Up ★★★★★

It's amazing just what animation can deliver that live action quite often simply can't. I don't remember ever watching a movie before that actually broke my heart in the first 15 minutes, but Up did. I freely admit, after watching one of the best montage sequences I've ever seen, I was openly crying. Pixar have outdone themselves with this; a truly heartwarming tale of friendship, adventure, loss and the power of the human spirit that ranks among some of the best storytelling you're ever likely to see.

It's a glorious picture. Given its Pixar, it just looks stunning in every way, a feast for the eyes - but more than that, it nails the whole package: characterisation, narrative, everything is here in spades. Ed Asner is perfect for the crotchety old widower Carl, on a mission to live the dream of his late wife - along the way becoming a father figure to Russell, the chubby, adventure-seeking kid he never had. The story of these two is touching without ever being sentimental, you truly believing in Carl's journey and Russell's desire to find a friend & father in his quest for adventure. Sure, the plot may be utterly bonkers - houses tethered to balloons, talking dogs, mad old hunters in souped-up'd blimps - but that just adds to its magic, it's charm. It's a fable, one well written enough with dry humour and clever visuals to appeal to all ages - classic Pixar, who understand their audience is the child in every adult out there.

I genuinely don't see how you can't find Up to be a beautiful piece of movie making. Replete with a gorgeous score from the great Michael Giacchino, I invite you to bask in what may well be - even including the Toy Story opus - Pixar's zenith. If all movies were this wonderful, the world would be a better place.

A. J. liked these reviews