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Oscar®Oscar® Winner for Best Animated Feature Film and Best Music—Original Score / Nominee for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Sound Editing
Movie Review

Up a.k.a. “Là-haut,” “Вверх,” “Oben,” “Psila ston ourano,” “Se opp,” “Up—Altamente 3D,” “Up—Una aventura de altura,” “Up—kohti korkeuksia”

MPAA Rating: PG for some peril and action.

Reviewed by: Ethan Samuel Rodgers
CONTRIBUTOR

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Kids, Teens, Family, Adults
Genre:
Animation, Action, Comedy, Adventure, Family, 3D
Length:
1 hr. 36 min.
Year of Release:
2009
USA Release:
May 29, 2009 (wide—3,700 theaters)
DVD: November 10, 2009
Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures

Paradise in the Bible

Eden

Millennium

Heaven

Paradise or Pain? Why is the world the way it is?
Why is the world the way it is? If God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and loving, would He really create a world like this? (filled with oppression, suffering, death and cruelty) Answer
The Rainforest: People, Animals and Facts
Learn about the rainforest by meeting some native peoples, seeing where and how they live, and more! A cross-cultural photo-rich journey that will leave you with a lasting impression.
Kid Explorers
Adventures in the rainforest! Learn about the Creator of the universe by exploring His marvelous creation. Fun for the whole family with games, activities, stories, answers to children’s questions, color pages, and more! One of the Web’s first and most popular Christian Web sites for children. Nonprofit, evangelical, nondenominational.
Featuring: Voices of Edward Asner, Christopher Plummer, Jordan Nagai, Bob Peterson, Delroy Lindo, Jerome Ranft, John Ratzenberger, David Kaye, Elie Docter, Jeremy Leary, Mickie McGowan, Danny Mann, Donald Fullilove, Jess Harnell, Josh Cooley, Pete Docter
Director: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson
Producer: Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation Studios, John Lasseter, Jonas Rivera
Distributor: Buena Vista Pictures

It simply is astounding how, what are essentially drawings, can extract so much emotion and intimate feelings out of us as human beings. As I sit in a theater, my mind tells me I am watching fiction, something which man has created for entertainment, and, in this case, laughter. Logic says that a film is nothing more than light projected onto a screen. But Pixar has somehow found a way, yet again, to convince my heart that there’s something more to movies than just light and sound.

Carl Fredrickson is the picturesque portrait of an ordinary American senior citizen. He’s grown old with his once adventurous wife and found that life has quite a way of passing you by. Carl’s dream, and his wife Ellie’s dream, was always to travel to Paradise Falls in South America, a place that is said to be “forgotten by time.” They planned from childhood to fly away and leave the world behind on a grand adventure, but like so many plans we make that get lost in the buzz of everyday life, Carl and Ellie never quite get around to it, and before Carl realizes it, he is not only too old for their adventure, he is also alone after Ellie passes away.

His plan, it seems, is to live in his house in solitude, harkening back to memories of his beloved, while awaiting his own death, but when an unfortunate and unintended accident occurs in Carl’s front lawn, he finds himself labeled as a “menace to society” and is ordered by a court to move to a retirement community and sell his house to the corporate “big-shots” that have been salivating over his property for years waiting to move forward with a grand building project. So Carl, realizing he has finally come upon his now or never moment, does just what he had planned to do so many years ago: he (quite literally) flies away on his grand adventure.

Parents will find this tale more deeply rooted in emotion and morals than past installments from Pixar. The life lessons exemplified throughout, such as “never let life pass you by,” or “true joy is only happiness when it is shared” are a welcomed spectacle to the big-screen following the environmental bombshell dropped in WALL-E. The things Carl Fredrickson learns along his journey through character interaction and development are both heartwarming and touching, and are as real as you and I, although he himself is only light on a screen and the voice of an actor.

What else is certainly real and present is the humor, which in a film such as this is not only welcomed, but expected. Although the humor stems more so from a slapstick perspective, rather than a witty or clever one, the comedic routine displayed primarily by Russell, a tagalong boy scout who finds friendship and guardianship in Carl, as well as the various animals showcased in Paradise Falls to include talking dogs and a giant Dodo-esque bird creature, is universally entertaining and will leave most, if not all, movie goers, at the very least, chuckling. And to my surprise, not one of these jokes were sexual, offensive or questionable in any way.

To the writers’ credit, even when there are more somber moments that move away from the humor, you’ll find yourself grinning with delight in Carl and Russell’s accomplishments as I did, as the whole movie plays to what I refer to as the “deep down good feeling.” By that I mean that, even though things go wrong, and there is conflict, ultimately joy and happiness win out and leave you with a deeper feeling and a longer lasting grin than a simpler story would.

The plot itself is fairly solid throughout and is told expeditiously, which keeps the yawns of children to a minimum. There’s a short stretch in the middle where I found myself waiting for the tale to move along, but save that interlude, I found the story to be not only understandable and interesting, but quite clever in the manner it was told. Let’s be honest, everyone has read or seen the “run away” story, but this particular perspective of “floating away” added quite a bit to the overall entertainment value of the film.

