Saturday, August 22, 2009

Up (2009 film)

This animation is good, funny & loveable. Would be a great family film over the weekend. The story is about cranky old man and an overeager Wilderness Explorer who fly to South America in a floating house suspended from helium balloons.

Main characters
Edward Asner as Carl Fredricksen. Docter and Rivera noted Asner's television alter-ego Lou Grant had been helpful in writing for Carl, because it guided them in balancing likeable and unlikeable aspects of the curmudgeonly character. When they met Asner and presented him with a model of his character, he joked "I don't look anything like that." They would tailor his dialogue for him, with short sentences and more consonants, which "cemented the notion that Carl, post-Ellie, is a disgruntled bear that's been poked awake during hibernation".

Jordan Nagai as Russell, a Wilderness Explorer stowaway on Carl's flying house. He accompanies Carl in order to earn his "assisting the elderly" badge: the only one he doesn't have. Though he has never really been to the wilderness, he is depressed that his father is always too busy to spend time with him; on their journey, Russell makes a comment to Carl that suggests that Russell's father and mother are no longer together.Russell's design was based on Pixar animator Peter Sohn.Docter auditioned 400 boys in a nationwide casting call for the part. Nagai, who is Japanese American showed up to an audition with his brother, who was actually the one auditioning. Docter realized Nagai behaved and spoke non-stop like Russell and chose him for the part.Nagai was seven years old when cast. Docter encouraged Nagai to act physically as well as vocally when recording the role, lifting him upside down and tickling him for the scene where Russell encounters Kevin. Asian Americans have positively noted Pixar's first casting of an Asian lead character, in contrast to the common practice of casting non-Asians in Asian parts.

Bob Peterson as Dug, a talking golden retriever with a collar that translates his thoughts into comical-sounding English, and is the odd duck out of a pack of dogs with similar collars owned by Muntz. All dogs of the pack have a strange obsession with squirrels. Peterson knew he would voice Dug when he wrote his line "I have just met you, and I love you," which was based on what a child told him when he was a camp counselor in the 1980s. In the closing credits of the film Dug is shown to have had puppies with an unnamed female dog that strongly resembles him. Also in the film Ratatouille, Dug's shadow is seen on a wall barking at Remy.

Peterson also voices Alpha, a talking Doberman Pinscher and the leader of Muntz's pack of dogs. Pete Docter has stated that Alpha "thinks of himself as Clint Eastwood", but despite his menacing appearance, a malfunction in his collar occasionally causes his voice to sound comically high-pitched and squeaky, as if he had been breathing helium. The normal voice for his translator chip is a resonant, intimidating bass; Russell notes that he likes the faulty voice better. With both voices, Alpha has a roundabout speech pattern that causes his sentences to be longer than necessary. It should be noted that Alpha is the character's rank in the pack, rather than his name.

Kevin, a large, flightless tropical bird. Russell impulsively gives the bird a male name, only later learning that Kevin is female. Near the end of the film, it is shown that Kevin has three baby tropical birds.The bird's iridescent appearance is based upon the male Himalayan Monal Pheasant.

Christopher Plummer as Charles F. Muntz, the antagonist. He was an adventurer Carl and his wife admired when they were children. He departed for South America after scientists claimed he had faked his discovery of the skeleton of a 13-foot tall bird (Kevin's species), vowing to find a living specimen. Unfortunately, the countless years he spent there has made him greedy and paranoid, believing anyone who came to Paradise Falls was after the bird to steal his glory. He is an avid dog lover and inventor, being able to train them to do practically anything, and has invented devices that translate their thought into speech. Pete Docter compared Muntz to Charles Lindbergh and Howard Hughes.

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