Film after film, Pixar has raised its own standards of excellence, and subsequently the audience's expectations.
And with Up, the audience won't be let down.
The movie is about Carl Fredricksen, who has dreamed about being an explorer since he was a boy. He meets and eventually marries the adventurous Ellie, who wants to live in a house near Paradise Falls in South America.
But they never get to explore the jungles together. After Ellie passes away, Carl decides to keep his promise to her, strapping thousands of balloons to his house and travelling to Paradise Falls.
But he doesn't realize he has picked up a stowaway, Russell, a young wilderness explorer who befriends all the strange creatures they encounter on their adventure.
Things we liked about the movie:
1. Two words: It's Pixar. And everything that encompasses. The animation, obviously, was vibrant and breathtaking. The music was whimsical and riveting. The story was funny, imaginative, and also surprisingly sad at times. Like all Pixar movies, it's in a league of its own above all other animated films, with the makings of an instant classic.
2. Dug the dog, voiced by co-director Bob Peterson by means of a talking collar, had some of the best lines of dialogue in the movie. His happy-go-lucky innocence and his immediate, complete adoration for Carl perfectly captures the personality of a quintessential canine.
3. The opening montage of Carl's life with Ellie is simultaneously the most feel-good and poignant few moments ever animated. Pixar was able to convey, without a single spoken word, a lifetime of happiness, setbacks, hopes and tragedies in the way only Pixar can.
Things we disliked about the movie:
1. Most of the action in the movie takes place miles above ground, with characters suspended by a garden hose and steering the house with a weather vane. It makes for great intense moments, but those with a fear of heights may not feel totally in control.
2. We were really concerned about the balloons running out of helium before Carl got his house to Paradise Falls. With every setback or side adventure, the tension mounted.
The only thing that scares the creative team at Pixar is becoming complacent. They don't want to stop pushing the envelope; they don't want their films to ever go down in quality. But as they proved for the 10th consecutive time with Up, the sky is the limit for them.