The last few decades have been hard on animation fans. We saw the demise of two-dimensional feature studios in exchange for mountains and mountains of ludicrously profitable, computer-animated crap only occasionally peppered with 90 minutes of brilliance. Those small but immeasurably impactful roadmarks of progression were, and continue to be, largely the work of Pixar. Up is no exception.
The story is simultaneously small and massive in scope. Pixar accomplishes this by juxtaposing grand plotlines with small but impactful character moments. As wonderful and dazzling as the story is, I walk away remembering the tenderness more than anything.
Up surpasses Wall-E in effectiveness and is the best animated film I’ve seen since Coraline. It has very few explosions. There is no obvious merchandisable character therein. And it is absolutely, without question, worth your time and the price of admission. Go see it!