A film of many firsts, the 3D animated film Up opened the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, making it not only the first animated film bestowed with that honor but also the first 3D film. This was Pixar’s first film to be presented in Disney Digital 3-D. Up was also the first Disney-Pixar film to depict a human character of ethnic minority (Japanese/Asian-American).
With its unique combination of humor and heart the film hit box office gold during its theatrical release, bringing in over $731 million, and received critical acclaim worldwide. The movie tells the story of Carl Fredricksen, a feisty 78-year-old former balloon vendor who mourns for his beloved child sweetheart, Ellie, who later became his wife.
Carl, who all his life longed to take a trip to Paradise Falls with Ellie, vows to keep his promise to one day take her there. With only keepsakes and memories of Ellie he chances fate and ties thousands of balloons to their home and takes flight. Unbeknownst to him, Carl isn’t alone on this once-in-a-lifetime journey. Stowed away on his front porch is Russell, an eight year old Wilderness Explorer who becomes Carl’s unlikely traveling companion. As the house touches down in South America, Carl and Russell start out for Paradise Falls, encountering a strange new world with talking dogs and predators more ferocious than anything they faced back home.
Up received five Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, making it Pixar’s first Best Picture nomination and the second animated film in history to receive such a nomination, following Beauty and the Beast in 1991. The voice-over cast was highly praised, especially for Edward Asner’s brilliant performance as Carl. The montage of Carl and his wife Ellie aging together was widely lauded and heartbreakingly beautiful. The voice-over cast gave excellent performances all around.
The principal characters were voiced by:
- Edward Asner as Carl Fredricksen
- Elie Docter as Young Ellie
- Jeremy Leary as Young Carl
- Christopher Plummer as Charles Muntz
- Jordan Nagai as Russell
- Bob Peterson as the dog Dug / Alpha
- Delroy Lindo as Beta
- Jerome Ranft as Gamma
- John Ratzenberger as Construction Foreman Tom
- David Kaye as Newsreel Announcer
- Mickie McGowan As Police Officer Edith
- Danny Mann as Construction Worker Steve
- Donald Fullilove as Nurse George
- Jess Harnell as Nurse AJ
- Josh Cooley as the dog Omega
- Pete Docter as Campmaster Strauch
Image: © 2009 Pixar