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Cherry Pop

'Up (4 Disc Combo Pack)' Blu ray
(Edward Asner, Jordan Nagai, John Ratzenberger, Christopher Plummer, Bob Peterson, et al / 4-Disc Blu Ray / PG / 2009 / Disney-Pixar)

Overview: Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios take moviegoers up, up and away on one of the funniest adventures of all time with their latest comedy-fantasy. Up follows the uplifting tale of 78-year-old balloon salesman Carl Fredricksen, who finally fulfills his lifelong dream of a great adventure when he ties thousands of balloons to his house and flies away to the wilds of South America.

Blu Ray Verdict: `Up' is another Pixar gem. Able to transport the minds of young and old and enhance its story with sympathy and charm, the movie is understandably touted as one of the year's best.

Since the beginning of their marriage, Carl Frederickson (Edward Asner) and his wife Ellie (Elie Docter) have yearned to move to Paradise Falls in South America. Smitten by his childhood hero, explorer Charles Muntz (Christopher Plummer), Carl and Ellie scrimp and save, but contingencies force them to open their savings jar until one day Ellie passes away, and Carl is forced to live alone with his dream broken and nothing but his memories intact.

Around his house construction workers are building new city buildings, and a job foreman coaxes Carl to sell his house. One day Carl confronts a worker who damages his mailbox, and the ordeal sets Carl up to be placed in a nursing home. Carl then meets a young boy scout who wishes to earn his final merit badge, assisting an elderly person. The boy gets more than he bargained for as Carl desperately tries to regain his footing and elude those who would change his life forever.

Indeed, it's when Carl's upward journey initially takes off that he soon discovers that he has a stowaway on his front porch. Russell (the young boy scout, voiced by Jordan Nagai) is on board for the ride of a lifetime! Against all odds, this unlikely duo finally reaches Paradise Falls, where they find much more than they expected - explorer Charles Muntz, who is still alive, crazy, and fixated on clearing his name; Kevin, a rare and colorful bird with a love of chocolate; and Dug (voice by Bob Peterson), a loveable canine fitted with a voice box.

Dug is wonderfully written; you can truly believe that you are hearing what goes on inside any dog's head...SQUIRREL!!!! Throughout their myriad of adventures, the old man and the young boy discover they need each other, and that friendship is all the adventure they need.

Colorful and cute, Carl's journey and the characters he encounters are enough to enthrall, but the story is even more transporting. The peril is enough to keep even teenagers interested, yet keep their sympathies for the elderly intact. The way the animated scenes unfold is the most engrossing aspect of yet another successful Pixar project.

The computer animation is so good, that anything not human looks like a picturesque postcard. When Carl's balloons sprout above his house, we admire their stunning, vibrant colors. Interesting uses of cinematography are employed as if this were a live action feature. The final image is ironic as it is iconic, a fitting end to a fairy tale. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Audio Commentary - with director Pete Docter and co-director Bob Peterson
"Partly Cloudy” - the animated short which accompanied Up in theaters
“Dug’s Special Mission” - a new short featuring favorite character Dug
“Adventure Is Out There” - a fascinating 22 minute documentary detailing the fact-finding expedition many of the production team took to Venezuela with tour guide Adrian Warren
“The Many Endings of Muntz” - discussions with the directors discussing alternative ideas for the way the evil character of Muntz was going to be dealt with in the movie
“Geriatric Hero” Documentary
“Canine Companions” Documentary
“Russell: Wilderness Explorer” Documentary
“Our Giant Flightless Friend, Kevin” Documentary
“Homemakers of Pixar” Documentary
“Balloons and Flight” Documentary
“Composing for Characters” - with composer Michael Giacchino
“Married Life” Featurette
The Global Guardian Badge Game
Digital Copy

Talking Dogs (Bonus)

So, How Many Balloons Would It Take To Lift Your Neighbor’s Dog?
A happy Labrador Retriever dog weighs in at about 32 kg (70 lbs). It would take approximately 3200 balloons to lift this furry friend off the ground. Fun Fact: The voice of Dug (the Dog) in the movie Up is actually the voice of Co-Director / Screenwriter, Bob Peterson.