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Up

November 21, 2013

So, for this response, you can repeat some of what we talked about in class, add your observations, and say what you feel about the movie.  If you’ve seen it before, how did your response to it change this time, if at all.  If it was your first time watching it, is this because you stay away from animation?  In either case, what do think are the strengths and weaknesses of the film?  Also, what do you think about the animation style?  You might compare it to traditional cel animation.

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20 comments

  1. UP is a really inspiring movie. Even with the animation aspect of the film it still manages to tap into some really realistic topics with lots of emotion and detail. The animation is very well done. There are a number of small details that can be easily overlooked such as the wrinkles on the old mans face and the age spots on his hands. The bright colors, feathers and hair animation throughout the film are also excellent and very well done.
    My response to this film as a whole did not change at all after watching it a second time. However, how I observed the film and analyzed it was quite different. After learning everything I have in this class I was much more observant of the details throughout the film and the repetition used. It took me awhile to truly understand the hidden meanings behind the “crossing your heart” gesture. I realize this time around how Mr. Fredrickson feels obligated to take the house to paradise falls because he made the promise to Ellie so long ago and feels bad about not being able to do it before she passed away. It wasn’t until he saw the back of the book that he finally didn’t feel guilty anymore and completely dedicated the rest of the film to the boy because now he made a promise to him that he would help him save Kevin.
    I feel like some of the weaknesses of this film is how it is unrealistic in a number of ways. An old man who never gets hurt and a flying house. Not to mention and exotic bird and the talking dogs. But with that said some of the movies strengths was the realism of the movie. The emotion and how the old man reacts to the death of his wife and is not willing to change really shows how many people would react in a similar way in real life. I feel like it is a very relatable film in that way and through the realism of the feelings and emotions and the surrealism of the animation it really ties it all together to make a heartfelt loving film. Overall I absolutely love UP it is one of those movies where you can watch it again and again and never get sick of it and enjoy it in a different way each time you watch it.


  2. Seeing this again I come back to the comedy of the film and how it can translate to every generation. It has comedy for children, young adults and even the older adult audience, it hits everyone equally. It is also a very emotional movie, by telling true love and how it can inspire others. The animation on this film was very good I thought, except when it comes to animating fur i think that it struggled a bit when they tried animating it. One of the weaknesses about the film is that it kind of drags a bit in the third act. The story seems a bit dull and tries to find itself and then finally comes back to finding itself after the chasing of the birds. Overall though seeing this film multiple times before this I thought it was very good and only gets better with more viewings.


    • Watching the film UP for the second time,I realized how the animations were so “human like.” The details of the people and the effects were amazing. The effects of the film were very strong. Observing the film the features of the people were somewhat off,as far as their skin and fingers. Other than that observing the film I noticed how great the features were in UP.


  3. With this being my second time seeing the movie I was able to pick up more this time. the detail on the people was very good as far as wrinkles and capturing each characters age. for example the driver of the retirement village looks rather middle aged because of his posture and the good amount of lines on his face but the child is still energetic and doesn’t have a single line on his face. The story was very good and as was mentioned in class that I didn’t realize before was the fact that the child was missing a father and the old man was able to play to that role while fulfilling his own want for a child. the weakness was the animation on the animals. they either seemed very blocky or too round that was rather exaggerated. also at the end the furniture that was dumped out of the house disappeared from where the house landed in the same spot where the furniture would have been. in its totality its a very good, heart-warming film. also as an easter egg of sorts when the credits role Russell points to the Marquee and it says star wars and three years later Disney bought lucasfilm and announced they’re making a new stars wars movie.


