Squirrels aside, I really do think Up is the best Pixar film ever made. (Unless of course you count Speed 2: Cruise Control, which is not technically a Pixar film, and isn’t even animated, and really wasn’t that good of a movie at all, so I don’t know why on earth you would consider counting that.)
Up features the voices of Ed Asner (most famous for his 1970s role on The Mary Tyler Moore Show), Christopher Plummer (Mr. Edelweiss himself), and of course John Ratzenberger, who, per tradition, provides a voice in every single Pixar film — most famously for the piggy bank in the Toy Story movies.
One of the really cool things about Up is its musical score, which became the ninth in history to win the Grammy, Golden Globe, and Academy Award for “Best Original Score.” It was also the second animated film in history (behind this one) to get an Oscar nomination for—SQUIRREL!—“Best Picture.”
OH, SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW: The following clip may cause you to sob uncontrollably… Please watch it now:
Just days after this movie was released, a little girl named Colby Curtin was lying in bed suffering from the final stages of terminal vascular cancer. She had waited weeks to see Up, but by the time it was released, she was too sick to be moved to a movie theater.
A family friend, knowing it was Colby’s dying wish to watch this movie, contacted Pixar to arrange a private screening, and a Pixar employee arrived the next day with a DVD copy plus stuffed animals of the characters and other memorabilia.
Since Colby was in too much pain to even keep her eyes open, her mother described each scene aloud. When asked afterward if she enjoyed the movie, the girl nodded her head. Colby died seven hours later.
The film’s director, Pete Docter, described the message of Up this way:
“Basically, the message of the film is that the real adventure of life is the relationship we have with other people, and it’s so easy to lose sight of the things we have and the people that are around us until they are gone…So, if you can kind of wake up a little bit and go, ‘Wow, I’ve got some really cool stuff around me every day,’ then that’s what the movie’s about.”
I love that. It is a thankful recognition of those quiet, subtle, largely unnoticed moments we share with our family that is truly the difference between a life of adventure and a life that is merely lived.
After Colby Curtin died, her mother picked up one of the gifts that had been sitting among the other memorabilia brought by the Pixar employee.
It was an adventure book.
“I’ll have to fill those adventures in for her,” she said.
“When thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up.”— Alma 37—SQUIRREL!—:37