Des (thagirion) wrote,

Pixar's Up Review Spoilers

This movie is excellent. I love it mostly for personal reasons as it hits so close to home on so many levels for me. So the movie starts of with Carl Fredrickson as a child watching one of those old movie news reels at the theater. His hero Charles Muntz is shown going off on adventures in his blimp The Spirit of Adventure. Carl is wearing an aviator helmet and goggles just like his idol he really looks up to. This whole sequence is a great homage to The Lost World. Not not the bad Jurassic Park movie but the original 1925 movie about a discredited adventurer that claims he's seen living dinosaurs on a Tepui (plateau) in South America. He has to go back to South America to prove to his fellow scientists he is not mad and making this up and takes a team with him to a Tepui with a split on the side. In UP Muntz brings back the skeleton of a "monster" but it has no head. If you know anatomy you'll know the skeleton is that of a terror bird and not a dinosaur. The witty joke where the announcer says the scientists cry "foul" which could also be "fowl" for the "fake bird" is a well written moment. Muntz is kicked out of the adventurer club for forgery. He takes his pack of dogs on his blimp and vows to not return until he brings the monster back alive to civilization. In the Lost World the adventurer brings back a sauropod dinosaur that runs amok through London after it escapes from the ship. In Jurassic Park the Lost World this was also done but with a T-rex (the only good part of that movie). Another note. I think the name of the blimp is a nod to the plane The Spirit of St. Louis flown by Charles Lindberg as the first flight across the Atlantic. Notice his name was also Charles. These myriad of hidden facts, wit and trivia is something that NT's eat up in movies. I'm also loving the fact that instead of dinosaurs in the lost world that this time they chose a terror bird as "the monster". Another fact. Terror birds did live in South America and was one of their last strong holds before going extinct in very recent geologic history. They were not able to compete with mammals when the land bridge formed connecting North America to South America. Carl feel out raged this has all happened to his hero but does not change how he feels about him and he leaves with his head full of ideas and day dreams. Very typical of a dreamy creative INTP.

Next scene you see him with a little blue balloon that he wrote Spirit of Adventure on and that's all he needs as that's his blimp. He pretends he's the famous Charles Muntz as he tackles many different strange lands. All this with an announcer blaring his victories in his head. That thought bubble is soon popped when he hears another child shout "ADVENTURE IS OUT THERE!!" The sound is coming from an old house that's falling apart. Curious Carl goes inside and finds a girl his age that's set up the living room to be the flight controls of the blimp and she's at the helm flying it and barking order to her imaginary crew. Her name is Ellie.

Now this is where the film gets personal for me. Ellie is INTJ. Took me a while to figure that out. At first I thought she was ENTJ because she was loud but in the context I will explain later on I found this to not be the case. INTJ's are very passionate about their interests and are also extroverted thinkers while INTP's are introverted thinkers. Carl's game was in his head and silent. No one could guess what he was doing. Ellie's fantasy was out in the open, out loud and she'd actually built the blimp. As a child I was a kid that built forts and caves. I would grab all the chairs and benches in the house, put towels in them and make a batcave, Halls of Justice, Evil lair etc. My toys were my crew and I would speak out loud to them and tell them what to do. All alone though. I had to make sure no one was watching. If I found out my mother was coming or anyone else I would go silent and get embarrassed or get mad. This is the introversion. And this is what happened. When Ellie found that Carl was watching in amazement she got angry telling him it was an exclusive club (of one person) and that not just any kid with a helmet or goggles could join. Gosh I can relate to this. He was so scared. But she relented and let him stay and play with her. He was taken from the start. But after being startled by her the first time Carl's balloon flies away. Ellie takes him to the attic and they find it across a plank. She tells him to go and get it. Being an INTJ she's a big time doer and had it been hers she would have not hesitated to walk the plank to get it. INTP's are not out going doers though and Carl had to be shoved a lot to go get it. But it didn't go well as the plank broke and Carl fell to the floor and broke his arm. Another great INTJ moment here. Ellie didn't have much of an emotional reaction to Carl's accident. There was no "Oh my gosh are you ok?" She just stared with her arms crossed analyzing what had just happened. This is exactly how I would have reacted. Yet another clue she is not an E and definitely an NT and not an F.

