April 23, 2011

Up - Animation

So, as I am into animation movies lately, I watched "UP" yesterday night. It was a really funny and cool movie. My next film in line is Bashir. Watch out for its review!


By tying thousands of balloon to his home, 78-year-old Carl Fredricksen sets out to fulfill his lifelong dream to see the wilds of South America. Right after lifting off, however, he learns he isn't alone on his journey, since Russell, a wilderness explorer 70 years his junior, has inadvertently become a stowaway on the trip.

A young Carl Fredrickson meets a young adventure spirited girl named Ellie. They both dream of going to a Lost Land in South America. 70 years later, Ellie has died. Carl remembers the promise he made to her. Then, when he inadvertently hits a construction worker, he is forced to go to a retirement home. But before they can take him, he and his house fly away. However he has a stowaway aboard. An 8 year old boy named Russell, who's trying to get an Assisting the Elderly badge. Together, they embark on an adventure, where they encounter talking dogs, an evil villain and a rare bird named Kevin.

Box Office

Budget: $175,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $68,108,790 (USA) (31 May 2009) (3 Screens)

Gross: $293,004,164 (USA) (5 November 2009)


If Carl's house was approximately 1600 square feet, and the average house weighs between 60-100 pounds per square foot, it weighs 120,000 pounds. If the average helium balloon can carry .009 pounds (or 4.63 grams), it would take 12,658,392 balloons to lift his house off the ground. (20,622 balloons appear on the house when it first lifts off.)

Very first animated film, as well as the first 3D film, ever to open the Cannes Film Festival.
Russell is Pixar's first Japanese/Asian-American character voiced by an Asian-American actor, Jordan Nagai.

As per Pixar tradition, John Ratzenberger once again provides a voice in the movie, making him the only actor to do a voice in every Pixar film.

The term 'A113' is the number of the courtroom, and can be found on the gold sign Carl sits next to while waiting to be called (Courtroom A113). A113 is a frequent Pixar in-joke based on one of the room numbers for the animation program at Cal Arts.

The legendary singer Charles Aznavour performs the voice of Carl in the French version.

Dug's 'point' pose, where his entire tail, back, and head is in a perfectly straight line, is an homage to the identical pose that Mickey's dog, Pluto, often makes. Dug also shares a similar colour scheme to Pluto.
Co-director/co-writer Bob Peterson stated that Dug's line "I have just met you, and I love you," was inspired by a quote from a small child that he met when he was a camp counselor in the 1980s.

In June 2009, 10-year-old Colby Curtin from Huntington Beach, California, was suffering from the final stages of terminal vascular cancer. Her dying wish was to live long enough to see Up (2009). Unfortunately, Colby was too sick to leave home and her family feared she would die without seeing the film. A family friend contacted Pixar, and a private screening was arranged for Colby. The company flew an employee with a DVD copy of "Up", along with some tie-in merchandise from the film. Colby couldn't see the screen because the pain kept her eyes closed, so her mother gave her a play-by-play of the film. Seven hours after viewing the film, Colby passed away.

Russell's Wilderness Explorer sash has several in-jokes and tributes. The most obvious is a Luxo Jr. (1986) ball. One badge has a hamburger with a candle in it. This is a nod to Merritt Bakery in Oakland - which creates cakes in that shape - a favorite hangout of director Pete Docter and producer Jonas Rivera. Another badge is a tribute to 2-D animation, showing a perforated paper that is used by 2D animators to line up their drawings correctly. He also has badges for First Aid and Second Aid, which may be a reference to a short on the Up website where Russell struggles to apply bandages to Carl. Yet another badge depicts a multicolored pinwheel - the "hang" icon of Apple's Mac OS X operating system, equivalent to the Windows hourglass icon. Several of these badges are shown in the credits. An additional tribute to Apple and Steve Jobs (former CEO of Pixar and still a primary shareholder) shows Russell trying to teach Carl how to use a computer.

Edward Asner plays Carl Fredricksen.

A code title used during production was "Helium".

Film debut of Jordan Nagai, who voices Russell. Originally, his older brother Hunter was auditioning for the part, and Nagai simply came along with him. About 400 children had showed up for the auditions, but Nagai stood out because he would not stop talking. Director Pete Docter later said that "as soon as Jordan's voice came on we started smiling because he is appealing and innocent and cute and different from what I was initially thinking."

Pixar's second most commercially successful film after Finding Nemo (2003).


Carl and Russell's hometown at the end is Oakland. We see Oakland landmarks Fenton's Creamery and the Fox Oakland Theatre (showing Star Wars (1977)).

All of the dogs except for Dug are named after letters of the Greek alphabet (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, etc) although this could relate to rankings in a dog pack, where the lead male is known as the Alpha, then Beta and so on. This is supported by the fact that when Dug puts Alpha in the Cone of Shame, all the other dogs begin referring to Dug as Alpha. The voices of both Dug and Alpha are performed by the same actor, Bob Peterson.

When Russell flies past the airship using his balloons and the leaf blower, we briefly see several of Charles Muntz's dogs playing poker at a card table. This is a tribute to the famous "Dogs Playing Poker" series of paintings by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge.

Many death scenes were proposed for Charles Muntz; in one of them, his obsession with catching the giant bird took him inside the dreaded labyrinth against his own recommendation, where he would eventually get lost and die (much like Jack Nicholson's character in The Shining (1980)). As they animators wanted to keep the climax situated in the air, they considered that Muntz be lured into Carl's house by the bird, and then die as the house fell off the zeppelin with him still in it. However, they did not want to associate the house, which symbolized Elly, with a violent death. Another ending that almost made it was Muntz getting tangled into some balloons and getting lifted away, instead of falling down. But this did not give a proper closure to the character. In the end, the directors decided that this was Carl's story, and Muntz' ending was therefore to be kept simple.

If you have movie tips for me, please, comment or email.
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