The plot itself, however, is where I did find my biggest flaw. As all stories have a protagonist, in this case Carl, so do all stories have an antagonist. In this film it is an explorer named Charles Muntz, a man whose life dream it has been to capture the thought-to-be-extinct bird that lives in Paradise Falls. Muntz’s character was quite frankly underdeveloped, shallow, and, moreover, controversial. In one scene, he is portrayed as a hero and a hospitable gentleman, but quickly changes in a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde fashion into a maddened, obsessed lunatic bent on capturing the bird without regard to even human life. My complaint to the story tellers would be simply this: why did he go from 0 to 100 in the story, and why do we know so little about him? I suppose “time constraints” would be the logical answer, but, nonetheless, Muntz is surely the weak chain in the story.

He is, also, the only source of violence. Muntz orders the capturing of Carl and Russell by his vicious attack dogs, wields a gun, sets Carl’s house on fire, and even attempts to drop Russell out of his giant blimp, the “spirit of adventure.” All of this could potentially be a bit unnerving to the youngest of audiences, but it’s kept in check. As I stated earlier, however, this film found a few extra ways to seek out emotion in its audience, and one of the emotions is most definitely fear, or perhaps uncertainty to put it more mildly.

I think to truly grasp the meaning of this film, one must sit down in the possibly gum covered seat of the theater and understand that there’s more to a movie than lights and sound. Carl Fredrickson may not be a real man, but he feels what we as real people feel every day: the disappointment of life, the unexpected loss of a dream, or even the loss of a loved one. Sometimes, though, we focus so much on what we wish we could do, on what we want to change, or on the adventure we wish we could embark upon, that we miss the adventure happening all around us, because life is the greatest of all adventures, and God intends us to enjoy and learn from it every step of the way.

John 10:10—“Jesus came so we could have an abundant life.”

My advice, learn sooner than Carl did that there’s an adventure waiting around every corner; you just have to be willing to see it.

Violence: Minor / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: None

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—This is an amazingly accomplished and rich film. The animation is flawless; the story has depth. The moral values are positive and uplifting. Except for some scenes that might frighten small children, this is must see cinema for all those who love to go to movies, young and old alike.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
Halyna Barannik, age 63 (USA)
Positive—All I can say about this movie is, “Well done Disney and Pixar! Well done!” This movie was incredible. It was clean, it was funny, and it was pure entertainment. The movie was about Carl Fredrickson and this little explorer named Russell who travel to South America so that Carl can land his house in Paradise Island in order to fulfill his wife’s dream. I encourage everyone to see this film. Again, great job Disney and Pixar!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Alex, age 19 (USA)
Positive—Wow! What a great movie… and, not for the reasons one might expect. I cried like a baby during and after the movie ended. The story is poignant and moving, touching the human spirit in an astounding way considering this is animation. Although I don’t believe animated movies can receive Best Picture status any longer (am I wrong?), this movie certainly deserves to be in the running in 2010. Bravo, Pixar and Disney, for doing the impossible… bringing animated characters to life in such a way that you forget they are animated characters. And, thanks for “empowering” seniors in such a positive yet subtle way. I’m not quite there yet, but to see a movie portray a senior citizen in such a positive light in comparison to the tendency to laugh at them is just plain refreshing. The audience laughed, but for all the right reasons. A must see.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Pam, age 54 (USA)
Positive—Pam (age 54) writes: “Although I don’t believe animated movies can receive Best Picture status any longer (am I wrong?), this movie certainly deserves to be in the running in 2010.” She is right, and she is wrong. Firstly—and I wouldn’t expect anyone who isn’t a cinephile to truly know this, so I make correction with all the respect I can—“Up” CAN still be nominated for Best Picture. The requirement for a film is to have a theatrical release in Los Angeles that lasts at least one week and starts during the given year for which it is nominated. So while the Best Animated Feature makes it a whole lot harder for it to be nominated for Best Picture, it still can. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—JM, age 19 (USA)
Positive—AWESOME!! Perfect for the whole family! Some scenes of peril/danger, but not more than children over the age of 6 or 7 can handle. And an extremely well-developed plot and characters. I actually shed a tear within the first ten minutes, and I am a grown man. This movie is extremely moving, and I hope one day I can achieve something close to the relationship Carl has with Ellie. Their marriage is one for all of us to learn from. It is so rare to see such determination in a relationship, even after ***SPOILER ALERT!!*** Ellie is deceased and all that is left of her is the house, and even after that, the house is seemingly destroyed. ***SPOILER DONE***

It shows such positive Christian values in my mind.

