The premise of “Up” is simple. First you take a crotchety old man who hates the entire world and lives alone in a house that's about ready to fall down. Next you introduce an eight year old kid with about as much common sense as a gerbil walking into a gay bar. Somehow these types of films always manage to find some outrageous reason to put the mismatched pair together whether they like it or not. This gross mismatching reminds one of Felix Ungar and Oscar Madison in “The Odd Couple”, or Paris Hilton with any actor other than a porn star.
Ed Asner, who played a grumpy boss on both the Mary Tyler Moore and Lou Grant TV shows, has now added "old" to his repertoire to play protagonist Carl Fredricksen. Ed Asner is no ordinary crank. He is the virtuoso of vituperation and the Pavarotti of peeve. He doesn't deliver his lines, he growls them like a wood chipper on slow speed. The only other actor of note was Christopher Plummer who plays the malevolent soulless obsessive force of evil, much like he did in The Sound of Music.
There’s no use naming any of the other actors, seeing as how that damned 8-year-old could never shut his mouth long enough for anyone else to have gotten a word in edgewise. If they gave out merit badges for chatter, this twerp would have made Eagle Scout before lunch. Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?
The 8-year-old “Wilderness Explorer” Russell shows up on Carl’s doorstep one day in an attempt to secure his one remaining merit badge for “helping old people.” He shows Carl the empty spot on his sash where the merit badge will go: Right there between the Homo Discrimination Badge and the Pushing an Atheist Down a Staircase Badge. Much to Carl’s annoyance, and damn near everyone else’s in the theater, Russell accidentally ends up stowing away on Carl’s airborne house the morning Carl escapes.
I had no trouble suspending disbelief to where I could accept Carl's house, transported aloft by a bunch of party balloons, ending up in the precise spot on the globe thousands of miles away and exactly where Carl wanted to go. However, I could not accept that he could afford that house in the first place with his job selling balloons at the zoo, and could afford to retire from that job as well. That’s stretching it too far for even a Disney cartoon. Flying elephants are one thing, but let’s not be ridiculous.
In another return to Disney tradition, the film features talking dogs thanks to the magic of high-tech dog collars. Since they are dogs, they don't really have anything to say. Of course the dog lovers in the audience won't care about that. They will think it so lovable to hear Fido say anything at all. One may expect bon mots such as: "Throw me the ball", "Yes I would like more bacon", or the ever popular "I would like to smell your crotch now.” The pathetic thing is that these stupid dogs end up having the best lines in the entire film.
This movie is so retarded that ironically, the only person who would truly appreciate "Up" is a kid with Down Syndrome.
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