Movie Critic – MEDIA ARTS – “Up”
June 13, 2011, 5:54 pm
Filed under: Culminating Media Arts

TITLE: “Up” will lift you off your feet!

By Briana Hwang

Everyone enters the world with dreams and hopes of pursuing them, but end up leaving without achieving one. In the depressing yet humorous and adventure-filled movie “Up”, one man won’t stop until his dreams come true.

The animated movie starts off showing the entire cycle of Carl Fredrickson(Ed Asner) and his wife Ellie’s life, showing their dream of living in the wild South America, however things such as mortgage and accidents keep them from pursuing that dream. Once Ellie dies of old age, he is left alone in his house, bitter and upset. Carl at the ripe age of 78 is faced with an ultimatum when construction workers try and force him out of his home and into a retirement facility. Carl refuses and decides he is going to achieve Ellie and his dream. As a result, Carl ties thousands of balloons to his home and is lifted into the air. However, Carl soon realizes that he is not alone as Russell, an 8 year old boy scout trying to get his assisting the Elderly Badge, becomes a stowaway on Carl’s flying house. Both Carl and Russell find themselves on an adventure of a lifetime as they fight against Charles Muntz (Christopher Plummer), the insane explorer and his army of dogs, to save Kevin, a rare bird, from being enslaved. Carl and Russell make new friends and learn more about themselves on this wild journey.

Carl Fredrickson’s voice is played by Ed Asner who does a good job of showing emotion in his character as he is able to capture the bitter yet gentle personality of Mr. Fredrickson. Ed is 81 years old and is known for his emmy-award winning role of Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore show. Christopher Plummer who has been in over 100 movies and starred in Star Trek, 9, the girl with the dragon tattoo, and many more was able to bring Charles Muntz, the greedy, brilliant but paranoid explorer to life as he uses intense emotion. Jordan Nagai, who does the voice of 8 year old Russell, does a shockingly good job at achieving his characters upbeat and hyper-active personality because Jordan is a rather sky and timid boy.

What I enjoyed the most about this movie is how they are able to bring happiness but also tragedy through animation. One scene in particular was the beginning, where Pixar is able to bring strong emotions out without saying a single word as they show Carl and Ellie’s life from childhood to death. This was my favourite scene as neither character spoke a single word, yet you understood everything that was happening and the emotions they were feeling.  There was not one thing I did not like about this movie as it was extremely creative and imaginative, and was heart-warming without being cliché or cheesy.

The message of this film is deep and really makes you think. It shows that though people and situations may slow you down from achieving your dreams, you should never let them stop you. There may be times where things will make it seem near to impossible to reach your goals, but if you work hard enough, you’ll get where you want to be.

This movie is rated G, which may not appeal to older audiences, however this movie truly works for everyone. I highly recommend it to every one of all ages and consider “Up” to be one of the greatest animated films I’ve seen.  Watching “Up” will take you on an emotional rollercoaster.



5 bow-tie wearing cats out of 5


Briana Hwang is a senior in high school. She is interested in pursuing a career in the arts as she enjoys painting and drawing. For fun she plays recreational soccer and is trying to become a master at yoga. Briana is an animal-lover as she greatly supports WPSA and other animal-charity based organizations. You’ll most likely find her hiking, walking, or running as she loves to be outside and enjoys outside based activities.



Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: