audience groaned, all of us wishing for more.
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