By Perry S. Chen
Have you ever wondered how many balloons it takes to lift a real house? More than 20 million! Carl Fredricksen, a widowed 78-year-old curmudgeon and main hero in the uplifting Pixar 3-D movie "Up," has the curiosity and courage to try it.
While heading toward his dream home in his floating house to the remote "Paradise Falls," the lost world in South America that he and his deceased wife Ellie always wanted to go, Carl finds an unwitting stowaway on his front porch: a chubby 8-year-old Wilderness Explorer named Russell.
Together, Carl and Russell explored the forest with their newly-discovered exotic friend that Russell named "Kevin." Soon, they discovered that the faded hero and nature explorer Charles Muntz has been chasing Kevin for more than 50 years at Paradise Falls. To save Kevin, Carl and Russell must go through an unimaginable adventure that changes their lives forever.
When I asked Pete Docter, the tall and "animated" director, why he chose balloons to float the house instead of sea gulls (or other flying devices), he responded, "There is something very magical and poetic about the balloon for me as a child. When I let go of it, I'm not getting it back. It is a bit like Carl's relationship with his wife Ellie." Jonas Rivera, "Up" producer added, "And balloons are much more colorful than sea gulls too!"
My favorite character is Russell because I always want to be an explorer myself. I love exploring the Torrey Pines State Reserve and Carmel Creek which inspire me to write poems.
I love the dazzling actions, amazing visual effects and the beautiful music. "Up" is about escape, friendship and connections. My favorite scene is the last scene. After their long and arduous quest to explore nature's wonders, Carl and Russell each found someone to love.
Perry S. Chen is 9 years old and lives in Carmel Valley.
© 2009 by Perry S. Chen
-Grade: 4 1/2 starfish out of 5
-Opens May 29