Guest Author - Gail Kavanagh
Ten minutes into this movie and you're reaching for the tissues. The opening sequences follow a beautiful relationship from childhood sweethearts to old age, and it seems like the movieís hardly begun and itís all over. Sniffling into tissues as one of the sweetest girl/woman/old lady characters in movie history dies, I honestly wondered why I was watching it. Then twenty minutes into this movie something wonderful, marvellous and literally uplifting happens. From then on it soars all the way.
Ed Asner, the grouchy old editor we loved from the Mary Tyler Moore Show, voices Carl Fredericksen, who meets his soul mate Ellie when they are both kids. She has no voice because the whole sequence is played without dialog. When she is gone, Carl continues to live in the house they shared since they were married, even though it now overshadowed by a huge development.
Carl and Ellie dreamed of travelling to far away places with strange sounding names, and Ellie pictured their house sitting in solitary splendour atop a waterfall - but they never got to explore the wider world, and never got to have the children they longed for either, so keep those tissues handy.
Alone, Carl makes up his mind to find that place that Ellie dreamed of as the site of their house, and another lonely soul, little rotund boy scout Russell (Jordan Nagai) ends up tagging along. They have wonderful adventures involving a mad explorer called Muntz (Christopher Plummer), a bunch of talking dogs, and a crazy looking bird.
The sad undertones are apparently responsible for the PG rating, but if you think your child can handle the death of one of the characters very early in the movie, it shouldn't be too much of a problem. It's just been showered with awards, including Best Animated Feature at the Oscars, and Best Animated Film at the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films awards.
The movie leaves you feeling happy that Carl has found the Spirit of Adventure (literally) and formed a bond with a lonely little boy, but sad at the same time that Ellie didn't get to fly away with him. Oh darn it, there goes the waterworks again - where are those tissues?