And for those who thought the animated short about storks was offensive, you need to understand that this is a story about an animated bird and a puff of condensation. Could you really find this offensive in any way? It even promotes values of solid friendship, no matter what it costs!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—David, age 20 (Canada)
Positive—I could write a long review about how great this movie is, but I will simply say it is one of the best animated movies for children that I have seen in a long time. There was nothing objectionable, nothing questionable, no cursing, and surprisingly no potty humor. The movie was clean, funny, and exciting. Way to go Disney and Pixar! Finally, something the whole family can enjoy (including adults) without compromising on content. I get so tired of movies aimed at children with “only” a few curse words in it. This movie is what hollywood should be making for children. I thought it should have been rated G, so the PG rating was a little surprising to me, but the movie does have quite a bit of action/peril and it also deals with a death, but in a very respectful way.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Brad, age 37 (USA)
Positive—I thought this was a very good film overall. I love the montage of Carl and his wife and the life lessons he learns along the way as the adventure unfolds. The PG rating is definitely accurate due to some scenes of being in danger. There was no blood and gore, no profanity overt or implied and overall was a very clean and enjoyable movie.

My only reservation is that this latest installment from Pixar didn’t do as a good of a job of layering the kiddy humor with the adult humor. For most of their other films, our 4 year old daughter has had as much of a good time with the movie as we do. There are things that are on her level and stuff that goes over her head. In this movie it seemed a lot was over her head. The dog was very funny—which she liked—but I found myself explaining a lot of mature topics to her. (Mature in that you just need to be older to get the life lessons that were being taught, not inappropriate.) It is a good film, but the little kids, such as preschool age or so, just might not enjoy it as much.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4
—M. Tapp, age 34 (USA)
Positive—I would agree with others that suggested that this film not being understood by younger children. There are many scenes that could be confusing and they need to be understood so the depth of the decisions made by Carl be relative. Also, ***spoiler*** like so many Disney movies, the female lead is removed early and the villain is removed toward the end, as they were in “Snow White,” “Beauty and the Beast,” etc.

I also wish I had seen it in 3D. The colors must be great! At the end, the redemptive attitudes are perfect! Fun movie for about third grade and up.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Dori, age 49 (USA)
Positive—Short version… you may not want to take young children to this movie. ***spoiler alerts*** Generally speaking, this was (as always) an excellent movie! In true Disney style, the first 15-20 minutes of the movie will make the audience cry. The beginning wasn’t scary like Finding Nemo was (although similar to Nemo, the wife dies and there are no children), but the plot was way over the head of my 4 year old. In fact, most of the movie was above his level (and that’s saying something, because academically, he’s in 1st grade… he usually gets these movies). I think it would appeal to the elderly in particular.

Parents, please consider the ages of your children before attending this movie! Parts of it were very scary for my 4 year old, and he kept hiding his eyes and/or asking to leave. He’s never done that before during a movie. I saw no reason why the bad guy needed to use a gun or set the house on fire. I saw no reason why dogs were made out to be vicious man-eaters. (Well… except one nice one.) I think the minimum age a child would need to be to understand the real message of the movie (and not be scared) is about 8. I thought the movie was rated G. That was a mistake on my part. PG is definitely a more appropriate rating, because some parental guidance/explanation will be necessary. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Chrystal, age 32 (USA)
Positive—I laughed, I cried… it was wonderful! We will definitely be buying this when it comes out on DVD. I took my 12 year old, 6 year old and 5 year old to see this and we all loved it! ***spoiler*** My 5 year old did not pick up on the fact that Ellie died and I’m sure there were some other parts that went over her head, but she enjoyed the characters and liked the funny parts. I thought her death was handled in a very sensitive manner. My 6 year old is afraid of dogs, so there were a couple of scenes in which the dogs were menacing, but she handled it very well, and found this movie much less scary than I anticipated.

It is a sweet movie and one I would like to take my husband and parents to see as well.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Deb, age 40 (USA)
Positive—This film truly supports so many of my values. Christians need to support films like this one to send Hollywood a message. We want more movie like this.

This film is pro-marriage. Carl makes a promise to his wife and remains true to that promise. It is pro-scrapbooking. It even has some opera in there. My younger son was able to identify the piece in the movie. I was bothered by the person who said that “this was the delusions of an elderly man with Alzheimer’s.” Children need to see people who remain true to their spouses no matter what. Even after his wife passed away, he remains true to her dreams. What is wrong with that?

I appreciated seeing an elderly man as the hero in a movie. It’s about time!

The movie does have scary content in it. So, if a child is extremely sensitive, then certain scenes may scare them. Overall, I would recommend that people grab some popcorn, get your 3D glasses, and enjoy.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Karen, age 43 (USA)
Positive—A very sweet, well done movie. All my children of various ages enjoyed it. Our only regret was that we didn’t see it in 3D
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Lisa Shafer, age 43 (USA)
Positive—I saw UP in RealD 3D and this is where’s Pixar’s story first formula wins while effects enhanced not distract. The triumphant story of an elderly man and his young stowaway companion on an adventure in South America was enhanced with the scope of exotic vista and the depth of thrilling air actions. Pixar once again bring us not just a good story, but a great story as from all of their past endeavors that I have viewed.