That night she sneaks into his room through the window and shows him her scrap book. Something she's never shown ANYONE. Again INTJ's don't open up easily and not just to anyone either. I had a scrapbook and journal growing up and I did only show it to certain people. Just like her my book was filled with my ideas and my wishes of what I would do in the future. She shows Carl her pics of Muntz and South America. She makes Carl swear to take her there to Paradise Falls one day in a blimp. Her dream is to put her house at the top of the falls. Great master mind ideas. He crosses his heart and swears he'll do it.

Now side note about Chris and I. Both of us had very similar childhoods and sometimes we wish we had met as children and not in our 20s. We even went to the same high school but never interacted. I do remember seeing him there. We were both obsessed with dinosaurs from a very young age. I think I got hooked on them when I was 8 when I learned what they were in school. I used to watch documentaries about them and also loved watching monster movies like The Lost World and Godzilla films. I won't go into detail of how much we had in common as kids as somethings are scary how much alike we were and it's too much for this. But if he'd found me in one of my forts I'm sure the same thing would have happened. Technically it did once we were adults though it was "my arcade" and I was not happy he was in "my territory" while he watched me like "WOOOOOOW."

Carl and Ellie grew up together getting along great for years and finally got married in what looks like their twenties. Same here. They bought the house they used to play in and fixed it up themselves. She was handy. I was handy and built my own stuff out of wood. Like the pigeon loft. The two did everything together and not with other people. This again shows me Ellie is an introvert. Carl is all she needed for her socialization. She worked at a zoo doing a parrot show. I was floored by that. I worked at a zoo with birds. I also worked at a science museum and did parrot shows. I loved my job and she did too. Carl worked at the zoo selling balloons. Chris didn't work with me but he was always there to pick me up from work and I would take him behind the scenes so it was like he was part of the staff. The other member of the staff knew him and would let him in for free too. Carl hasn't forgotten his promise to take Ellie to South America. She loves to travel and adventure another thing I can relate to. So they save. They have a jar of coins to save up to go to South America. but things keep happening that keep messing things up. Life. Flat tire, roof caving in and Carl breaking his foot early on. Which happened to us the first day we moved in. Chris almost broke his foot and we had to tap into savings and I had to take care of him while he recovered.

One scene that also gets to me is the mantle place.

Notice the little Andean bird, the cute goofy photo of Ellie and the blimp model. Now have a look at some photos of our shelf. BTW I also have a little guitar and violin like that but it's in the bedroom. Perhaps I should change that.

Photo of us on our wedding. Our shelf changes with the seasons but a few elements like our photo, a little air plane and my gourd bird from South America never change. Also noticed the goldfinch on the binoculars. I do have real binoculars too in this same room though not on this shelf.

Here you can see my little F16 that I've had since high school as I wanted to be a pilot.

Here is a close up of Ellie's Andean bird.

Here is my gourd bird, the black one that looks like a kiwi, that I bought years ago from a store called The Andes Shop. Long before this movie was made. And my dream for ages has been to go to Machu Pichu in South America. This scene really scared and amazed us when we saw it.

The two live a great life together. Their relationships has no problems no fights though they do have problems with life that they face together. This is an excellent pair that shows how a married couple should work as a team and not against each other. Happiness always no reason to fight about anything. But when two NT's are alike why should they fight? One day when Carl looks at the pic of Ellie as a kid then realizes she's an old lady he feels bad he hasn't kept his promise and time is running out. At last he buys a ticket to Peru but when he was going to give it to her as a gift Ellie gets sick from old age and dies in the hospital. Carl is left alone and grumpy and guilty he didn't fulfill his promise. So far the movie has been about Chris and I and watching all of this was very emotional for us both. We didn't cry but we did get pretty choked up which is very hard to do with NT's in a movie.

Now the movie switches gears. All the houses have been sold in the neighborhood except Carl's. Everything has been turned into a big city and they have been trying to get Carl to sell but he won't budge. A boy named Russel knocks on Carl's door and annoys him asking if Carl wants help. Russel is in the Wilderness Explorers, which is something like boy scouts, and only needs one more badge. The assisting the elderly badge and he thinks Carl is the perfect person to help. Carl being a grumpy witty guy send the annoying fat kid on a wild goose chase or actually a wild snipe chase. Tells him a bird has been eating his flowers and if Russell could catch it. It was two blocks away. But after an accident Carl caused with a construction worker it's just what the city had been looking as an excuse to take Carl's house away. They force him to move to an old folks home the following morning. But after going through Ellie's scrap book he's determined to keep his promise after all. He hooks up the balloons that are left from when he used to sell them and his house lifts off and flies away from the big city. He uses Ellie's rig from when she was a kid to control his flying house. Peace and quiet at last.

