The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Disney - 2009
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 96 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Voice talents of: Ed Asner, Christopher Plummer, Jordan Nagai, Delroy Lindo, John Ratzenberger
Directed by: Pete Docter
Music by: Michael Giacchino
Written by: Bob Peterson & Pete Docter
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: November 10, 2009
"Up up and adventure..!"
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 follows the uplifting tale of 78-year-old balloon salesman Carl Fredricksen, who finally fulfills 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 8-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 didn’t see this film during its theatrical run. It’s funny but the trailer didn’t evoke an urge in me to want to see it. I heard bits from those that had and the reactions were positive but I figured I would see it soon enough when it came to home video. I love animated feature films and Disney is unequivocally unsurpassed in their ability to produce timeless, emotive, and family oriented movies that have continually achieved classic status. Their relationship with Pixar has only reinforced their commitment to producing high quality entertainment that pushes the envelope and strives to reach beyond the limits of imagination. Quite frankly I am always amazed at just how good Disney/Pixar films are. With each film they subtly raise the bar and touch us not only visually but emotionally. Up represents another example of incredibly fun, heartwarming, and touching filmmaking from the studio that has been making us laugh and cry for over 70 years. Writer’s Pete Docter and Bob Peterson expertly draw us in by introducing us to childhood friends Ellie and Carl. The next eleven minutes (essentially the first act) is spent putting brush to canvass and laying the foundation that emotionally connects us to the remainder of the film. The second act finds Carl determined to avoid the advancement of urban growth (which his home stands in the way of). He ties hundreds of helium filled balloons to his house and decides to fulfill a lifelong dream and promise by flying to Paradise Falls South America. Shortly after takeoff Carl hears a disturbing and familiar knock at his front door. He opens the door to find Russell, the 8 year old Wilderness Explorer (boy scout), that had been at his door a day earlier trying to earn his “help the elderly badge”. Russell is now along for the ride and unbeknownst to him the adventure of his life. Together Carl and Russell face perilous storms, viscously trained dogs, a sinister and heartless villain, a voiceless (and flightless) victim, and a lovable and goofy sidekick. Before its over Carl will find himself on a path to new self discovery that will help heal his broken heart.
I loved this movie! Prepare yourself for a rollercoaster of emotion as the story contains moments of hilarity and tear jerking affectivity. Carl’s furrowed brow, chiseled features and expressive eyes are executed to perfection which never leaves his thoughts or intentions in doubt. Russell is equally well drawn with an air or innocence, honesty and gullibility that enrich his interaction with Carl. The two of them along with “talking” dog Dug provide plenty of memorable and laugh out loud moments that will have parents and kids chuckling. It’s not all fun and games as Carl and Russell find themselves embroiled in a perilous fight to save Kevin, a large, rare South American bird from the clutches of Carl’s childhood hero (now old but still spry) Charles Muntz who is determined to capture it in order to prove its existence. The actors that voice the characters are spot on matches. It is always good to hear John Ratzenberger’s familiar voice as he has become a staple that has appeared in all 10 Disney/Pixar films. The script skillfully balances the story’s elements in what seems like just the right amounts to provide an engrossing and thoroughly entertaining film. Disney/Pixar has done it again. This is arguably one of the most endearing and memorable animated movies I have ever seen.
The rating is form some peril and action.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Up comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 24 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.3 mbps.
This is a flawless and reference quality video presentation that simply looks stunning in high definition. Colors are breathtaking as they leap of off the screen with exuberant depth and a dazzling array that stimulates the senses. Blacks are inky with a velvety quality which gives them a near infinite level of depth. Images are exquisitely detailed and highly delineated which imparts a lifelike description that is captivating. I can’t get over how much visual penetration and depth there is. It never left me wanting in terms of fine degrees of subtle delineation and texture. The attention to detail in the construction of the animated characters physical features as well as objects within each frame was simply superb. The use of shading and translucent imagery gives both light and dark elements onscreen incredible dimension. I could go on and on but the bottom line is that this is one of the most impressive video presentations I have seen, bar none.
The lossless DTS-HD MA audio presentation is wonderfully detailed, dynamic, and unquestionably Disney. This is an engaging and complex sound design that truly benefited from the higher resolution that lossless audio offers. Dynamics are first rate as the elements contained within the soundtrack have definitive energy and impact. This plays hand in hand with its superlative clarity and high level sonic detail. Surround activity is abundant and quite effective at creating a truly immersive and engaging atmosphere. The speakers seem to disappear as the layers of music, spatial sound effects, and dialogue immerge from the speakers boundaries to engulf the room’s acoustic space. Imaging and dimensional placement are precisely effectual which elevates detail perception. The explosive and aggressive elements within the recording had excellent dynamic range and room energizing bass that struck with supreme authority. This was the case over the course of the film as deep bass frequencies accentuated the onscreen action. One such example occurs in chapter 23 during the chase along the rock ledges. As the huge rock boulders tumble downward each lands with strong tactile emphasis that resonates through the room on a cushion of palpable low frequency energy. This is an active, articulated and reference quality soundtrack that exhibits moments of involving surround sound brilliance that are demonstration worthy and loads of fun. Turn it up and enjoy the ride.
- Disc 1:
- (HD) Partly cloudy: Theatrical short – 5 minutes
- (HD) Dug’s special mission: All new original short – 4 minutes
- (HD) Adventure is out there: featurette – 22 minutes
- (HD) Alternate scene: The many ending of Muntz – with Pete Docter
- (HD) Documentaries:
- Geriatric hero – 6 minutes
- Canine companion – 8 minutes
- Russell: Wilderness Explorer – 9 minutes
- Our giant, flightless friend, Kevin – 5 minutes
- Homemakers of Pixar – 4 minutes
- Balloons and flight – 6 minutes
- Composing for characters – 7 minutes
- (HD) Alternate scene: Married life – 9 minutes
- (HD)Up promo montage – 6 minutes
- (HD) Global Guardian Badge game – interactive game powered by BD-Live
- (HD) 2 Worldwide trailers
- Bonus DVD of Up including DVD bonus features
- Disney File Digital Copy Bonus Disc – A standard definition version of Up that can be downloaded from a compatible PC to a portable media playback device
Up is another masterful creation from the minds at Disney and Pixar. It is a wonderfully crafting end to end experience that leaves an indelible mark on those that see it. True to form Disney’s high definition presentation is nothing short of spectacular and is among the best that I have experienced in my theater room. This four disc set contains a host of Blu-ray friendly features and Pixar animated fun that all can enjoy. I am thrilled to add it to my Blu-ray library and highly recommend that you do the same!
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