As with WALL-E, there is a fantastic 5 minutes wordless montage of the life of Carl Fredrickson (Ed Asner) and his sweetheart Ellie that is bound to bring both joy and tears. At this rate, Pixar can probably make a full feature film with just emotions, arresting images, and actions to tell a wonderful story. Take for an example of the short before the main feature. If you were offended by the hapless baby delivering stork and the dark cloud who makes alligator, porcupine, shark and electric eel, then you missed the point of the heavenly cloud who made all perfect creatures in their true form and identity.

We are all sinners and to see this stork still work with and made friends with the dark and lonely cloud in the end was a prelude to what UP is all about, the friendships of two very different individuals and yet needed each other. Another theme in UP is that Carl has always idolized his childhood hero and even comes to think of the man before him a friend, but this was proven short lived. The real friend is the lonely kid who had shown him to take on new adventure. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Mang Yang, age 37 (USA)
Positive—I love good, clean films. Up is such a flicka show. John Coffey himself would give it two thumbs up. Hardcore christians can honestly say “Yes, I would watch this with Jesus.”

There are no hidden subtexts. No extraordinary agendas. Up is as straight laced as it gets. It follows in the old fashioned, wholesome cartoon venue of physics-defying comedy—the kind established by the likes of Popeye, Woody the Woodpecker, and the zany kids from ACME. Character-driven and accessible to all ages. That’s what makes this film (dare I say) lovable from start to finish.

The “3D” bonus is a cheap gimmick to charge $2.50 extra, but honestly, it fits a computer animated featurette like a glove, especially this one. Don’t expect a lot of the usual optical 3-space humdrum; expect rich depth of field illusions. Convex surfaces that add that little something to texture. Vibrant colors and photorealistic lighting. It’s all there in your bundled $9.50+ package.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Keenum, age 23 (USA)
Positive—This is a fantastic movie. I laughed. I cried. I enjoyed it very much. There is nothing at all offensive in the movie (no sexual jokes, no swearing, only the tiniest bit of potty humor) and is really funny without being dumb. It might be too scary for young children (a little girl in the theater started to cry) and a little bit slow, but it tells a good story. And Carl and Ellie’s marriage and the friendship that develops between Carl and Russell are a joy to behold. Thumbs up to everyone involved in this wonderful movie!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Sarah C., age 18 (USA)
Positive—I’m not sure that “Up” is a Christian-oriented movie. …[“Partly Cloudy” short] never shows monotheism (several cloud gods), and villain explorer Charles Muntz as antagonist seems to represent anti-evolutionist (I believe …God created Universe and all creatures). “Up” appeals humanism rather than Creationism, as if saying “don’t drive me into church by your one-sided way, but let me take yours.”
My Ratings: Moral rating: ____ / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Hancock, age 51 (USA)
Positive—I think this a great movie. I took my 4 year old sister and 2 year old brother, and they loved it. They were able to understand it. Most movies now days go way too fast for them to understand. We went to see it 2 times. Take your children or grandchildren or great grandchildren to it. It is great.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Joanna Childress, age 18 (USA)
Positive—This was the first big-screen movie for our 20-month-old daughter Sarah. I was apprehensive due to past disappointments with “child-friendly animations” and prepared to leave if Sarah became frightened or if I felt the movie was offensive and/or inappropriate. Much to my surprise, we both loved this film. There were numerous familiar items Sarah identified (i.e.: doggy, balloon, house, bird, boy, plane), and brought her much joy at each sighting.

I cried several times at the touching moments and we both laughed at many of the same scenes. Of course, she didn’t understand the plot but she enjoyed the magic of the animation and I appreciated the sweet, tender story of a loving and devoted married couple and a husband who kept his promise, and who came to love the adventurous little boy.

I believe this movie is safe for children of all ages. Interestingly, someone brought it to my attention that “Up” is the same story as “Gran Torino.” Think about the similarities… a dog-loving grouchy old widower living and yearning for the past who reluctantly befriends an Asian boy with an absent father; the significance of the medal; the unlikely bond they develop as they face evil… Of course, I would not recommend “Gran Torino” as a family picture!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Carla McClanahan, age 47 (USA)
Positive—Your reviewer said: “My advice, learn sooner than Carl did that there’s an adventure waiting around every corner.” Seriously, that’s it? Exodus: “My advice, learn sooner than Moses did that you shouldn’t take the law into your own hands.” Yes, but if that’s all you get out of it I think you’ve missed it. Dead dreams can live! Plus, Ellie learned (sooner than some of us) that just walking through thick and thin, hand in hand with your loved one, is already a wonderful adventure.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Joseph Schlesinger, age 47 (United Kingdom)
Positive—I didn’t hear or see anything that was offensive or against the teachings of Christ. There was a man who would be considered the villain and, yes, villains do things wrong, but all of it was shown in a great way. I was entertained. My comment to my wife after the movie was “it was cute.” My boys, ages 9, 13, 14 didn’t drone on and on recapping the film like they always do, which tells me the movie wasn’t too memorable to them. They did repeat a phrase one of the dogs makes about a joke being funny because a squirrell dies. All the dogs in the movie hate squirrells.

