Smart, funny, high-spir­ited, sweet-na­tured com­edy com­ing up

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - JELLYBEAN JOURNAL -

WALT Dis­ney Pic­tures and Pixar An­i­ma­tion Stu­dios take movie­go­ers up, up and away on one of the fun­ni­est ad­ven­tures of all time with their lat­est com­edy-fan­tasy Up, from Academy Award-nom­i­nated di­rec­tor Pete Doc­ter ( Mon­sters Inc).

Up fol­lows the up­lift­ing tale of 78-year-old bal­loon sales­man Carl Fredrick­sen, who fi­nally ful­fils his life­long dream of a great ad­ven­ture when he ties thou­sands of bal­loons to his house and flies away to the wilds of South Amer­ica.

But he dis­cov­ers all too late that his big­gest night­mare has stowed away on the trip: an overly op­ti­mistic eight-year-old wilder­ness ex­plorer named Rus­sell.

Their jour­ney to a lost world, where they en­counter some strange, ex­otic and sur­pris­ing char­ac­ters, is filled with hi­lar­ity, emo­tion and wildly imag­i­na­tive ad­ven­ture.

“I think it’s the fun­ni­est film that we’ve ever made, and also one of the most beau­ti­ful,” says John Las­seter, ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer and chief creative of­fi­cer for Walt Dis­ney and Pixar An­i­ma­tion Stu­dios.

“We have a main char­ac­ter that is an amaz­ing hero. Carl Fredrick­sen is 78 years old and he trav­els the world in a fly­ing ma­chine of his own de­sign and still has din­ner at 3.30 in the af­ter­noon. He’s the most un­likely hero you can imag­ine in an action pic­ture. He is a char­ac­ter who learns that the big ad­ven­tures in life are all the small things that hap­pen in everyday life.

“Rus­sell is one of the most ap­peal­ing and charm­ing charac- ters that we’ve ever cre­ated. Th­ese two char­ac­ters light up the screen.”

The film is di­rected by Pixar vet­eran Pete Doc­ter. Along with Las­seter and An­drew Stan­ton, Doc­ter de­vel­oped the story and char­ac­ters for Toy Story. He was a sto­ry­board artist on A Bug’s Life and wrote the ini­tial story treat­ment for Toy Story 2.

Doc­ter made his de­but as a di­rec­tor on Mon­sters Inc, which re­ceived an Academy Award nom­i­na­tion for Best An­i­mated Fea­ture Film.

Doc­ter gar­nered an­other Academy Award nom­i­na­tion for his orig­i­nal story credit on Dis­neyPixar’s Os­car-winning Wall-E.

“For me per­son­ally, what makes a film worth watch­ing is when you go home and you’re still think­ing about it,” says Doc­ter.

“You leave the the­atre and you’re still think­ing about it not only the next day, but the next year.

“In or­der to have a film af­fect you that way, it has to have real true emo­tion and res­onate in some way with your own life.

“So even though the stars of the film may be mon­sters or bugs, you iden­tify with those char­ac­ters on the screen and you un­der­stand what they’re go­ing through.

“It’s im­por­tant to have that foun­da­tion of real truth and an emo­tional at­tach­ment to the char­ac­ters.”

“Along with the hu­mour, you have to have heart,” says Las­seter.

“Film-mak­ers found a lot of heart in their lat­est ad­ven­ture, ex­plor­ing the love that Carl and his late wife shared and the friend­ship that de­vel­ops be­tween Carl and Rus­sell. In fact, Carl dis­cov­ers that life’s true ad­ven­ture can be found not in travel or great ac­com­plish­ments, but in the everyday re­la­tion­ships that we have with friends and fam­ily.”

The voice cast for Up fea­tures leg­endary ac­tor Ed As­ner as the 78year-old Carl Fredrick­sen.

Nine-year-old Jor­dan Na­gai makes his act­ing de­but as the voice of the de­ter­mined and ea­ger-toas­sist Rus­sell.

Ac­claimed Emmy Award­win­ning ac­tor Christo­pher Plum­mer is the voice of Charles Muntz, a faded hero with an ob­ses­sion to re­store his good name.

John Ratzen­berger pro­vides the voice of a construction fore­man named Tom, who tries to en­cour­age Carl to sell his home.

Muntz’s dog pack in­cludes vo­cal per­for mances by Bob Peter­son, Delroy Lindo and Jerome Ranft.

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