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Up Takes Disney Higher

Pixar's latest hit takes Disney beyond its usual princess tales.

It's not shocking that Disney would create yet another film that features a child without a mommy and daddy, but Pixar's 10th feature film, Up, still manages to play on strong themes of marriage and fatherhood. Released last Friday, it pairs a crotchety old man with an obnoxiously chatty child to create both a tear-jerking and laughter-inducing film that sister site CT Movies called "a delightful, perspective-changing ride."

The first half of the film uses very little dialogue to show a beautiful picture of a husband and wife, Carl and Ellie, who dream of living in South America. Ellie works as a zookeeper while Carl sells balloons, and we see them live a full life filled with love for each other. But it's not the same happily-ever-after ending we tend to associate with Disney. We see the couple face numerous challenges, and they are never able to fulfill their hope of moving to Paradise Falls.

As 78-year-old Carl mourns his wife's death, a chubby 8-year-old knocks on his door to earn an "assist the elderly" Wilderness Explorer badge. Eager to be left alone, Carl shoos Russell away, badgeless.

Facing a court order to move into a retirement home, Carl instead ties thousands of helium balloons to his house to fly to Paradise Falls. As he floats peacefully on his way, he finds Russell on the porch begging to be let in. We become genuinely annoyed with Russell as he presents Carl with several challenges, almost preventing him from fulfilling his dream.

Carolyn Arends writes for CT Movies ...

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