  4. This is only the first time I’ve ever seen up, and I’m really regretting that. At first I thought it would just be a simple child movie, and now I see it is much more than that with some really deep themes of being selfish for ones own gain. Some major strengths of this movie were the demographics. The story between Carl Fredricksen and his wife really hits home for the older views, and the bright bubbly colors of the ballons, Kevin, Dug, and of course Russel really allow the younger generation to love the movie. They blend together perfectly so and adult could take their kid who really wants to see this movie, and can enjoy the movie with their child. I personally really like the animation style and think it needed to have more of a three dimensional feel to be effective in leading us into the story. With all of the different textures and landscapes it made me feel like I was on the adventure with Mr. Fredricksen and Russel.


  5. I’m a Disney girl at heart, and so I’ve seen Up several times. Something that strikes me every time is the use of detail in the narrative. I’d need to review my notes to be sure, but I think it’s considered a high degree of closure when small items appear and reappear throughout the film, or when the end of the film touches upon a small occurrence from the beginning of the film — for example, Ellie wears a small button as a child, which Mr. Fredricksen presents to Russell at the end of the movie. This animation, for lack of a technical term, feels “crisper” than hand-drawn animation. I don’t feel that any aspects of realism were sacrificed by using computer technology, but in films such as Cinderella or Snow White, it’s possible to detect blurring around the edges of objects in movement — not so with Pixar animation. Overall, I’m in love with this movie. It’s often quoted around the dinner table and will forever be a favorite.


  6. This was my second time seeing Up, I haven’t seen it since its release. I felt that the second time around was more emotional for me because I was paying more attention to the narrative. I really like this film and I think it might be one of my favorite animated films. There were parts of this film that were absolutely heartbreaking, and yet there were still moments of happiness and a lot of comic relief. We discussed in class how the brightness of the film and the fact that it is animated helps ‘cheer up’ the film. As far as weaknesses in the film, we mentioned in class how the animation was bright and clear, but that skin and fur lacked the realistic look. I don’t think the animation of Up interfered with the narrative at all, and for me that is what is most important in this film. I think an interesting part about this film is that there are a lot of unrealistic elements in the film, like the floating house, the talking dog, the fact that an old man was able to move around the way he did. Even with all of those unrealistic parts, the story is still very relatable. Many of us have grandparents, or grandparents that are no longer with us and we can draw some parallels to Carl and Ellie. While there is a lot of love in the film, there is also death which some people might think is odd for a children’s movie but I would argue that this is not just a children’s movie. There are some very serious parts in the film that I’m not sure would translate to a younger audience, like the couple not being able to have a baby and the fact that Russell’s dad is not around, but there is still a lot in this movie that appeals to all ages and I think that is what makes the film so easy to like.


  7. I have never seen this movie and I thought it was fantastic. I don’t stray away from animation movies, I actually quite like them. This movie carried a lot of emotion, especially for an animation. The film expressed the feeling of sadness very well, especially through the montage of Carl and Ellie’s life. I thought it was so interesting how they did that scene while using no words. However, there were some elements of the film that were unrealistic, such as the old man who never seemed to get hurt, the floating house and the talking dogs. But even with those, the story was relatable. We can relate it to grandparents, journeys, promises, loved ones. I also enjoyed the repetitiveness of the film that I didn’t notice until discussion. The crossing the heart, buttons, and paradise falls were all repeated throughout the film. Overall I loved this movie and I would definitely recommend it to others.


  8. This was my first experience with the film Up. I remember seeing trailers for it and not being interested in the plot or particularly caring for the animation style. I generally like Pixar animation in films like Toy Story, Finding Nemo, and Monsters Inc., but something about the look of this film put me off at first. I had heard great things about it and was excited to get a chance to see it despite my initial feelings. Having seen it, I can say that my thoughts on the plot were wrong; the plot was wonderful and a real strength of the film. Very rarely do animated films, especially Disney/Pixar, go near such serious events such as death and separated family. The depth of character and visible emotional responses of the characters were also strengths of the movie. Another strength was the humor provided by the animals and the young boy in the film. However, even the best films have weaknesses. One weakness of this film I would say is the animation on the humans. They do not look realistic, and while I understand that is Pixar’s style, I would still prefer a more normal looking human. I think that the animation style, in general, is not my favorite. I much prefer the old, hand-drawn, cell animation because I feel there is more heart and soul visible than with the new computer animation. I feel that cell animation is warmer and more attractive to look at than the, to me, obvious electronic images like in this film. Overall, I enjoyed the film very much and would watch it again.


