Luis504170
When Up first came out in 2009, it became the most critically-acclaimed film of the year. Scoring a 98% on Rotten Tomatoes and obtaining many Oscar nominations, (Including Best Picture) finding a headline that read: "Up, is it the best Pixar film of all time?", was not a hard task. It was the emotionally-wrenching, masterfully put together, breathtaking first 15 minutes that emotionally invested critics and audiences alike and ultimately earned Up the "Pixar Masterpice" stamp.

However, in recent years, as new Pixar films have floored movie audiences and Up has settled itself nicely in the Pixar shelf, it has come to my attention that some critics have changed their mind about Up.

We always had those people who said "Those first 15 minutes destroyed me, it was amazing" when asked about how they liked the film. But very few will comment on the entirety of the film. Reasonably so, the film does peak in the first 15 minutes, but how does that make the rest of the film downgrade?

It was just last night when I was watching a critic-filled panel at Collider discussing the best and worst of Pixar were the idea hit me. One person mentioned Up as the best Pixar film. The response from another movie critic was that the first act of the film is great, but the movie falls apart once they introduce exotic birds, talking dogs, and planes. Not only that, but the rest of the crew seemed to agree, leaving that one Up lover in solidarity.

It is a shame for me because Up is easily one of my favorite films of all time, and one that I adore. And sure the first 15 minutes are a stand out, but a movie has to peak at some point.

I personally think that the rest of the movie is amazing as well. It is the emotional story of Carl Fredricksen that leads us to an amazing adventure. It is non-stop comedy, action, drama and adventure. Everything is masterfully done: from the growing relationship of two very complete characters, to the involvement of very colorful and hilariously charming supporting characters, to the emotional rawness that sits at the core of the adventure, to the connection between Carl and his house, to the incredible message the movie puts forward, to an overall tear-jerking ending. Up is a masterpiece, wether the first 15 minutes are best part or not.

I think it's rather unfair to judge a movie just because it shifts in tone.

What do you think? Do you believe that the opening montage is the only extraordinary part of the film, or do you like the film as a whole?

Would love to hear your thoughts

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Peace_Love_Pixar
Luis504170 wrote:
It was just last night when I was watching a critic-filled panel at Collider discussing the best and worst of Pixar were the idea hit me. One person mentioned Up as the best Pixar film. The response from another movie critic was that the first act of the film is great, but the movie falls apart once they introduce exotic birds, talking dogs, and planes. Not only that, but the rest of the crew seemed to agree, leaving that one Up lover in solidarity.


Aw, wait what? That's kind of sad to hear, considering that the film as a whole is pretty fantastic. It's all well paced and the characters aren't introduces at the wrong time at all, which is what they seem to imply.

Luis504170 wrote:
I personally think that the rest of the movie is amazing as well. It is the emotional story of Carl Fredricksen that leads us to an amazing adventure. It is non-stop comedy, action, drama and adventure. Everything is masterfully done: from the growing relationship of two very complete characters, to the involvement of very colorful and hilariously charming supporting characters, to the emotional rawness that sits at the core of the adventure, to the connection between Carl and his house, to the incredible message the movie puts forward, to an overall tear-jerking ending. Up is a masterpiece, wether the first 15 minutes are best part or not.


I absolutely agree with you! This film was more than just amazing for 15 minutes, it was great throughout the entire movie.

Luis504170 wrote:
I think it's rather unfair to judge a movie just because it shifts in tone.


I have to agree since tone does seem to be the reason these critics are saying that. Just because this film turned from a heart-wrenching story into a more light hearted adventure doesn't suddenly make the film awful. Besides, it does become rather sad when Carl finds Ellie's message in her adventure book because it's kind of like he got a piece of Ellie back, even though the house where they made most memories in was burned. Additionally, the film does hold on to a certain bitter sweetness throughout the movie, so I'm not sure what they're complaining about.

Luis504170 wrote:
What do you think? Do you believe that the opening montage is the only extraordinary part of the film, or do you like the film as a whole?