I like how the cantankerous old man takes in a little boy, a dog and a huge bird when he would really rather be left alone due to his wife dying and his getting old. It shows how we all need to sacrifice a little of our wants or even needs to help others and show kindness as Christ would do. Some of the segments in the movie were more adult themed, like when the couple’s baby dies. The beginning of the film is a bit depressing and they never quite succeed in wiping it away from my heart during the film. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Chris Ransom, age 43 (USA)
Positive—At last someone has made a decent movie the family can sit down and watch together from the youngest to the oldest. The art work is fantastic, the characters come alive on the screen. We missed it at the movie theather but enjoyed the DVD tremendously. I kept waiting for some fowl spot but it never happened. I would recommend it to any and all… Maybe Pixar is beginning to use their talent as a teaching tool for our children…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Debbie Thomas, age 53 (USA)
Positive—We watched this movie with two children ages 4 and 8. I have to start by saying I found parts of this movie very heavy; I remember when Ellie lost the baby I just said “oh” and also the death of Ellie. I did not, however, find this movie inappropriate in the least; this film had a beautiful story, including the heavy. The start of this film showed the bond and love between Ellie and Carl from childhood to death, the good and the bad, and how they stuck by each other until death (the way marriage should be).

Unlike other children movies this one had in your face moral points, Carl selfishly chose his own personal needs over helping Kevin I felt particularly moved when Russell kept scream “you just gave her away” Carl’s transformation in the movie is amazing and how it unfolds is so much better. I would suggest thinking about the level your child’s at before allowing them to see this movie. I do think this movie is appropriate for older children and adults!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Daniella L, age 24 (Canada)
Positive—This is one of our favorite movies now! What a great message—to look beyond your life and reach out to those around you who need love. There is a lot of good, clean humor, while still having a tremendous amount of meaning. I promised I wouldn’t cry as it was only a cartoon, but I did cry! Twice! This movie is probably the first cartoon with an older person as a main character! I am so glad that a movie finally portrayed an elderly person in a positive light. I think this movie will help children realize that if older people are grumpy, they may have had a lot of hurt.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Sylvia, age 26 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—I have to keep reminding myself that MOST animated films are not necessary made for kids. I took a four and six-year old to see “UP” and found it to be a bit more serious than the previews led me to believe. I’m not sure they were able to follow the beginning with the montage of Carl and his wife.

It got scary when the guy threatened to kill Carl and Russel—a little girl behind started to cry. All in all it was ok, just not fare for young ones.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Reba, age 40+ (USA)
Neutral—The trailers and previews were very misleading. I was expecting the usual funny, charming film that Pixar is known for, but instead I got a heart wrenching story about a man who sets out to follow his dreams.

Morally, the movie has no foul language and no sex/nudity, however, the violence of the movie is unusually high, even compared to The Incredibles, with dog fights and gun fire.

As for the story, it is incredibly sad. Carl is an old man who lives alone in his house, after his wife. Forever, he and his late wife dreamed of going to paradise falls in South America. He sets out with a pesky stowaway named Russel and finds intrigue and adventure. Even the ending leaves you with a desire for a happier ending. I was extremely disappointed.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
Jacob Airey, age 20 (USA)
Neutral—It may come across as extreme to give a Pixar movie, which has no cursing, no lewd sexual images, and mostly tame violence an offensive rating, but I’m looking past these surface issues into the deeper message it is presenting.

Though the overall message of seeking adventure is fine, the film loses site of the objective subjective values of man and animals. In this film, the main character seeks to rescue a bird, who the antagonist wants to take back to America to prove it exists. In the course of the main character’s attempts to rescue the bird, the antagonist dies.

Subjectively, the bird is cute and likeable, while the antagonist was a jerk and mean (and was willing to kill them to keep the bird and make his fame). But the film never acknowledges that human life is of greater objective value than animal life. It’s not worth risking the antagonist’s life to rescue a bird, even if the animal is subjectively likeable and the villain objectively unlikable. It’s also foolish to risk one’s own life to rescue a bird, when the human life is of greater objective value.

This film does not acknowledge man’s greater objective value than that of an animal, and pad it all you will with wholesomeness and G rated fun, that is not a Biblical message.