  9. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the film Up, and I think even with a lot of animated films, is that even though they are generally targeted towards children I think they generally have a lot of themes that adults can relate to. In Up specifically it is a story about two people falling in love at an early age and spending their entire lives together. It then shows the struggle that one goes through once they lose that person they’ve spent so many years with. I believe this is a story that so many people can relate to in one way or another. Personally I can relate to this through my grandfather. When my grandmother passed away it was extremely difficult for him on a daily basis just not knowing what to do because he spent so many years with her.
    I thought the animation in this film was extremely well done. I haven’t watched an animated movie since I was a little kid so I am used to the Lion King’s and Toy Story’s of the world. It was impressive how far animation has come since then. The animations are far more realistic than they previously were. Obviously certain physical features of people and surroundings are greatly exaggerated but that is the point of using animation. If you were going to make everything as realistic as possible then you would just use real people and sets. I ended up enjoying the movie a great deal and would watch it again in the future.


  10. I’ve seen Up before, a couple of times, but I tend to try to avoid watching it when I can because it’s so heart-wrenching and I always end up crying all throughout the movie. However, I still think that it is a really great movie and story, and in between the parts where I’m crying I’m usually laughing pretty hard. Watching it this time around my emotional response was no different – I was still choking back tears as secretly as I could, and laughing too loud at the antics of Russel, Doug, and Kevin.
    I think that one of the major strengths of Up can be seen within the narrative of the movie. Although the adventure in the story is fantastical, the narrative depicts real problems and events that happen in real life, appealing and relating to prior experiences of the audience.The narrative form in Up influences the viewers’ emotions by calling out feelings of sadness dealing with death, loneliness, failure, fear of change, as well as feelings of curiosity and suspense as the characters get swept up in their adventure. I think that Up perfectly fits the criteria that Bordwell and Thompson suggest for evaluating films – it’s realistic (at least the sadness and issues experienced by the characters are), moral, coherent, intense, complex, and original. Finally, the storyline is tight-knit, with no superfluous elements, with strong unity and a clear cut ending.
    When it comes to the animation of the movie, I think that it’s very well done. Although the people aren’t the most realistic looking, there are some things in the movie, textures in particular, that do look very realistic. Some examples include Doug and the other dogs’ fur, as well as Kevin’s feathers and scaly legs and feet. Some other areas of animation that impress me in Up include when the house is being tossed around in the thunderstorm, and the various shots of the waterfall that are seen throughout the movie. Also, personally, I think that the unrealistic looking qualities of the characters help viewers to cope with the heavy, sad themes of the movie. I think this because since they aren’t the most realistic looking animated characters, they don’t convey the same type of emotion that a real person would show while going through the same experiences. I think that if I could see the sadness in Carl’s face in great, realistic detail, I would feel even more depressed and I would probably never make it through the beginning of the movie. Overall, I think that the animation is very visually appealing and effective.


  11. I’ve seen UP many times, so much so that I can almost quote the entire movie. I think that it’s one of the VERY few movies that takes advantage of it’s medium more than anything and embraces imagination into it’s script. Many of the elements of the story are fantastical and you’d never think that the story of an old man, a boy scout, a giant bird, and a talking dog taking a flying house to South America would work so well, but it does. In that sense, it resembles movies like “The Wizard of Oz” where a strange array of characters is able to work well together in a very strange environment. On top of that, the animation is stellar and it works well to evoke the emotional impact of the movie just because of how real everything feels. Little details like Carl’s facial hair slowly growing over the length of the film makes the movie feel that much more real. The animation, which is so realistic, allows for silly things such as a flying house, and a talking dog to seem like they are really there, despite the fact that we should know that it’s fake. It’s because the film is so genuine in it’s emotional moments, combined with genuine hilarity and top-notch animation, that you almost forget that you’re watching an animated movie, but are instead watching the adventures of some oddly proportioned humans on one of the most exciting adventure movies of the last couple of years. The music is also worth mentioning, as it’s definitely one of the most memorable scores in recent memory.


