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Home » Culture and Criticism

Up

Submitted by on February 13, 2010 – 11:38 AM64 Comments

The tears started rolling five minutes in. I always cry at Pixar movies — even Cars; shut up — so I don't know why I thought I would escape from Up with a dry face, but it seriously killed me like five different times. So cute! So sad! Such a sweet score!

…Kevin! I LOVE KEVIN. Totally naming my next pet "Kevin."

Adorable. Easily my favorite of the Best Picture nominees, which it won't win; haven't seen all the Best Animated Features yet, but it might not win that either; it had better win Best Original Score because I've had the Carl and Ellie song in my head all day. Love.

…Kevin!

Death Race 41, Sarah 17; 6 out of 24 categories completed

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64 Comments »

  • Kevin! It's a girl! But still Kevin! Aw.

  • Suzanne says:

    ! "Kevin's a GIRL!"

    And the dogs! "I hid all night beneath the porch, because I LOVE YOU."

  • attica says:

    Years and years ago, I trained myself in how to cry in the cinema without ruining my mascara or doing that sobby-breathing thing. It comes in handy for movies like Up.

    Squirrell!

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    "I do not like the cone of shame."

  • Andrea says:

    I loved that movie so much. But yeah I cried for like 20 minutes straight during/after the lifespan montage. It kinda broke the compartmentalized dam of emotion I have about the people I've lost, and once that dam breaks I'm SOL. :)

    Beautiful movie.

  • Suzanne says:

    Kid: "Where are you keeping Kevin? Let me go!"
    Dog Minion: "Scream all you want, small mailman!"
    Alpha Dog: "None of your mailman friends can hear you!"

  • Couch Baron says:

    "Can I come in?"
    "No."

  • Mollie says:

    I don't think I've ever cried or laughed as much in a movie theatre as I did when I saw Up.

    "I hid under your porch because I love you."

  • Salieri2 says:

    "I have just met you but I LOVE YOU."

    "Please, oh please, oh PLEASE, be my prisoner!!!!"

    [slam!] "…..ow."

  • LizBN says:

    I saw Up on a trans-pacific flight, and I totally lost it during the opening sequence too (and at the end). I'm pretty sure the people near me thought I was a lunatic.

  • Jen S says:

    Love from minute one on! I kept poking my husband and whispering "we need a dog! We NEED a dog!" Alpha Dog's squeaky voice was beyond inspired, but Dug's constant protestations of LOVE, broken only by SQUIRREL! could warm the coldest, blackest heart.

    And to once again quote an Agony Booth recapper, if the first five minutes did not make you cry, you have no soul and are also fat.

    KEVIN!

  • shanchan says:

    I started to realize what I was in for when I cried during the *short.* Thank goodness I had a bunch of napkins in my pocket! SQUIRREL!

  • MAL says:

    Oh, heavens. I saw this in a theater with a friend, and every time we looked over at each other we were both just big, snotty, teary messes (when we weren't giggling at Dug & Kevin). I don't think I've ever sobbed quite like that during a movie. And what's worse, for months (not kidding, nor exaggerating) afterwards I'd *still* get choked up if I tried to explain the movie to someone else. I'd love to sit down and watch it with my husband, but I'm not sure I can subject myself to that emotional turmoil again. It was the best movie I saw (in my limited exposure) all year, and I'm still impressed that an animated movie can so effectively capture emotions that so many "real" films can't.

  • katie says:

    I literally finished watching this moments before I opened TomatoNation and saw your review. It was truly inspiring. I cried, of course, several times, but I laughed and laughed as well. Great movie.

  • Elyse says:

    @shanchan the short totally made me cry too! awww now i want to see that movie again.

  • Suzanne M says:

    I managed to hold it together both times I saw that one in theatres, but only just. When I watched it at home by myself? Wow, tears. I even cried when Dug was scolded. He looked so sad! But then, next thing I knew, I was laughing again. Pixar scored big with this one.

  • Isis Uptown says:

    I am literally watching it right now and opened up Tomato Nation. I've cried about eight times already!

  • Bess says:

    "Can we keep him?"
    "No."
    "But it's a TALKING DOG!!"

  • Aimless says:

    My husband took our son to see this in the theater, and I gave him a LOAD of crap when he told me how he welled up with tears during the opening sequence. I mean, come on! A cartoon! With Ed Asner?

