Pixar has released ten consistently great films (although I have not seen A Bug's Life), and this film might surpass them all in beauty, story telling, visual style, humor, and overall significance. I somehow managed to temper my anticipation by reminding myself of how Wall-e had received even higher praise from critics, and was ultimately not the be-all-end-all of animated films that it was made out to be by many critics and internet bloggers. So with Up, I was going to give it a chance.
This is a story of a old man living in his house in the midst of big city development. He and his late wife had bought that house as newlyweds, and everything about it was a constant reminder of her. Rather than give in and move into a retirement community, he takes the second most obvious choice.... he ties a crap load of balloons to his house and uses them to sail to South America, so he can finally travel to Paradise Falls, a place he and his wife had always dreamed of going. Not long after take, off he discovers a little fat boy scout on his porch. Being that they're at about ten thousand feet, he reluctantly lets him in the house.
The adventure that ensues is both ridiculous and hilarious, and involves a giant bird, talking dogs, and a Christopher Plummer voiced blimp flying antagonist intent on capturing said bird. The action is fun and silly, and uses the 3D technology to enhance the experience, giving the audience a real sense of depth when looking into the Amazonian jungle from the top of a blimp or flying house. Most of all this film has a heart, and it doesn't hold back the sentiment, but it does it so tastefully and poignantly. Two or three times I found myself close to tears. Each of the main characters is so well fleshed out that you really feel you know them, even though they're just a 3D rendering on a screen.
As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, this might be my favorite Pixar movie, and is certainly one of my favorite films of the year so far. I can wholeheartedly recommend this movie to anyone and everyone. Ignore the PG rating, this is fine for all kids. Heaven forbid they watch something with a little emotional substance.