That being said, filmmaking quality is excellent.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Jay Scharfenberg, age 31 (USA)
Neutral—A lot of what forms one’s opinion about a film is subjective, something I think many professional film critics forget. One can have strong feelings about a film purely aside from its artistic merits. “Up” is one of those films. There is no argument that Pixar continues to be the leader in CG animation, and “Up” delivers the usual first-class artwork now taken for granted coming from Pixar. But, for me, the film just didn’t strike the right emotional chord. It is, as others have mentioned, at times depressing and at other times considerably violent. And to me it seemed to lack the wit and charm characteristic of previous Pixar releases. I found “WALL-E” to be a MUCH more touching and emotionally gratifying picture than “Up”… I’m glad I waited for “Up” to come out on video rather than see it in a theater.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Chris, age 46 (USA)
Negative
Negative—For being billed as a comedy, I found this movie to be rather dark and heavy handed on negativity. I was expecting something fun. My husband and 14 year old son also felt the same way about the movie. When the wife loses a baby, a small voice in the theatre said, “What happened?” and sounded so concerned. I think children feel much more than we give them credit for. Truly, it seemed to me I was seeing the delusions of an elderly man with Alzheimer’s! Bizarre is the only word I have for it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Judith, age 46 (USA)
Negative—“Up” was a new down in animation. Only at the very end of the movie does the audience experience a real sense of redemption. Overall, the story line was gratuitously depressing. The characters experience a marital death by sickness, a miscarriage, lost dreams, lost hopes and thematic material that drug on and on and on and on and on… and I thought to myself … what am I watching? … I thought I went to go see “Up.” I went to see the film with three fully grown adult friends, and we all agreed it was a very emotionally draining movie, with a sad soundtrack. It could have been a masterpiece, but was surprisingly disappointing. Close Pixar … close.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Luke, age 19 (USA)
Negative—I found this film to be very dark and depressing as well as terribly violent for children. I was prepared to bring my 4 year old to see it, and, thankfully, I had the opportunity to view it beforehand, and I am very glad.

At the beginning, a man is struck in the head, revealing blood, there is another similar scene as well in which the bird’s leg is injured and blood soaks through the bandage. Most of the dogs are very violent and mean, so much so that I believe could cause a young child to be afterward afraid of dogs. These dogs also fly airplanes while shooting needles (I am thinking something like tranquilizers) at the young boy, a man shoots at the boy as well with a rifle and later falls off the aircraft to his death. There is a lot of focus on death as well which I think is unhealthy and scary for children.

In addition to this I believe a lot of the action sequences are too intense/frightening for children. All in all, it was pretty heavy content, not at all for young children as the previews made it out to be.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
Angela Bowman, age 30 (USA)
Negative—I took my 5 children to see this movie (12, 8, 6, 4, 3) and all of them were upset by it. First by the loss of the baby, then by the death of Ellie, the wife. My 8yr old daughter is still asking what happened to the baby several weeks later. The old man is very grumpy, even to the adorable boyscout, and talks to his wife as if she can hear him in heaven (or wherever she went—the couple did not appear to be any kind of Christian). The dog scenes were scary for my youngest children, and the overall tone of the movie was dark and depressing… definitely did not leave us feeling “Up.”
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Cathy, age 37 (USA)
Comments about “Partly Cloudy,” the short that precedes showings of “Up” in theaters
Negative—This could have been a cute and charming fantasy about the clouds that produce babies for storks to deliver, except for the focus on the cloud that produces violent animals (such as porcupines and alligators). The poor stork assigned to this cloud keeps getting beaten up by the baby on the way to its parents. Finally the stork is so tired and weak it goes to another cloud to explain its situation, after which this cloud manufactures football protective gear: a helmet and shoulder pads, maybe a chest protector. Then his cloud gives him… an electric eel to deliver. The armor is no protection against electric charges. How funny is this? NOT! This is the most sadistic animated movie I have ever seen. I don’t care to speculate the effect this short may have on sensitive young children.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—James Osborn, age 57 (USA)
Comments from young people
Positive—If you have the money for a movie ticket, Go see this movie! Take your kids, take your relatives, take everybody! This is the perfect family movie that you’ve been waiting for! It’s funny, it’s exciting, it’s heartwarming, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry! I’m probably being a little too overenthusiastic about this, but it’s true! I loved it! I’m planning on seeing it again, and I’m definitely buying it when it comes to DVD!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Katie, age 16 (USA)
Positive—Pixar confounds me. In a world where studios keep churning out average and awful movies, with the occasional accidental gem thrown in there once in a while, Pixar seems not to have gotten the memo. At least three films on my top ten favorite movies of all time have the name Pixar attached to them (they are, in no particular order, Finding Nemo, WALL-E, and now, Up). And every single year, I make an effort to get to the theater to see the latest the production house has to offer. And I am never, ever let down. Cars came the closest for me, and even it was not a bad movie by any stretch of the imagination. But once in a while, even Pixar has a good day. “Up”… appears to have been a great day. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Matt Triponey, age 17 (USA)
Positive—I just want to state for the record that although I liked this movie… it was one of THE most saddest movies I have ever seen! In the commercials, it showed a feel good kids movie that had a little bit of an edgier side to it, but I was not expecting death! The short before the beginning was really good, but I kinda got the impression that it had it’s own take on God and it was kinda weird watching it, because it looked like evolution… but I think you should think hard before taking your little ones (ages 2-4) to see this movie because some issues (like Carl’ wife losing their child) go over their heads. Except for the death and little bit of violence it was a good movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Hannah Peters, age 12 (USA)
Positive—A great family film. People don’t give little kids enough credit. A lot of comments are saying that kids won’t be able to “follow it” but it’s pretty obvious what happens. Too many movies talk down to kids, which I find sickening. This movie treats them like adults, and adults will also like this movie. There’s nothing offensive to be found, and Karl’s relationship with his wife (although there’s not much time spent on it) is very sweet and wonderful. Ultimately, a couple of things in the final act seemed a bit contrived, but it’s still great family entertainment, and everyone should see it.