    It just shows the type guy he is that, when I later watched it on video, he merely handed me a box of Kleenex without comment as I sobbed my way through the first 20 minutes.

  • Nichole says:

    My brother's dog looks and acts just like Dug. Which made the movie even more enjoyable for me (and my kids).

  • Bronte says:

    I had forgotten so much about this movie. Probably something to do with the fact that I took my nephew and like the good aunt I am, filled him up with so much sugar that he threw up afterwards (in the loos, no mess!).
    You've all reminded me how awesome this movie was.

  • Laura says:

    OMG the tears during the first part…I seriously thought I was a hot mess because of that since I watched it on PPV alone at home and SOBBED through the begining. But since then I found out that everyone who can fog a mirror cried numerous times I've since felt better. But SOOOOO cute and sweet and heartfelt. I just love Pixar.

  • Jaybird says:

    This was the first time I had EVER cried at a Pixar feature. That brief little scene with the doctor and the chart and Ellie's bowed head, and the later bit with Carl and the balloon after Ellie's wake…OH, MAN. I'm tearing up now, just thinking about it. Right about the time I got over all that and stopped sniveling, he opens the book and reads "Thanks for the adventure. Now go have another one!" and I start in with the bawling all over again. Broke my heart, y'all.

    And "I can SMELL you" has made the rounds at my house, for months on end. Usually after we have pizza.

    I recall some interview w/Brad Bird, in which he remarked that animation is a medium, not a genre–and I can totally see his point. Obviously, Pixar can, too.

  • LaSalleUGirl says:

    "It's like America…BUT SOUTH!"

    Pixar's ability to create something utterly moving without using words just boggles my mind. I can't get over the fact that their filmmakers trust us to GET IT without having to spell out what we're supposed to get. I start tearing up just thinking about Ellie sitting in the back yard, bereft, and my heart clenched the first time (OK, every time) I saw elderly Carl and Ellie start walking up to their picnic spot, because I knew what was coming. Oh, great now I'm crying thanks Sars geez.

    And then I laugh my head off about Alpha's voice and the cone of shame and Kevin and Russell's GPS.

  • Nilda A says:

    :::whines::: Why can't Up win for Best Picture. Seriously, it is was my favorite film of 2009 and in my top 3 Pixar's film (Finding Nemo and WallE).

    Just remember how Carl and Ellie met as children, fell in love, and live a lifetime filled with so much joy and memories and the book in the end and….::::blows nose::::

    Let the voters split their votes among the other nine nominees and let the dark-horse Up sneak to the front to win the prize.

    SQUIRREL!!

  • Andrea says:

    Oh, man, I never cry, but the montage of Carl and Ellie? Kills me. When Carl realizes that Russell isn't talking about his mom and what's going on with his dad? Sobfest. (not sure if it's clear what I'm talking about, but I'm not sure of the spoiler policy). That grape soda cap badge? And, the line "I have just met you, and I love you" so perfectly represents all the great dogs/ Dugs out there. Love, love, love. Plus, my son, who just turned 3 last week, could quote huge chunks of the movie (like the first meeting between Carl and Russell) after one viewing. I'm thinking it needs a rewatch tonight.

  • Adrienne says:

    The music does such an excellent job of making that movie. The strains of Carl and Ellie's theme over that one last shot of the house left behind on the cliff… something about that presentation of the quiet peace of loss and the symbolic moving ON… just KILLED me in the theater. KILLED ME. DEAD.

    And it's a testament to how well that movie works that it is UTTERLY absurd and yet it connects with almost every person who see sit

  • Jennie says:

    Sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. In between the bits where I laughed so hard I cried, obviously. Kevin!
    This was an amazing movie. Coincidentally, we went to see it on our 1st wedding anniversary, and, seeing this movie? on our 1st wedding anniversary? I have never felt more love and realization of how important the people we love are.
    That, and how much I need a dog. Because "My name is Dug. I have just met you, and I love you" and "I was hiding under your porch because I love you" is just…just a perfect declaration what loving a pet and being loved by a pet is like.
    It is certainly my favourite movie of the year. It may be my favourite movie of all time. Pixar hit it out of the park with this one.

  • Karen says:

    I too, LOVED this movie. I saw it in the theatre with my fiance and we both blinked back tears the ENTIRE time. Gave it to him for Christmas because he's my Carl :)

  • Karen says:

    Loved it, loved it, loved it. But:

    And to once again quote an Agony Booth recapper, if the first five minutes did not make you cry, you have no soul and are also fat.

