Why "Up" Makes Me Cry

This week: Up

Most men might be ashamed to admit that a movie has caused them to shed some tears -- I am not most men. Come on guys, man up and admit it - you've seen a movie or two that's caused the eyes to get leaky. You can wipe your eye and try to play the itchy eye game and hide it or just embellish the fact that you do in fact have some emotions. No worries - chicks dig men in touch with their own emotions (so long as you're not a total pansy). Up is one of those movies that make me cry.

Following in the footsteps of movies like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Closer, and Toy Story 3 (the end scene) - Up is a move that tugs at my emotional chords. The storyline of the old man who loses his wife, that he loved so much for all of his life, and then goes on an adventure to bring the house they live in to the place they always dreamed of going (but never got the chance) is a heart warmer.

The evolution of Carl & Ellie

Up is a starless movie - meaning there are no big names attached to the movie. With animation - it is very possible and should be repeated more then it is. The movie involves the director behind Monsters, Inc. and the writer of Finding Nemo (as a co-director). As far as the voice actors - I've never heard of them before.

The plot is simple - old man (Carl) goes on adventure with young scout kid (Russell) to bring their flying house to Paradise Falls (where Carl and his wife Ellie always wanted to visit but never could). Once arrived in Paradise Falls, they encounter a series of misadventures with an old angry man (adventurer Charles Muntz), an Ostrich-like colorful bird (Kevin), and talking dogs including the main ally of Carl & Russell - Dug.
Dug the talking Dog - who doesn't want a talking Dog?!

The goal for Carl is to get his floating house to the edge of the waterfall in Paradise Falls. He faces many obstacles along the way with Charles Muntz (and the angry dogs) and his quest for Kevin the ostrich-like bird who hangs with Russell and Dug. Once he finally gets the house to the cliff (after Russell takes off to rescue Kevin) - Carl realizes that his new adventure has only started and goes off to rescue Russell and Kevin.

Kevin the Ostrich-like bird. Apparently she's a rainbow bird...yes she

A story mainly about adventure, Up demonstrates a tale that can appeal to all ages. Not too childish and silly - the movie encounters grown up themes such as loss of a loved one and the father not around much for his kid. The film did extremely well in theatres and was a critical success.

Up continues to prove the dominance of Pixar films - and even though it's owned by Disney - it's interesting to note that Pixar animated movies have really dominated Disney animated movies as of late. Perhaps if Disney used more grown up and appealing themes instead of thinking we all still lived in the 1950's they'd do as good as Pixar. (Maybe that's why they bought them...)

Up also leaves an interesting plot hole that occurs to me - Where is the kid's mom?! I mean come on - these days if an old man flew off with a young kid - we'd all think the worst. The dad's MIA'ness is sorta explained in the movie - but the mom? No explanation. Pretty sure the cops would be involved in this whole story and the old man would never ever get to hang out with the kid again when the house landed.

Hey, where's my mommy!?

Despite the plot hole - Up is a great tale that everyone can watch and enjoy. Is it Badass material? Absolutely not - but every once in a while it's good to get in touch with the emotional chords. In the Eric ratings chart (follows much like the Michael Scott ratings system from the "Beach Games" episode of The Office) - I'd give it 7 points, 4 gold stars, and 2 thumps up.

And now for the tearjerker moments in Up:

Suggestions for the next movie review?  Let me know in comments!