Note: About the short film before it, someone said that it is “extremely offensive,” I thought it was a funny and original take on “the stork.” If you can’t handle a little comic violence, then you need to lighten up a lot. …
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—John, age 16 (USA)
Positive—This movie was very clean and humorous at the same time. Yet it did have some perilous content and scenes that may be frightening for younger children under the age of 7 years; though over all “Up” is an exciting, fun film that families will love. I was very impressed with the quality of the adventure in this movie that most should enjoy.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Emily, age 11 (USA)
Positive—I know I don’t see any negative comments on this movie; seriously people it’s a good film. If anything it’s a lot more real than any other cartoon I’ve seen (besides the floating house and odd talking dogs, of course). I also heard a child ask “what happened?” when you see that she loses a baby, but just tell them what happened, it’s not the end of the world. This movie is sad, I cried, and I normally don’t cry in any movie. It was so sweet! I would take my younger sisters to see it, it in no way defiles Christians, and there’s no reason to give it a negative comment. I have never seen a more heartwarming film. I give it 5 stars all the way.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Lindsey, age 17 (USA)
Neutral—I went to go see this movie with my mom, sisters and grandmother. We were expecting a cute, funny and good movie. I was actually really disappointed. I thought the beginning of the movie was really sad and deep, and as it went on, it was getting dark. The movie really wasn’t very funny either. I mean some of it was, but only a few lines. It wasn’t horrible… meaning it was clean. But afterwards I was like really bummed and thought it wasn’t worth watching again.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Laurie, age 15 (USA)
Negative—“Up” had a lot of violence for a children’s movie. It is not really appropriate for young children as the trailers made it out to be. Most of the dogs are mean and cruel, and that may give young children a fear of dogs. There is also the bird that gets brutally injured, and blood seeps through the bandage. This may scare little kids away from blood and dogs even more. It also has an explorer that is in charge of the dogs that is looking for the bird, and when the old man and the little boy talk to this explorer, it can be taken that it is okay to lie and shows violence from then until the explorer is killed. It shows many intense scenes where the main characters almost die, and a scene where the dogs are flying in airplanes and shooting some sort of dart at the main character. The overall theme of the movie is too dark for little kids under the age of eight years old, and very boring and slow in the middle 75 minutes for kids over the age of ten.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: ½
—Anna, age 14 (USA)
Positive—I thought this film was excellent and touching! It was everything I could think it was! It had humor… It had adventure and NO BAD WORDS!! That was very uplifting to me because now a days in “so called kid movies” There are curse words that really let me down they take away from the whole movie… What I thought was the most touching was Carl and Ellie’s relationship! They stuck with each other through the good and the bad, they had dreams… I think it gets kids excited for marriage and to grow up. The threat to kill Carl and Russell was the climate of the story it wasn’t offensive it just kept you at the edge of your chair… It was very touching and I strongly recommend it to any family/ person it is a very good and touching movie!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Emily, age 12 (USA)
Positive—I absolutely LOVED this movie! My friends and I went to see it together and were laughing almost the whole time. We all connected with the characters and make jokes about them all the time. One of my favorites, and I would see it again, and recommend it to anyone. This is very clean and a good laugh.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Felissa, age 15 (USA)
Positive—I think “Up” was a very good movie. I saw it twice in theaters. The first time a saw it I almost cried a couple times. This movie had several deeper meanings than I thought it would. For example, Russell told Mr. Fredrickson that he had to help him cross something. Towards the end of the movie, Russell asks Mr. Fredricksen to cross his heart and promise to help take care of Kevin, the bird that is following them. The second time I saw this film was when a church friend asked me to sit in it with her 3 or 4 year old daughter while she and her friends watched another movie.