    Not necessary to equate having no soul with being fat, please. I'm fat, I'm not ashamed of it, and stuff like this hurts my feelings. What does crying or not crying have to do with being fat?

    However, I do agree that if you didn't cry in the first five minutes, you have no soul. And Dug's dialog is EXACTLY what dogs think. Or, at least, it's what I think dogs think.

  • Grainger says:

    …wow. I guess I've got no heart, then, because "Up" totally left me cold. Chop off the intro and you've got an above-average Dreamworks Animation product, which is great if you're Dreamworks Animation but not so good if you're Pixar. "Toy Story 2" was a better film in every way but the puppet work, which is as good as Pixar always does it.

    I think that "Up" gets a disproportionate amount of attention because it Goes There. We aren't used to movies having the guts to kill the main character's wife (and her uterus) so we sit up and take notice of the rest of the film, and stuff that's pretty standard-issue looks sharper and stronger as a result.

    Heck, that would be a really fun experiment–show "Up" to an audience who hadn't seen it before, but DON'T show them the intro.

  • Deirdre says:

    Grainger, thank you.

    "if the first five minutes did not make you cry, you have no soul and are also fat."

    When I did my review of "Up" I got a comment telling me I had no heart – now I have no soul. (I am fat, I can't disagree with that.)

    I LOVED the opening Carl & Ellie sequence, but I don't recall crying. Possibly because I had the stupid 3D glasses on that were giving me a headache and the three 3D previews that had come on before "Up" made better use of the technology than the whole of that film did. If you're going to make your audience sit through that discomfort, *do* something with it.

    Again, the opening sequence was amazing, but the rest felt incredibly manic and disjointed to me. I expect this would make my top 5 list of the Best Picture nominees, but I doubt it would make my top 5 Pixar films.

  • Anne says:

    I'd have to rate Up as the best movie I've seen in a REALLY long time. So carefully put together…the visuals and the music and the dialogue and the story: oh my god. I can't decide if it makes me more willing to forgive all the crap that gets put out because every once in a while something like Up comes along, or if it makes me think the crap sucks even more than I already did.

    And, yes: sobbed. We went at my boyfriend-at-the-time's suggestion, and he cried a lot, too. Weird date, awesome movie.

  • Todd K says:

    I…don't entirely disagree with Grainger. I liked it, and Dug and Kevin were cute as could be, but this was midlevel Pixar. Better than A Bug's Life and Monsters Inc., but not up to WALL-E and the real franchise pinnacle, Toy Story 2 (except for the sequence covering Carl and Ellie's marriage, which was perfection; the best thing of its kind since TS2's "When She Loved Me").

  • Greg says:

    Pixar's ability to create something utterly moving without using words just boggles my mind.

    Seriously. When can we expect Fantasia 3, Pixar?

    I wouldn't count Up out for Best Picture. They're doing a preferential ballot, so if everyone splits their vote for number 1, but all puts Up at number 2 it could win. It's exactly the kind of movie that would benefit from preferential balloting.

  • Jaybird says:

    I don't know, Grainger. Disney's done the dead-wife/mom thing for YEARS (and so did Pixar, with "Finding Nemo").

  • Tanya says:

    I would just like to thank Up for introducing death to my daughter. Man did I have a lot of explaining to do during our PPV viewing this week! Kind of a good thing actually. But oh the sniffing at "why he sad?" and "who's that chair". Oh the chairs!

  • Linda says:

    See, whereas I think "Up" is brilliant and WALL-E is wildly overrated. The first third of WALL-E is brilliant, but the last two-thirds is completely pedestrian kids-movie dumb. I agree that the beginning of "Up" is the absolute best part, and I agree that there is a slow sequence or two near the end. But I like it much better than most of the other Pixar movies I've seen (have not, in fairness, seen all) and I liked it WAY more than WALL-E.

  • Elisa says:

    Ok, I remember liking this movie, but not as much as Toy Story or Finding Nemo. It made me sad. TOO SAD!! I thought it was depressing for most of it and honestly can't say that I really want to watch it again.

    On the other hand, I thought "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" was robbed of a Golden Globe and totally snubbed by the Oscars. When I saw the previews I didn't want to watch it, but I took my sister and it blew my mind! I Promise you'll watch it, Sars!! It's amazing!

