When an adventurous young lad named Carl Fredrickson finds his soul mate in a little girl named Ellie, they form an instantaneous friendship, and from that friendship, a perfect love is born. Years later, Carl – now a 78 year old man – embarks on a journey to fulfill a lifelong promise and go on one last adventure.
When Carl and Ellie are children, he promises her that they will someday go on an adventure to Paradise Falls, South America; the same place that their hero, Charles Muntz, journeyed to on his adventures. As the years pass, Carl and Ellie marry and begin their life together, but while the perfect love shared between Carl and Ellie has endured the passage of time, their lifelong dream has become a sentimental memory; a memory that remains unfulfilled after Ellie’s sudden death. Although he is devastated by the loss of his beloved wife, Carl remembers the promise that he made to Ellie and he, along with a young stowaway named Russell, embark on one last adventure to find Paradise Falls and fulfill his lifelong promise to her.
Although the adventure that Carl embarked on with Russell was not the same adventure that he and Ellie had spent a lifetime dreaming about, that did not mean that Carl’s promise to Ellie was broken. Although he is initially heartbroken because he thinks that he has failed to keep his promise to her, Carl discovers a secret in Ellie’s scrapbook. In the last pages of her scrapbook, Ellie shows Carl that the life that she had shared with him – while it was not always filled with joy – was her perfect adventure because he had been there to share it with her. In the end, Carl makes a new promise to his beloved wife; a silent and heartfelt vow that he will keep living and begin another adventure even though she is no longer there to share it with him.
“Up” is one of Pixar’s most beautiful animated films. I can say this with absolute certainty because in the space of five minutes, this movie conveyed a perfect love story. Although the characters used very little dialogue, the sincerely heartfelt devotion that was shared between Carl and Ellie was stronger than the romance in any other film that I have seen in the last decade. The animation in this film is absolutely stunning, the casting is perfect, particularly for Edward Asner as Carl Fredrickson, and the story is one that both children and adults can fall in love with. I would highly recommend this film to anyone who loves Pixar animation at its best.