Cover Art and Menus: 8/10
It’s the kind of lovely ‘little’ movie that needs a fun cover, and that’s what we get. I do like the cover action a lot. It would make an awesome poster..hint hint (birthday coming up) Sometimes I grunt at the site of another “cute’ cover, but this is an exception. The movie makes it great. The menu, ho-hum, not much to talk about. It’s got a cool animation of the house danging from the balloons, but then just has the navigation tagged on to the side.
- Commentary By Director Pete Docter & Bob Peterson - We get lots of stories about making the movie, reference materials, and that Pixar vibe as we listen to Docter and Peterson chat through the movie. (I make it sound boring, well, there is only so much Pixar self-love one can handle with each movie.)
- Dug’s Special Mission - Dug is the dimwitted dog that finds our heroes on Paradise Island, and he’s got a certain flair for whacky antics, as delivered in this extra. It feels like a deleted series of scenes with the dogs, but it’s more cartoony than the rest of the movie, so it’s just for fun.
- The Many Endings Of Muntz - How many ways can we dispose of the bad guy? A fun jaunt through the minds of Pixar storytellers who have to keep it kid friendly, but have seen a few too many action/adventure baddies bite the dust in horrible ways.
- Partly Cloudy - Awe, that short they always include, they are always sappy and sweet and look awesome. Partly Cloudy is a little glimpse into the world of how babies are made, in the sky, by clouds and delivered by storks..right? Well, someone has to make the less cuddly, less cute little babies, and one little storm cloud with his brave stork take on that challenge. It’s lovely.
- Adventure Is Out There – A longish Documentary exploring all aspects of the making of the movie.
- Cine Explore (Blu-Ray Exclusive) - Watch the movie with added behind the scenes in the corner, all that Pixar goodness.
- Geriatric Hero (Blu-Ray Exclusive) - How to make an old man into an action hero, sort of :) Old men everywhere would revolt if the details weren’t just right.
- Canine Comparisons (Blu-Ray Exclusive) - So many dogs, so many pixels, not enough time, or money to do them all. How do you make a convincing dog in pixel form that’s cartoony and believably intimidating while keeping that cuddly factor?? Never work with kids and animals…
- Russell: Wilderness Explorer (Blu-Ray Exclusive) - What kind of kid is so determined to get his Assisting the Elderly badge that he will risk life and limb to get it? A lot of testing, a lot of drawings later, and Russell is born.
- Our Giant Flightless Friend, Kevin (Blu-Ray Exclusive) - More of the same with how they designed and came to the final drawing designs of Kevin, the famale giant bird in the story.
- Homemakers Of Pixar (Blu-Ray Exclusive) - How do you make a house look like it can be carried off by a couple hundred thousand balloons? Make a real life model, including every detail of the underneath and then take lots and lots and lots of test photos and video on a miniature scale.
- Balloons & Flight (Blu-Ray Exclusive) - If you are going to convince us that a house can be carried away by a massive bundle of balloons, those babies better be good….and ohhh they are.
- Composing For Characters (Blu-Ray Exclusive) - Music music music…we gotta have it and here’s how the design it around the story and each character.
- Married Life (Blu-Ray Exclusive) - The opening to the movie had an earlier story, the early years of our lovely little couple. I’m very glad they didn’t used this original concept…not nearly as, um, sweet:)
- Global Guardian Badge Game (Blu-Ray Exclusive) – LEARN stuff! Maps of the world and your chance to identify countries, states, regions…good luck! It works great and it’s actually really fun to explore how much you don’t know about this planet.
- DVD & Digital Copy – Disney make sure they throw all the format’s in one box, something I really appreciate especially the DVD version which is great for on the go.
The Movie: 10/10
My heart, that’s it, the part of me that this movie woke up and gave it a nudge. Yea, emotional blackmail and all that, whatever. Tell me a story about love, lost opportunities, choices, and regret, and then mix that with an old man whose heart needed a little nudge too and man-oh-man…..I’m there.
Carl lived his life along side his true love. They lived with the promise that someday they would go to a place called Paradise Falls. Like most of our lives promises get shoved aside with life, other priorities, and other promises. As an old man Carl is alone and quite shut off from the world. To tell you the truth I can’t really capture the emotions of getting to know Carl. It’s one of those movie stories you just have to experience to understand. Just for the record, you have to be a cold-hearted prick not to be effected even just a little bit by this story.
It’s lovely, well told, very heartstringtuggingly good, and I don’t always dig that kind of thing. Not only is this a nice story that taps into those experiences that shape a lot of the more sad, more challenging things in life like aging, death, live’s spent without fulfilling dreams, etc. this is a laugh out loud movie that’s so much fun to watch. I can’t explain it very well, but the mix of touching human frailties with some outlandish action is awesome.
I never stop thinking about why Carl is on his adventure to a far away place with his house, aloft with thousands of balloons strapped to his back. It’s not just for the sake of adventure. He is driven by something I think a lot of people experience in their later lives. A motivation to DO what they always wanted to do but never took the chance. It’s not a new idea, I understand that, however, this time around it is told to me in a way that completely sinks into my heart. Awe, sweet.
The movie looks awesome, of course. The textures, the design, the details, it’s all rich and completely takes me into that world where dogs can talk ‘telepathically’ with their throats via some contraption, a house can be lifted by balloons, an old man and young kid help each other feel good about life, no more defeat, no more broken promises, no more being left behind.
I highly recommend UP for a lot of reasons, but the first and last is , my heart knows it’s good. (I cried, for all the right reasons.)
Audio & Video: 10/10 (By Ascully)
Like last year’s Blu-Ray release of Wall-E, Disney have pulled out all the stops with a pristine reference quality transfer that never falters. As far as I am concerned the best two Blu-Ray discs of the year are “The Wizard Of Oz” & “Up”. Both are great for different reasons but the 1080P VC1 transfer on this disc is the best you will see for a 2009 movie. To be fair, Pixar movies are always going to look good on Blu-Ray as they are taken from the digital files that the movie was rendered with but in the hands of a poor technician they could be a disaster. Another point worth mentioning here is that all the extras on the Blu-Ray are presented in 1080P HD. This is something other companies should take note of. There is nothing worse than buying a HD disc and all of the extras are presented in standard def.
Audio on this release is as stunning as the visuals. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is amazing. What is interesting in this soundtrack is how subtle it is. It’s not a overbearing action type soundtrack, more a quiet detailed pieces with some astounding heartfelt music sprinkled in for good measure. Whichever way you slice it though the soundtrack is perfect every piece of dialog is crisp and clear and when bass is needed your sub woofer responds accordingly.
I am always excited when this time of year rolls around and we are treated to a new Pixar movie on Blu-Ray. Next year I will probably be saying all the same things about Toy Story 3 which incidentally is in trailer form right at the start of this disc. Highly recommended :)
If you find it for around 18-20 bucks…go for it! It’s well worth it. You will watch it more than once, and so will your kids. It’s one of those movies I want on my shelf. I never know when I’m gonna need a good cry:) The extras are excellent, as always with Pixar offerings, so this is a great deal if you find the right price tag.
Overall Score 10/10