When I saw this Blu Ray reach my doorstep, I couldn’t wait to give it a spin. I loved it when I saw it in the theater, but would I love it as much the second time around? Up is now available on Blu Ray from Disney/Pixar.
The film opens as we are introduced to a young Carl Fredricksen, a shy and quiet young boy, meeting an energetic and outgoing tomboy named Ellie The soon discover that they share the same interest in exploration as their hero, the famed explorer Charles F. Muntz (Christopher Plummer).
Ellie expresses her desire to move her clubhouse to Paradise Falls in South America, a promise she makes Carl keep. Carl (Ed Asner) and Ellie fall in love, wed and grow old together in the old house where they first met while Carl makes a living as a toy balloon vendor and Ellie works as a zookeeper.
Unable to have children and trying to keep their childhood dreams alive, they try to save up for the trip to Paradise Falls, but, as it happens in our daily lives, things just keep coming up to slip the money out of their bank account
Just as they seem to finally be able to take their trip, Ellie passes away, leaving Carl a lonely and bitter old man with nothing to live for. He misses his wife terribly.
As Carl grows older, the city expands around Carl’s house with construction is inching ever closer to Carl’s doorstep. Carl, still being true to his obstinate nature, refuses to move. After a tussle with a construction worker over Carl’s broken mailbox, the court orders Carl to move into a retirement home. Carl comes up with a scheme to keep his promise to Ellie, and uses his old professional supplies to create a makeshift airship using tens of thousands of helium balloons that lift his house off its foundations.
Enter into the picture Russell (Jordan Nagai), a Wilderness Explorer trying to earn his final merit badge for “Assisting the Elderly”. He has stowed away on the porch after being sent on a pointless hunt by Carl the day before.
After a storm rages, they find themselves landing on a great plateau across a large ravine facing Paradise Falls. Attached to the home by ropes, Carl and Russell pull the floating house and the two begin to walk around the ravine, hoping to reach the falls while there’s still enough helium in the balloons to keep the house afloat.
Now, if this wasn’t enough, enter into the picture Dug (Bob Peterson) a talking dog looking for a rare bird, a bird that Carl and Russell have accidently stumbled across and Russell has christened the bird with the name “Kevin”.
And, believe it or not, Russell, Carl, Dug and Kevin paths are going to cross with explorer Charles Muntz and they will discover he is not the wonderful man that Carl and Ellie worshipped in their youth.
What is going to happen to this motley bunch?
Once again, Pixar knocks it out of the park, cinematically speaking. When I first saw the trailer, featuring a house on balloons and an old man and young boy, I didn’t know what to think. It didn’t “feel” like a Pixar story at first. Gee Whiz, was I ever wrong. Up is about how we have to let things go in order to move on in our lives, rather, we cannot live in the past, we must always look to the future, no matter how painful or scary it might be. And, when that message hits you while you watch this film, your knees will turn to jelly and your eyes will begin the waterworks.
Up is wonderfully enthusiastic, truly charming and winsome and each frame is filled with genuine heartfelt emotion and bursts at the seams with energy and wonderful art direction.
The character design and color palette are unbelievably wonderful. The voice work is first rate. The original score by Michael Giacchino is exquisite. And, you tell me if you can make it through the wordless segment that details Carl and Ellie’s married life together without weeping unabashedly?
I could go on and on. This is a no brainer: put this on the shelf at home now or at least, put it on your Holiday wish list right now. It is a gem.
Up is presented in anamorphic widescreen and transferred in AVC/MPEG4. The colors are eyepoppingly vibrant and the overall image is very respectable. I could describe this transfer is as flawless as is possible on Blu Ray and this film deserves this fantastic presentation.
Up is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio. The dialogue is crystal clear and easily heard. All of your speakers in your home theater will get a nice workout as the film is nicely mixed and presented. In a word: wonderful
The Packaging and Bonus Features
The film and bonus features are presented on 4 discs enclosed in a standard blu ray amaray case with a great cover.
Get ready, this release is bursting with bonus features. First up, the new Pixar short that plays before the film Partly Cloudy. Dug’s Special Mission is a great short that shows what Dug was up to before he entered the plot of the film Up.
Adventure Is Out There is a documentary about the Pixar research team traveling to South America to do pre-production work for the film. The Many Endings of Muntz is about exactly what it sounds like: how to “wrap up” the character of Muntz in the film.
There are over 45 minutes of documentaries that detail every ounce of work in every category, both technical and creative, that it took to bring this film to realization: Geriatric hero, Canine Companions, Russell: Wilderness Explorrer, Our Flightless Friend Kevin, Homemakers of Pixar, Balloons and Flight, and finally: Composing for Characters that explores Giacchino’s incredible score.
Alternate Scene: Married Life is an alternate version of the exquisite wordless segment in the film that explores Carl and Ellie’s young married life.
Worldwide Trailers is self explanatory and Up Promo Montage is a look at all the characters in the film.
For HD Content, Cinexplore with Pete Docter and Bob Peterson is a wonderfully entertaining commentary track that is worth your time to listen to and Global Guardian Board Game is a fun game for the kiddos in your household.
All things considered, a smashing collection bonus material
Overall (Not an Average) 10/10
The Movie 10/10
The Video 10/10
The Audio 10/10
The Packaging and Bonus Features 10/10
Overall (not an average) 10/10