Up ★★★

I hadn’t looked at Up since it had come out, and many of the early phases I’m elated over it and I gotta be thinking, this is way much better than the three stars I had for it previously in my head. That marriage montage isn’t just poignant, it’s exquisite, it’s divine, it’s heart-stopping, and it’s maybe the zenith of Pixar’s rapture into sweetness.

The main story gains steam when the hero Mr. Fredericksen (Ed Asner, voice) decides to lift-off his house with a large bundle of balloons to escape the big city real estate development that has pilfered any such peace he had left, with stowaway boy scout Russell (Jordan Nagai, voice) along for a ride that will take them into the jungle paradise of South America.

All of this adventure is winsome… until my heart drooped. I saw once again a great imaginative Pixar achievement with heart, and charm, and pleasantness get foiled with an unnecessary bad guy, who is too bad. I never understood why they had to make explorer/scoundrel Charles Muntz (Christopher Plummer, voice) as mean as they do. The way he dispatches his dogs, and such, is too cruel for family viewing gaiety. For as over-the-rainbow sublime the best parts of Up are, the evil actions trump whatever tenderness, sweetness, pleasantness it had going for it. The fight on the airship is hateful, and yeah, whatever mirth I had for the film got deflated momentarily right there. I’ll remain fond however for the nice parts it possesses, so three stars feels about right. Directed by Pete Docter (“Monsters Inc.,” “Inside Out”).

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