We had to leave because she got scared because of all of the shooting towards the end. That is the only thing I didn’t like about this movie. Why would you put so much violence into an animated children’s movie? Charles Muntz implied several times that he was going to try to kill Russell and Mr. Fredricksen. He also implies that he has killed many people in the past. I loved this movie and definitely want to buy it on DVD. I would recommend taking kids maybe 5-7 and up to see this movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Jordan, age 13 (USA)
Positive—I find my self laughing at some of the negative comments made by kids my age and even adults. This movie was made for kids. Everything about this Disney pixar movie was kid friendly. This movie is made for four year old. There are some sad parts and many funny parts to this movie. I think that no kid should be told that they can’t see this movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Josh, age 15 (USA)
Positive—Awesome movie! I couldn’t stop laughing during the whole film. Very recommendable!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Charis, age 14 (USA)
Positive—This movie is a true masterpiece. Violence is somewhat unlike Disney at some times, but not potentially disturbing. I’d recommend it for all ages and think it’s a great film. Very funny and with lots of heart, adventure, and a great story! What are you doing reading this? Go see it!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Tim, age 12 (USA)
Positive—very good movie, I would recommend it to anyone.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Ethan, age 11 (USA)
Positive—All I can say is: THIS MOVIE WAS GOOOOD!!!…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Gloria, age 12 (USA)
Positive—This was one of the best movies I have seen in a LONG TIME. I found it to be a very heart-warming movie perfect for all age young and old. it does start out pretty sad in the begining but dont let that turn you off from this movie. Now, I don’t cry for movies, but I cried in this movie about 3 times—not because it was sad but because of pure joy for the characters though I know that sounds corny. and watching the characters heart change at the end was very beautiful. Though some younger children might not understand what’s going on sometimes, I think it serves a geat message.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Georgette, age 16 (USA)
Neutral—I don’t get why people like “Up” so much. I think all the critics and viewers of the movie loved it just because it was different. It had messages about love and forgiveness, but that was really the only good thing about this movie. I loved the beginning of the movie but then I felt that the climax of the movie was probably one of the most ridiculous things I have ever seen. To tell you the truth, I don’t really remember anything offensive in this movie except for some action but that’s not really offensive is it?

Is there anything to do with Christ in this movie, you may be asking. Yes, there is, Nobody mentions Christ in the movie but there are plenty of values and morals in this movie as forgiving and love. Would I recommend this movie to anyone? No, I wouldn’t because the climax was so silly, that I wouldn’t recommend it. And also, I found it kind of boring and after and hour or so in the movie I lost my interest in the story and trust me, that almost never happens. If you want to see a good family movie, you might want to check out “Where the Wild Things Are,” “The Fantastic Mr. Fox” or “Coraline.”
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—Langston, age 12 (USA)
Positive—This is one of the few movies I have seen that has made me cry—“Marley and Me,” and “The Passion of the Christ” are the other two. This movie was very uplifting; it shows us how we have goals, but we let life get in the way of those goals. You see the main character, Carl and how he and his wife, Ellie had a plan to go explore a mountain, but instead decided to stay at home and raise a family. Unfortunately, we see that Ellie has a miscarriage, and it is implied that she will not be able to have children. But that doesn’t keep the couple down.

They decide to keep on saving money so they can go exploring but one thing after another they always need to use the money they’ve saved. Unfortunately, Ellie passes away and the government wants Carl to move out of his house with his memories of his Ellie but Carl decides that he will go exploring instead so he decides to tie balloons to his house and go to were he and his beloved Ellie have always wanted to go. I don’t want to get into full detail of what happens in this movie, but I saw it with my 2 sisters and both of them loved it it was funny, a few scenes were semi scary, but not as bad as most Disney films such as “Snow White” and “Sleeping Beauty;” the only objectionable words are: gosh, golly, and darn.

Overall, this movie was very good it made me walk out of the theatre thinking about my plans and goals for life and how life is short, so we have to live in the moment
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—anonymous, age 16 (Canada)
Positive—This movie was a good adventure, and I liked it. I had a good time seeing it—a very nice family movie for all ages.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Ethan, age 11 (USA)
Positive—Me and my family loved this movie!! It’s great for the family!! It was one of the cutest movies ever!!P ixar did a good job making the movie!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Hannah Gutierrez, age 11 (USA)
Neutral—When I watched “Up” in theaters, I was left with mixed feelings. One part of me wanted to love it and the other part of me didn’t like it very much, and it took me a few more views before I decided that, yes, I did not like “Up” all that much. It is a remarkably well-done film, and it feels just as magical as so many of Pixar’s other movies. The story and themes are beautiful, to put it mildly.

Then why didn’t I like it? It seems, by the way I just described it, to be a near-perfect movie. And perhaps it is, but my complaint with the movie doesn’t have anything to do with its quality. Given the story, it couldn’t really get any better. But the problem with Up–and I seem to be in a minority when I say this–is that it wasn’t a very enjoyable watch.
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My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Joseph Hughey, age 17 (USA)
Positive—I was quite surprised at some of the reviews for Disney/Pixar’s film “Up”. In my opinion, it is one of the cleanest most uplifting movie I’ve seen from this company in years. No potty-talk. No profanities. No sexuality. There was talk of the movie being too depressing for children. Yes, it shows Ellie and Carl finding out they cannot have children (it appears as if Ellie had a miscarriage, but it is not clear). Yes, Ellie dies, leaving Carl Fredickson a widower. But these are life lessons every child needs to learn. People die. Life happens. That fact is inevitable in life; why shelter our children from the normal circle of life? It doesn’t even show Ellie “taking her last breath” or whatever. All it shows is Ellie in the hospital bed, smiling and holding her husband’s hand, and then to a scene where Carl lightly lays his hand on her closed coffin. That’s it.

This film, in my opinion, could be used to start a conversation with children about life, death, and salvation through Jesus Christ alone.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Alexxus, age 13 (USA)