After the death of his cherished wife, with whom he shared vivid dreams of adventure in far-flung places, elderly tinkerer Carl Fredricksen (Asner) is a broken man, embittered and irritable. Distressed by real-estate developers encroaching on the city home he refuses to forfeit, Carl finally attaches a mass of balloons to his roof and embarks on a high-flying, once-in-a-lifetime trip to South America, with chipper 8-year-old stowaway Russell (Nagai), a Wilderness Explorer trainee, in tow.
The first 10 minutes of Pete Docter's instant Pixar classic "Up" is, quite simply, a masterpiece of emotional filmmaking, detailing Carl's long, happy life with his spouse, from childhood to old age, and her poignant demise. Tears will stain your eyes. Fortunately for us (and the kids!), there's a whoppingly good adventure yarn ahead in the next hour or so that finds grumpy Carl and feisty, fatherless Russell navigating a helium-balloon-hoisted A-frame through the Southern American wilderness and into the spindly arms of mad explorer Charles Muntz (Plummer) and his army of talking dogs. Fun and frolicsome, but blissfully heartbreaking too, "Up" is an animated buddy movie unlike any you've seen.