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Up 3D [Blu-Ray]

Pete Docter & Bob Peterson

Up 3D [Blu-Ray]
8
Within the opening moments of Pixar's Up, a home video montage establishes the entire romantic trajectory of Carl Fredericksen's (voiced by Ed Asner) life with his late wife, Ellie. Initially shown as wide-eyed children with an uneven but symbiotic power dynamic, ready to set out on a life of adventure, this dialogue-free, Super 8-inspired sequence details the gradual, ever-increasing imposition of time, as routine life experiences eventually eat away at, and impede upon, the dreams and aspirations the couple once had. Left alone at the end of his life, holding an adventure book, with the unfulfilled life goal of a South American exploration, Carl's understandably surly disposition is exacerbated by an erratic surrounding world, one keen on sweeping him under the carpet so they can develop the land his property sits on. This leads to the titular adventure — and painfully touching life lesson that memories are made from unassuming quiet life moments with loved ones — wherein he pilots his house, with the aid of countless helium balloons, to South America, with a neglected, somewhat annoying Boy Scout named Russell. It also leads to the section of the film geared more towards a youth audience, featuring talking dogs and injured, idiosyncratic birds that keep the aesthetics and comedy aspects in high gear, helping engage the entire family. But even within this necessary fluff, there are other rather telling observations about the nature of dreams and ambition, since the central villain's motivation seems to be that of justification, in devoting his life to adventure as a means of personal worth — something that ultimately leaves him empty and alone later in life. The clever balance between astute mortal observations and playful animated fare — exploiting the Dennis the Menace dynamic between Carl and Russell, in addition to the literal interpretations of canine thoughts, especially from Dug — gives Up lasting, essential appeal. And even though the 3D conversation is quite flat compared to films originally conceived in that format, the added dimension does add a sense of theatricality and active engagement to the home viewing experience, despite some minor ghosting issues. In addition to offering a 3D viewing option, the five-disc set features a handful of short Pixar films, an extensive "making of" supplement where the filmmakers describe their pre-conception visit to South America and several mini-documentaries about each character, the voices and the many concepts that went into filming. In addition, there is a very elaborate trivia game, some alternate takes and digital/DVD components for extra viewing options. This is an absurdly comprehensive package well worth its shelf price. (Buena Vista)
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