There is no way you are getting through the first fifteen minutes of Up without a few tears. It was an emotional gut-punch when I first saw the film and remains to this day. I avoid watching this fantastic movie because those first fifteen minutes highlighting unfulfilled wanderlust hits too close to home. I love to travel and have been to six different continents. The first continent outside of North America was in 2010, so perhaps Up was an inspiration.
By the time you have cleared your eyes so you can see the beautiful imagery once again, we are on our journey to Peru by helium balloon-powered house. The film has a wonderful sense of whimsy, and you feel Carl’s attachment to Ellie despite her being gone. His narrow focus is admirable and stubborn. While his journey is late in life, it was worth doing. He finds the joy that a child can have in your life. Is this Pixar’s hidden message, that your life can only be meaningful with a child in it? That is doubtful as Carl flips through Ellie’s adventure book.
This is one of the best Pixar movies ever made. By roughly playing with your emotions right off the bat, you are put into a different state for the rest of the film. It softens you up and smaller details have an outsized impact. Is it manipulating our emotions? Yes, but what movie does not try to do that? Up just does it far more blatantly and better than most others. Do yourself a favor and give Up a watch just keep the tissues nearby.