Our list moves into the top 10, where there are no cheapies — everything here got a whole bunch of support from the panel. Tomorrow: #9.
10) Up (5 votes, 180 points)
Chris: Into the top 10 we go, where every movie received votes from at least half our panel and the point totals really start to ramp up.
I might’ve enjoyed Up more if it had just been a short film about Carl and his wife instead of a full-length wacky adventure. Don’t get me wrong — the latter 90% of the movie is also quite good, and despite my complaints I still put this in my own top 25 list (barely). I just think everything after Russell shows up is weaker in comparison.
Once you accept how silly everything on the screen is, you’re still in for an interesting string of events. Talking dogs and balloons lifting houses and a bird is the main plot device and let’s all have ice cream in the end. It’s harmless fun. But anyone who says this is the best Pixar movie is either too biased toward the opening or kidding themselves about the remainder.
Michaela: When the previews for this movie were first being released, I thought Up looked extremely stupid. There’s a house floating thanks to balloons? That’s not possible, this looks dumb. Well, it sure showed me wrong. I was bawling within the first 10 minutes. The love story between Carl and Ellie is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen in a movie. It’s so good because there’s no dialogue or narration, just a series of images accompanied by background music (Michael Giacchino, the music you composed for this movie kills me every time. It’s so sad yet so good!), and it’s wonderful. It’s easily my favorite part of the film. Of course, everything that takes place afterwards is endearing and easy to relate to as well. The whole time, you can’t help but root for Carl’s seemingly crazy dream to live at Paradise Falls in order to honor the life-long dream he and his wife had. The most important thing about Up though, is Carl learning to let the past go and to move on with his life. It’s a difficult thing to do in real life, and it’s an invaluable message for people to take away from Up. When a movie can pack in so many messages and themes without being overwhelming while making you root for the craziest things, it goes to show just how well-written it is.
Cary: Yes, the first 10 minutes of Up will make even the most burly of men cry like children mourning the loss of an ice cream cone to the evil, evil sidewalk. But those 10 minutes are what I remember (and liked) most about this move. That and the balloons and the “But it’s a TALKING DOG!” Wait…were there birds? Yeah, large birds…and really pretty scenery, maybe? Sheesh. I think I remember more from A Bug’s Life.
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