Top 365 Films – #173 – Up (2009)

Top 365 Films - UpDIRECTED BY: Pete Docter

STARRING: Edward Asner, Jordan Nagai, Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Elizabeth Docter, Jerome Ranft, Delroy Lindo and Christopher Plummer

BUDGET: $175m

EARNED (Worldwide): $731.3m

AWARDS: 2 Oscars (Best Original Score and Best Animated Film), 2 Golden Globes (Best Original Score and Best Animated Film) and 2 BAFTAs (Best Original Score and Best Animated Film)



Seventy-eight year old Carl Fredricksen travels to Paradise Falls in his home equipped with balloons, inadvertently taking a young stowaway.


A young Carl Fredrickson meets a young adventurous girl named Ellie and they dream of going to Paradise Falls in South America together as the two grow up to be married. Many years pass and Ellie has passed away, leaving Carl remembering the promise he made to her. Despite being lonely, Carl refuses to move from his home despite offers from a construction company and after an accident leads to him being forced to go to a retirement home, he attaches hundreds of balloons to his house and floats off into the air, making his adventure to Paradise Falls….though he has a stowaway on aboard in the form of a young boy named Russell.


It’s a given now that if you have Pete Docter on hand directing one of Pixar’s animated features, chances are it’s a good film, a Really good film and that’s the case here with Up. Granted it’s true that although the film doesn’t quite hit the heights it sets with such a memorable montage from the first act of the film, it’s still an entertaining film that’s beautifully colourful throughout. The strength in that opening montage is a highlight reel of life itself as Carl and Ellie grow older and dream of their trip to Paradise Falls by saving any loose coins they can into a jar but life always manages to find a way to stall those plans via home repairs, medical bills etc. It’s all done in silence with the exception of the great score from Michael Giacchino (earning him multiple awards) and it helps make this scene stand out from the rest of the film six years later. The film ideally centers on two old men trying to find their status quo, which is rare thing to see from a big animated studio, bringing with it the genius idea of dogs giving us their inner thoughts thanks to a collar tech gadget with Doug being the ‘good’ dog of the bunch…and let’s not forget the cone of shame gag that occurs in the film. The film does have a bit of a weak final act followed with an impactful final scene, there’s personalities here and with great animation it’s well worth your time and reminding us that you’re never to old to follow your dreams.


FAVOURITE SCENE: The films montage near the start going through the live of Carl and Ellie.

FAVOURITE QUOTE: ‘ I like you temporarily!’ – Dog

DID YOU KNOW?: In June 2009, 10-year-old Colby Curtin from Huntington Beach, California, was suffering from the final stages of terminal vascular cancer. Her dying wish was to live long enough to see Up. Unfortunately, Colby was too sick to leave home and her family feared she would die without seeing the film. A family friend contacted Pixar, and a private screening was arranged for Colby. The company flew an employee with a DVD copy of “Up”, along with some tie-in merchandise from the film. Colby couldn’t see the screen because the pain kept her eyes closed, so her mother gave her a play-by-play of the film. Seven hours after viewing the film, Colby passed away.

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