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Comic-Con 08: What Exactly Is Pixar's Up All About?

by
July 26, 2008

Pixar's Up

Earlier today Disney presented a panel at Comic-Con on their two big upcoming animated movies: Bolt and Pixar's Up. We've already seen the trailer for Bolt, which looks absolutely hilarious, but so far we haven't heard a single peep about Up! In fact, the most we've seen is a logo, but no one even knows what it's about. Since Disney decided to break the tradition of attaching the newest trailer in front of each Pixar movie, our first glimpse of anything Up was revealed at Comic-Con this year. And damn was it a tearful introduction! Pixar's own Pete Docter, of Monsters Inc, debut some concept art and a few scenes from Up and it looks just as good as everything else we've seen from them over the years. Read on for more details.

Docter explained that Up is essentially an homage to our grandparents. Our hero is the 78-year-old Carl Fredricksen (voiced by Edward Asner), a short and square little man who walks with a cane. When he was young he met a girl and fell in love with her. Her dream was always to explore Paradise Falls in Venezuela, but unfortunately life got in the way and it never came true. Now Carl is an old widower and he sets off on his own to head down to South America to live out that dream before his life ends. Most of the movie takes place in the wonderfully envisioned mountains of Venezuela, where Carl eventually lands after his house sails south (see the logo with the balloons). As Docter said (and showed in concept art), we are off to a "lost world where anything can happen and will happen" and a world we've never seen before.

Along the way, Carl meets numerous other characters and creatures. One of them that Docter showed us was a young, chubby 9-year-old boy named Russell. He's collected all the merit badges (for the Wilderness Club) except one - assisting the elderly. So he stows away in Carl's house and floats with him down to Venezuela as well. We were shown the scene where Carl takes off in his house with all the balloons and starts floating through the air. It was a magical scene, but not like anything I've seen before. The best reference I can give for this and all of the concept art might be to call it Pixar's version of a Hayao Miyazaki film. In fact, Docter specifically addressed the legendary Japanese filmmaker saying "We're all huge fans of his. He's an amazing filmmaker." He goes on to say "Miyazaki pays so much attention to small details that make you feel like you're actually there. And we're trying to do that in this film as well."

Docter said that the first teaser trailer has debuted online and could be found exclusively on Disney's site: disney.com/pixar. We've posted it below for your viewing pleasure, so for the first look at Carl (the man on the porch) and Up, take a look at this short teaser clip below. Enjoy!

Watch the very first teaser for Pixar's Up:

Although Up instantly looks like another classic Pixar movie in the making, it's not quite at the level of Wall-E. Carl as a character seems incredibly entertaining, but he's not instantly lovable. Wall-E was so cute that everyone would fall in love with him the moment they saw him. Carl is a grumpy old man who we'll probably fall in love with and feel bad for by the end, but isn't specifically someone who initially comes across as a likable character (at least in my mind). Alas, as time goes on and we begin to see more from Up, being a Pixar fanboy, I'm sure I'll begin to fall in love with this as I have every other Pixar movie. As a finisher, Docter perfectly describes Up: "Pixar takes you to a lost world - it's a love story and it's a Pixar movie." Disney is releasing Up on May 29th, 2009 next summer.

Find more posts in Comic-Con 08, Hype, To Watch, Trailer

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  • http://handfulofwires.blogspot.com DCompose
    Pixar is the best thing in the world.
  • Darrin
    i am goimg to buy alot of balloons
  • http://movieguyreviews4u.blogspot.com Ryan
    Hahahaha, funny teaser.
  • Xerxex
    Wow. "Afternoon."
  • http://criticinema.blogspot.com Dan
    "In fact, the most we've seen is a logo, but no one even knows what it's about." Actually... Disney announced its upcoming projects for the next few years about... 3 and a half months ago. You even reported on it. http://www.firstshowing.net/2008/04/09/disney-and-pixars-full-animated-line-up-through-2012/ Sure enough, there's a summary of the plot. You even posted concept art from the film back in January. So I think the lead-in of this article, or at least that sentence... is silly.
  • Hector N
    I't isn't hilarious, do u really are laughing your ass off? you must be a 5 year old
  • Hector N
    It isn't hilarious, are u really laughing your ass off? you must be a 5 year old! Damn typos!. I'll wait to see the trailer, this didn't do much for me.
  • Curtis
    well we didn't get to see much i love Pixar but im going to have to see more of this film before i decide.
  • Spencer C.
    I trust Pixar enough to see this and know that whatever it is they aren't showing us, it is going to be incredible, I feel that if they are putting as much effort as a Miyazaki film, and with Pixar's track record, I think we're in for a surprise and a treat
  • http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.ListAll&friendID=137086138 Shero
    Look good and maybe it will be funny too ... We will see !
  • Aaron
    Can't wait for this movie! I really enjoy the plot! I chuckled when Carl was like, "Afternoon." As if nothing was happening. The day this is released me and my friends are gonna watch ALL the Pixar films on order of being made and going to see this in theaters!
  • harrison
    actually weve already had a teaser for up back in april, liked the old one better http://www.firstshowing.net/2008/04/09/first-look-pixars-up-rendered/
  • harrison
    woops not a teaser but concept art
  • http://www.firstshowing.net Alex Billington
    #5 - What I meant was... we heard "about" it, but didn't know what the story is. When Pete Docter got on stage he even said that they've kept all the details on this under wraps pretty well. No one knew what it was ABOUT. We knew that it existed and saw the logo with the house, but had no details on the characters or the story or anything... But now we do! :)
  • http://criticinema.blogspot.com Dan
    Heh. Well I guess I consider this to be what it's "about"... "Carl Fredricksen spent his entire life dreaming of exploring the globe and experiencing life to its fullest. But at age 78, life seems to have passed him by, until a twist of fate (and a persistent 8-year old Wilderness Explorer named Russell) gives him a new lease on life. 'Up' takes audiences on a thrilling journey where the unlikely pair encounter wild terrain, unexpected villains and jungle creatures." ...which is, again, from the article you posted in April. And I'm not trying to be a jerk, but sometimes I find you questionable, Mr. Billington. Though I did appreciate your story about the Twilight witch, and the subsequent video-version on /Film.
  • Asac
    What a crappy trailer.
  • Clamson
    While I do agree that he's not as instantly lovable as Wall-e, I do think he's plently lovable. Old people are cute as hell. lol. And Ed Asner has such a wonderful speaking voice. Like Moran Freeman or, ya know, God. Can't wait. Pixar rocks my shit.
  • Andrew
    "Carl is a grumpy old man who we'll probably fall in love with and feel bad for by the end, but isn't specifically someone who initially comes across as a likable character (at least in my mind)." Geez, talk about jumping to conclusions... the character said one word "Afternoon" and you immediately assume he's grumpy? This looks like a cute movie with a cute old man and it's probably peppered with quirky adventures. Pixar isn't in the business to make unlikeable characters and I don't think they're going to start with this guy.
  • http://criticinema.blogspot.com Dan
    #18 - Andrew "Pixar's own Pete Docter, of Monsters Inc, debut some concept art and a few scenes from Up and it looks just as good as everything else we've seen from them over the years." Perhaps those "few scenes" showed Carl in a grumpy light.
  • wm
    looks kinda like George Romaro.
  • http://www.ninjazombiesmovie.com Tawnie Niles
    I was at Comicon and talked to Greg Brandeau (some VP from Pixar) and he informed me that they're doing some movie called "Ninja Zombies", http://www.ninjazombiesmovie.com which will be due out next year.
  • Lauren
    That's was cute, his doin the greeting as he passed by. lol.

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