But soon there is a knock at the door while they are flying high. Turns out Russell had returned to his patio just as the house lifted off and he was trapped. Russell is ESFJ and has to touch everything, talk a lot and ask silly questions. He does everything by the book and Carl is very annoyed by him. But Russell wants to help Carl get to South America because surely that would count towards his badge. After weathering a storm they crash land on top of the tepui but on the wrong side. The balloons have lost helium. But there is enough that Russell and Carl can walk the house to the other side where the falls are like a parade balloon. So they set off.

Scene changes to a shadowy bird being hunted by dogs. This is clearly a parody of the Roadrunner and Coyote cartoons where the bird springs all the traps and can not be caught because it is so fast. The living terror bird is at last revealed. The dog have special collars that allow them to talk. There is a doberman, rottweiler and bulldog. Three of the toughest dogs and I liked the doberman was the leader as that's my favorite dog. They made his voice funny so you don't take him seriously because his collar was broken. There is a fourth dog named Doug (yes sounds like Dog. Another great subtle joke) that seems like a mix of a hound and a golden retriever. The other dogs sent him on a "special mission" because he's dumb and messes things up and he's trying to catch the bird.

Back to Carl and Russell. After using the "bathroom" in the bushes Russell finds the terror bird and feeds it chocolate taming it. He names him Kevin and it tags along though Carl said he's not allowed to keep it. They then run into Doug and after an awkward moment when they find out he can talk Dough follows them too because he wants Kevin as his prisoner and keeps begging them to let them take it. Now I really liked Kevin's design. He was a terror bird with the feathers of a Himalayan Monal Phesant.


Himalayan Monal Pheasant.

Eventually the other three dogs find everyone and bring Carl and Russell to a cave with a huge pack of mean dogs. Kevin is hiding out on top of the floating house and earlier Doug reveals Kevin is actually a female and has babies. The angry dogs are called off when an old man appears from the cave he is their owner. Carl is thrilled when he realizes it's Charles Muntz his childhood hero. He tells Muntz how him and Ellie were his biggest fans and why he was here to take his house to Paradise Falls. Muntz is flattered and invites them inside on his air ship. Muntz is ENTJ so he has an ego. Also 50 or so years of isolation is not good for any extrovert and he's gone a bit crazy in all that time. He mentions how he's been hunting the bird but hasn't been able to catch it. Carl clams up at that point because he promised Russell to take care of Kevin the way he promised Ellie he'd take her to South America. He doesn't want to break another promise. But Russell accidentally mentions they have Kevin and Muntz gets angry thinking they are here to steal his bird.

A chase and an air battle ensues with Muntz and his dogs.There is a great scene where the three dogs are flying air planes and attacking Russell. The subtle joke comes into play as an ariel battle with planes is called a "dog fight." Muntz is finally defeated in true Disney fashion by falling to his death from his own air ship.

Now at this point I'd like to point out that Muntz is a tragic villain. In a sense he wasn't really a villain. He left to clear his good name that he had no fabricated the skeleton of the bird. He said he'd bring the bird back alive and not return before then. Bound by his own words, ENTJ's will do what they say no matter what, the isolation drove him mad. He wasn't going to kill Kevin just bring her back to civilization to prove the existence and be accepted in the club again. Which makes me wonder if she would have escaped and destroyed the city just like in the Lost World? But killing people and thinking everyone was after his bird is what did make Muntz a bad guy. But makes you wonder what would have happened had he gotten it? He could retire finally and would have probably been happy. Kind of like would it have been so bad if Ahab had gotten his whale? I have speculated on that one many times.

So Carl and Russell return to civilization and Carl fills in for Russell's dad and he gets his badge. Plus Carl gives him his special grape bottle cap "Ellie's badge" and the two are friends that play games on weekends. Carl is no longer a grumpy guy and he inherits the spirit of Adventure and a huge pack of scary dogs.

So yes excellent movie and I just love so much about it. Carl and Ellie are my favorite parts and well the whole South America, giant bird, cool bad guy, giant mountain and well everything about this was so creative and a great tribute to classic movies and history. One last fact. The Pixar team went to Venezuela and climbed Mt. Roraima which is the mountain Up is based on. It is now added to my list of dream destinations and I hope to climb it some day like I do Machu Pichu.

Current Mood: Accomplished

Tags: movie review, review
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