A crotchety old man (Ed Asner) ties thousands of balloons to his house and heads off on a solo flight to South America, only to discover that a bubbly 8-year-old stowaway has come along for the ride.
Up may be Pixar's best movie yet, and that's saying a lot considering they're the ones responsible for gems like Toy Story and Monsters, Inc. These filmmakers know how to elicit emotion from animated characters in a way no one else can touch, and what they do in this story will make audiences laugh and cry--all at once! Younger children will be awestruck by the pure magic of the balloons carrying Carl's house far, far away, and Carl's obvious love for his late wife, Ellie, will leave a lump in the throats of older viewers. This is a movie for families to savor together, and is as breathtaking and uplifting as the balloons themselves.
There is so much gorgeous imagery to inspire preschoolers' imaginations, but there are also a number of scenes which may frighten them, including dogs snarling and set to attack as well as Carl's childhood hero setting fire to his house and shooting at him. This is only the second Pixar film to be rated PG rather than G (the other one was The Incredibles) so, parents, you may want to see it yourselves first to decide whether the heart and humor will outweigh the peril for your own children. And, don't worry that they will--this is one movie you'll definitely want to see again.
Kids will relate to young Russell, who's determined to earn his final Wilderness Explorer badge--for "assisting the elderly"--and they'll get a kick out of the fact that a group of dogs refer to him as "the small mailman." Children in this age group will inherently grasp the movie's message that life itself is the adventure, and they'll enjoy the eccentric characters, including a giant bird who has a weakness for chocolate, and a canine named Dug who just wants to be part of the pack.
Tweens may assume this animated adventure is too babyish but those who give it a chance are likely to be blown away. They'll love that the hero is an elderly man with a walker, and that he becomes unlikely friends with roly-poly little Russell. Older kids will realize that taking care of others gives you a new lease on life, and they'll understand when Russell tells Carl about sitting on the curb with his dad, and explains, "It might sound boring but I think it's the boring stuff I remember most." Tweens, who won't want to admit to a tear or two, just may be glad they're watching at home.
The combo pack comes with Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD and digital copies of the movie. The DVD includes two short films, "Dug's Special Mission" and "Partly Cloudy," as well as alternate endings and a documentary about the filmmakers' trek to the tepui mountains of South America. The Blu-ray adds segments about the characters, the balloons, the music, the "Married Life" sequence and a Global Guardian Badge Game.