  • Elisa says:

    Errr…promise to watch it AFTER the death race. :) I forgot you still have about forty movies to watch. :)

  • Jen S says:

    Aw, I didn't mean to hurt feelings. I'm fat too, and just thought it was a funny line.

    ***dons cone of shame***

  • meltina says:

    I cry at Pixar movies too. Not all of them, but many.

    The ones that always get me are "Finding Nemo" (what can I say, I must have daddy issues), "Monsters, Inc." (the part where Sulley said goodbye to Boo), "Wall-E" (the part where Wall-E has amnesia), and of course for "Up" I end up sobbing the entire five minutes of the initial montage (the part about the miscarriage really got to me, aside for the how the montage ended). Did I mention I own the DVDs for all of them? Yeah, I must be a glutton for punishment.

  • Annie says:

    I made the very stupid mistake of watching Up while being 3,000 miles away from my husband for four months. My tears were not dainty tears, and I had to turn the movie off. I will revisit it when I see him again.

  • Sandman says:

    "I am not Alpha. He is Alph … oh!" ::wagwag::

    I loved pretty much everything that came out of Dug's mouth, or transceiver, or whatever. I knew I would like this movie by the time the preview got to "But it's a TALKING DOG!" I hadn't got around to seeing until you all encouraged me last night. Thanks, gang. I put it on PPV, and really loved it. The opening made me tear up, but I held it together, mostly.

    Until I got to the conferring of the Grape Soda Badge, and I fell apart completely. Oh, man!

    SQUIRREL!

  • KKB says:

    This is one of those everything-plus-the-kitchen-sink movies that shouldn't work, but totally does. It's a dog movie/grandpa movie/love story/fantasy/adventure/drama/comedy about love, loss, letting go of the past, realizing dreams, an old guy finding the joy in his life again, a young kid finding a mentor/surrogate grandfather, etc. And it has a snarky old dude, a cute kid, a sweet talking dog, a giant bird, a flying house, an Indiana Jones-style fight scene on a blimp, regurgitation, denture-spitting, old dudes having a cane duel, infertility, childhood sweethearts, and…SQUIRREL!

    See what I mean? Laundry lists on top of laundry lists. All of those disparate elements should make for a disjointed mess of a movie, but here? It totally works. All of that stuff is so exquisitely put together that without even one piece of it, you have a completely different movie that wouldn't work, I don't think, as well as what they put together.

  • Jaybird says:

    I still think Pixar's Best Ever is "The Incredibles", but "Up" definitely has its place in the collection.

  • Jeanne says:

    I cry ridiculously easily. Seriously, I once cried during a Kodak commercial. So when the reviews came out and almost everyone else who saw it cried I felt much better about myself.

    I'd love for it to win Best Picture but Sars is right, it damn well better win Best Score.

  • cloudywithachanceofdoofus says:

    I thought Up was great – not because of Ellie and Carl, which was sad and touching but still backstory, but because the little boy and old man (not the strapping agelessly-young hero and the buxom sidekick who can/can't run in high heels) went out and had a great adventure, risked life and limb for each other, and continued on with a great friendship afterwards, and we know that this is not the TV fix of getting mom back or fixing the absent dad but it is more than Russell had and it will help Carl too, and what other Hollywood movie succeeds in realistic human changes and relationships? It was nice to see a story about real relationships.

  • Kristen B says:

    First of all, let me say that … SQUIRREL! ::stares::

    Ok, floved this movie. I managed to remain completely unspoiled for it, and so was caught completely by surprise how affected I was by it. The Carl and Ellie montage? Major tears. And again at the end. So sweet and wonderful, and SQUIRREL! ::freeze::

    "Such a sweet score!"

    I know, right? And the thing that surprised me the most about the score: it was written by Michael Giacchino, the same guy who wrote the music for "The Incredibles." And I had no idea until I saw the ending credits. Now, usually if I listen to a score often enough, I am able to pick out that composer's style in any subsequent movie I see, because a lot of them have 'tells' if you will; stylistic quirks which allow you to immediately go, "Oh, that's Danny Elfman" or John Williams" or James Horner*, etc. But this time? Complete blindside.

    *Though, to be fair, James Horner steals from himself so often that he should have a lifetime ban from being nominated for "Best Original Score". EVER. AGAIN.

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