  12. This was the first time I saw Up, which is kind of strange because I have watched and enjoyed most of what Pixar has made. This one was no exception. I really enjoyed it. Up is a great example of Pixar’s ability to play with the audience’s emotions. I think the opening montage about Carl and his wife was excellently done. It’s pretty heavy stuff for a movie who’s targeted audience is presumably children. I think the movie’s main strength is the balance of emotions. There are scenes that are very sad and scenes that are very funny, but none of them seem out of place in the movie. The animation style is definitely Pixar’s, which works well with the kind of movies they make.


  13. This is the third time I have seen Up. I love this movie for everything it is. I appreciate how the movie speaks volumes in very little words. Upon watching the movie this time I was drawn to the deeper meaning of the film. The strengths of the film is its ability to have so many meanings, showing relationships that happen in everyday life, and its ability to play on happiness and sadness. I would say that its weakness is not having more content. I feel like more could have been added to the story.


  14. I always enjoy that movie, at the begining of the story always make me cried and then at the end just a happy ending. There certainly alot of things I notice now than I would of before, like the fact that the animation of the face and the hands and the body may not be realistic but it work for the movie. There alot of things you would not be able to do without animation. Strength of the film is the concept that everyone of us are going to get older and die one day, but at time gone by we still can find happiness.This film takle both side of the sadness of death and life. Weakness would be I wish there would be more of the happy ending, what happen to the old man and the boy. Do they live together somewhere with the animals or did the old man raise the boy into a good person.Comparing this to the traditional its different, colors are better, the uses of noise, the animation and the way they aproach life and happiness concept its different


  15. I really enjoy every Pixar movie that i’ve seen. They seem to incorporate real life lessons into an animated world where characters can be a little exaggerated. I really like movies that touch on real life issues like in Up where everything is being built up around his house and corporate business is taking over the world. But unlike most pixar movies this one actually deals with real humans and it can really hit home sometimes. This movie is definitely one of the few animated films that really evokes emotion especially with the relationship between Mr. Frederickson and his wife, Ellie. Everyone experiences love and being seperated with ones you love at some point and the montage in the beginning of the fim recapping the Frederickson’s life together up to Ellie passing away was extremely touching and really made the characters believable even though they are not real.
    The details that the animation team pay attention to are what help make this story believable. The textures on walls and furniture is very detailed and looks like you could sit down in them. My favorite thing they incorporated was the fact that Mr. Frederickson’s beard actually grew and became stubbled after the few days trying to get to South America. The texture in his beard was almost realistic and certain aspects like this really help me dive into the story.


  16. I love the movie UP – I own it on DVD and went to see it in theaters in 3D when it came out. Suffice to say, I was thrilled when I found out we were watching this movie for class. This is one of the most emotionally dimensional animated films that I have ever seen; there are lighthearted moments and times when everything is goofy, but there is so much more to the film than that. There’s the powerful understory that Carl needs to move on with his life after Ellie dies in addition to the story of Russell idealizing his father based on the times when he was there as opposed to all of the times where he wasn’t there for him. Seeing his mother at the end of the film when he receives his badge, it seems as if she doesn’t speak English or does so very poorly. It makes me wonder if perhaps Russell is mixed – American and Chinese and that his father has abandoned his family, perhaps for the reason that he doesn’t love his mother. I know this is a bit of a stretch based on only a few moments of the film, but I think it would work as his backstory. It’s almost as if this Pixar film is addressing issues it may not even be aware of. But, on a lighter note, I also love this movie for the brilliance of its color and lighting. I vividly remember one scene of the movie where the balloons holding up the house are reflected onto the carpet within – the light and even the atmosphere changes. The lights reflected by the balloons almost look like stained glass and it’s absolutely captivating. I was speechless when I first saw it and it still affects me every time because it’s so advanced, so fantastic, and a serious staple of how talented the artists at Pixar truly are.


