The next FOLA movie at the Ludlow Town Hall Auditorium will be “Up” on Saturday, November 8 at 7 PM.
Up is a 2009 American 3D computer-animated comedy-adventure film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Directed by Pete Docter, the film centers on an elderly widower named Carl Fredricksen (voiced by Edward Asner) and an earnest young Wilderness Explorer named Russell (Jordan Nagai). By tying thousands of balloons to his home, 78-year-old Carl sets out to fulfill his dream to see the wilds of South America and to complete a promise made to his late lifelong love. Another masterful work of art from Pixar, Up is an exciting, hilarious, and heartfelt adventure impeccably crafted and told with wit and depth.
Edward Asner was praised for his portrayal of Carl, and a montage of Carl and his wife Ellie aging together was widely lauded. The film received five Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, making it the second animated film in history to receive such a nomination (and Pixar’s first Best Picture nomination), following Beauty and the Beast.
A young Carl Fredricksen idolizes explorer Charles F. Muntz. However, Muntz has been accused of fabricating the skeleton of a giant bird he says that he discovered in Paradise Falls, and vows to return there to capture one alive. One day, Carl befriends Ellie, who is also a Muntz fan. She confides to Carl her desire to move her “clubhouse” — an abandoned house in the neighborhood — to a cliff overlooking Paradise Falls. Carl and Ellie eventually get married and grow old together in the restored house. Though they planned to have children together, Ellie is diagnosed as infertile. Carl therefore wants to fulfill their promise of travel to South America, repeatedly pooling their savings for a trip to Paradise Falls. An elderly Carl finally arranges for the trip, but Ellie suddenly becomes ill and dies.
Some time later, Carl still lives in the house when he accidentally injures a construction worker over damage to his mailbox, and a court orders him to move to a retirement home. However, Carl comes up with a scheme to keep his promise to Ellie: he turns his house into a makeshift airship, using thousands of helium balloons. Russell, a young Wilderness Explorer, becomes an accidental passenger in his effort to earn his final merit badge for assisting the elderly.
The relationship between Carl and his wife Ellie has been praised in several media outlets. In his book Disney, Pixar, and the Hidden Message of Children’s Films, author M. Keith Booker described the love between Carl and Ellie as touching. While also describing the scene of the two of them aging as a “masterpiece of its own kind,” he was not sure how much children would appreciate the scene, commenting that his son was squirming in his seat during the scene. Reelviews editor James Berardinelli praised their relationship, stating that it brought a tear to his eye in a way no animated film has done, including anything by famed anime director Hayao Miyazaki. Ann Hornaday praised the prologue, describing it as “worthy of Chaplin in its heartbreaking poignancy.” Chicago Tribune editor Michael Phillips praised the scene, describing it as an emotional and cinematic powerhouse, and that he also was nearly moved to tears.
As with all FOLA movies, the film is free; donations are appreciated. Popcorn will be provided by Berkshire Bank and water by FOLA. For information, call 802-228-729 or www.fola.us.