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Pixar Triumphs Again

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

If thereís one thing to bet on in Hollywood, itís Pixar. They are, without a doubt, the most consistent filmmakers out there. While everyone has their preference as to their favorite Pixar film, Up is just another home run in the greatest winning streak since the days of classic Disney animated films.

Besides the immaculate graphics, itís the actual stories that set Pixar apart. From Toy Story and Monsterís Inc. to The Incredibles and Wall-E, their stories are incredibly original. Itís this originality that creates such awe-inspiring adventures. Of course, Up is no different.

Itís a cross generational film and actually one of the more adult films Pixar has created. While children will no doubt love the talking dog, Doug, even adults will find themselves audibly chuckling at much of the film. The filmís two principal characters are on the opposite ends of life and while young Russell (Jordan Nagai) is eager to live life, Carl Fredrickson (Ed Asner) is ready to leave it behind. However, the beauty of the story is that both realize they have much in common and much to learn from each other.

Without spoiling too much of the truly amazing story, Carl is an out of place old man. Heís lived a fulfilling life with wife Ellie, but heís now alone and without a place on Earth. The world around him is literally being uprooted and heís the lone relic from generations past. As children Carl and Ellie met as big fans of Charles Muntz (Christopher Plummer), a world explorer who was subsequently sent into exile. The two shared a passion for Muntz and both dreamed of being explorers and living at Paradise Falls, the place Muntz famously explored. Unfortunately, life got in the way and the trip was forgotten about. Now, alone and on his way to a retirement home Carl finally decides to make the trip in memory of Ellie.

Russell, of course, also unknowingly makes the trip. Despite Carlís annoyance at having a young companion, he continues on with his journey and the two are stuck with each other. However, itís the interaction of these two characters, not the adventure that creates the film. Sure, the adventure is pretty great, but itís ultimately a character piece. Director Pete Docter (Monsters, Inc.) crafts a story that is as much about external adventure as it is about the internal struggle we all have. Both Carl and Russell have missing pieces of their lives and they both place those problems into other areas of their lives.

Up truly is one of Pixarís greater triumphs and if you can, see it in Digital 3D, itís quite a treat.