Would love to hear your thoughts


No, I don't think the montage was the best thing of Up, Up was the best thing of Up. It is such an extraordinary adventure that tells that we have to live in the present, while remembering and valuing the people of the past as well. I, for one, enjoyed this movie as a whole. [wink]
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Luis504170
Thank you Peace_Love_Pixar for your detailed response!

It is so nice to see how much you love Up's entirety!! I couldn't agree more withe everything you said!
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Peace_Love_Pixar
No problem Luis. [smile]
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Gray Catbird
I concur with you guys. The opening scene is a little masterpiece in itself, yes, but really, the meat of the story is in the later part of the film, with Carl's relations, to Russell, to his house, to his former idol, and ultimately how he overcomes his loss through his journey.

The greatest achievement of Up--and of Pixar's greatest films--is that they tackle funny elements and poignant emotion in the same film. That is a hallmark of Pixar's greatest (Nemo, TS3, WALL-E, Inside Out...). Because those goofy elements are particularly outlandish in Up, and yet it's one of the saddest stories they told, I consider Up to be the quintessence of Pixar's style. I do not think that the funny parts negate Carl's story at all. To think so would be to fall in the classic trap that if a movie is a kid's movie in any way, then it has to be inferior.
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Tazbanian Devill
I think it was a decent movie but nothing amazing. It is true that the first 15 Minutes are incredible, but as a whole the movie wasn't that great in my opinion. I never go back and watch it. Pete Docter did a much better job with Inside Out and Monsters Inc. in my opinion. 
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ReptilePatrol
Although the first 15 minutes are iconic, I don't think that's the only reason people like it. The critics were a tad harsher on Up than they were on Ratatouille, WALL-E, Toy Story 3 and other top tier Pixar films (Up has an 88 Metascore, whereas top-tier Pixar is usually in the 90s) but the IMDb rating for Up is a solid 8.3. The critic panel on Collider doesn't necessarily represent the critic community as a whole; the critics had their chance when the movie came out, and if they're changing their minds now, well, then, it's too late for that. And the only major rating system that does allow people to change their minds (IMDb), is, as I've just said, at a very solid 8.3.

Up is a fantastic movie — my second favorite Pixar film of all time, and my third favorite film of all time (Inside Out #1, Song of the Sea #2). Similar reasons as to what people have said before.

And the first 15 minutes isn't even my favorite part of the movie — my favorite part is when Carl finally concludes his adventure with Ellie upon seeing her note in the Adventure Book and decides to go have a new adventure helping Russell.
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Sally
Up, until last year, was my favorite Pixar film, not because of the sad moments, but because of everything about it, the 15 minutes were not only the most saddest opening in the history of film, but it sets up the story, with the adventure, Carl with Russell, and more characters we end up to love (-cough, Dug, cough-)

Despite Inside Out now being my favorite Pixar film of all time, Up still holds a special place in my heart because it told such a beautiful story
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Andrew Wellman
I can see where a film like "Up" might skew to one's particular tastes, even within the Pixar realm. I'm personally not a huge fan of "Finding Nemo" because, structurally, it follows the traditional screenwriting/storytelling formula a bit too faithfully. Some people prefer a film where the writer and/or director is content to remain within the rules of "1st act/2nd act/3rd act" and "save the cat" and "the hero's journey" and all of those other conventions commonly taught in college English classes. Again, there is nothing wrong with these conventions--but there's also no rule saying that they should be mandatory.

To me, this is the brilliancce of Pete Docter. Although he's worked with many great story people (Joe Ranft, Andrew Stanton) and undoubtedly learned a great deal from them, I'm guessing that he's never had any of these college screenwriting classes. As a result, in "Up" and "Inside Out" he's managed to create two unconventional, fearless and idiosyncratic, yet wholly accessible and brilliant films. 

That said, I'm sure that many people did not know how to respond to "Up", simply because they're not programmed as filmgoers to encounter such an profoound emotional catharsis so early in the film. It's their loss.
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