  17. I’ve seen this movie plenty of times, most times my response is the same. I love this movie, but it is a tad hard to watch because this animation tackles inevitable stages of life with emotional highs and lows and cometic relief. I refuse to watch this film by myself because my emotional response to it is heavy. For this film to be animated it captures your heart through the animated characters, and makes you feel all of their emotions while they feel it. When Ellie found out she couldn’t have kids it hurt me, but her strength to be happy and move forward cemented her character in my heart. The love between Carl and Ellie all capture through a silent montage of them growing old completely took over me while watching the movie. When she dies, I am never ok, and I realize that it’s because Carl/ Mr. Frederickson is not ok with it. While watching the movie in class the light hearted response of my class
    mates made it easier to watch the movie. The movie’s strenghth lies in the building of it’s motifs, the leaf blower, Russle climbing the house to the house, the balloons of course, the Ellie Pen, bonoculars, “Adventure is out there”, “Squirrel”, the Adventure Book, etc. Along with motifs the film does a lot with contrasts. The colors in the film were extremely light to contradict the heavy and grim subject matter. The film was unrealistic in some aspects, like when Mr. Frederickson traveled, carried the house and did all of the stunts with no strain from his ~80 year old body. The house flying with the balloons, also unrealistic but that why the film was animated, so things like this can be done. The animation style was boxy, all of the characters had a base shape that their skeleton was created around and you could see the shapes when you looked at them, for example, Mr, Frederickson was Boxy and rectangular, While Russle was more on the oval side. This style of animation is ok, and has come a long way, I’m impartial.


  18. Even though I am a very big Disney fan, seeing this film in class was the first time seeing it. I do have to say that the new animation the animators at Pixar and Disney are coming up with is very enjoyable. Things all the way down to animal hair and blades of grass are so much more realistic than usual and it really pulls the audience in much more. I remember back in the nineties when animation was just a culmination of a bunch of pictures drawn on a sheet. But, as with everything else, upgrades happen and new innovations surface and again, like everything else became much better. This film (along with most Pixar films) is very full of color. It is very bright and makes you want to pay attention to it. The one time the animation becomes very dark is when the bad things happen to the couple throughout the film. This is where the darkening of the animation is very appropriate and makes the most sense. The story itself is very relatable, very interesting and has the ability to pull you in and watch it from start to end. You can not help to feel bad for this man and really want to invest in him and see where his story is going to lead him and where he will end up. This film also has the ability to be a tear jerker and really pull you into the intense emotion that is displayed in this film.


  19. I’ve loved this movie from the first time I saw it. Why? because I think it delves deeper into human emotion than most animated films do.
    For the most part, animated films are geared towards children, which means it follows a simply story line as well as a simple message. To me, Up does more than that. It has a story for children (to always believe in your dreams, help others in need, etc.) but also a story for adults (you’re never too old to live your dreams). Even from the opening scene with Carl and Ellie, you see, for the first time, a death in a Disney movie. Of course, its not super obvious, but we as the audience can interpret this from clues within the movie (hes sad and in a church, shes now gone). This is a scene that may not be as powerful for children because they cannot use their personal experiences to understand what is happening in these opening scenes, But the adults do.

    One thing I noticed more than when I first watched this movie was the mindset of Russel. As a teenager, I thought Russel’s mindset was just. He felt that Carl was treating him unfairly and was choosing his house over Kevin. As an adult, I felt more that Russel was being extremely unselfish. Carl, an old man, was helping this little kid that had no business coming along, And then to tell Carl that he chose Kevin – a BIRD – over his home? I mean, come on, Russel! Where would Carl live after his house was burned down? A box?



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