[Movie Review] – Heart Touching Life Lessons From The Cartoon UP – Give Wings To Your Dreams Now

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Up – the animated film was released in May 2009 by Disney Pixar animation studio.

Up to now, over a period of more than 10 years, Pixar has released a lot of blockbuster cartoons, but Up in my heart is still the best and most wonderful cartoon. Up brings many gentle messages about life and love, teaching me to love and appreciate everything in this life.

The movie Up with a simple, pure and cute plot revolves around two characters, one old and one young - old man Carl Fredricksen and boy Russell.

The story began with old man Carl - living alone in a lovely wooden house. He lived alone here after his wife (Mrs. Ellie) died, the house contains many memories between him and his wife. The second main character is the mischievous boy Russell, Russell takes on a volunteer job of taking care of lonely elderly people, a job that gives him the last volunteer badge.

Carl – who was a difficult elderly person and just liked to live alone, found young Russell too annoying, so he gave him a difficult task. Carl sent Russell to find the snipe in the garden and left him alone.

There was also an active construction site next to his house, which made him tired and frustrated, and often quarreled with the workers here.

They asked Carl to leave so they could continue the unfinished business of building high-rise buildings, but how could the old man leave the house full of memories with his wife.

Partly because of that, adding the unfulfilled old wish, Carl was determined to go on a balloon adventure to South America - home to the majestic Paradise waterfall - the old dream water of both Carl and his wife, a dream he had cherished since childhood.

The moment thousands of tiny bubbles bounced up against the deep blue sky, dragging the whole small house up in front of the eyes of two extremely beautiful medical staff. The image of the house hitting the car came to pick him up and then flew across the streets, against a cute soft background, metaphorical for Carl's dream of successfully escaping reality.

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After a while, Carl discovered that his journey had an unwanted guest to follow. That was the boy Russell. The boy was stuck on the house while looking for a snipe.

Near the destination, a storm came, swept the whole house to a forest opposite Paradise waterfall. Both Carl and Russell realized that the balloons were about to deflate, so they teamed up to bring the house back to the waterfall.

Russell accidentally found a giant bird, he named his new friend Kevin. The two also made friends with a dog wearing a collar that helped to speak human language – Dug. Little did Carl know that Dug was Charles Muntz's dog. Charles Muntz was a collector and collector of animal bones; Muntz was also the childhood idol of old man Carl and Mrs. Ellie.

Two grandparents, one young and one old, quickly realized that Muntz and his dogs were hunting for their giant bird friend Kevin to add to their collection. They quickly returned and found a way to protect Kevin from the other animal bones. The journey to protect Kevin made Carl accept to abandon his balloon house, watching them all fly into the air full of regret.

In the end, the cooperation of Carl and Russell helped Kevin - who was a female bird - reunited with his cubs. Russell and Carl got what they wanted – reached Paradise Tower and received their aged care badge. Carl then gave Russell Ellie's explorer badge, because the boy totally deserved it.

Carl and Russell then sat eating ice cream on the street, counting the busy cars passing by together. And the balloon house was located peacefully beside Paradise waterfall, symbolizing Carl's wish came true. The two grandchildren were then a couple, showing a happy ending, full of emotions and full of love.

Lessons about true love

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In the film, the past of Carl and Ellie is told through a short clip, the film recounts the innocent and pure dreams of two people since childhood. Experiencing adulthood together full of ambition, until the end of life together in a small wooden house. A short but emotional film, full of love between  man and woman, filled with both happiness and difficulties in real life, in the journey to find dreams.

The video has brought a sense of peace to any adult who is facing a difficult situation in life, their situation is also the situation of Carl and Ellie.


“You’re weird, I like you!”

The film shows us about true love that lasts throughout the lives of two people. They love everything of each other including the flaws. They stick together, grow up together, share unrealized childhood dreams, build a small home together.

The videos when Carl was left alone made viewers feel heavy, after Elie's funeral, Carl was alone holding a bunch of balloons, just like he was holding on to the dream of two people.

He cherished all the memorabilia and memories of the two, determined to spend the last bit of energy making the flight to the place they once dreamed.

Carl did not know that Ellie had quietly created an album since the two first met, after decades of being together, she completed the album before she passed away. The real album is Ellie's dream come true, the dream of adventuring in this life with the grandmother she always wanted. The album helps lonely old Carl realize many things, and gives him more motivation to complete Ellie's unfinished wish. The journey helps him find love again, by bravely going to save Russell and Kevin.

“You will be my greatest adventure” - Carl


Childhood image collapsed in Carl

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The image of Charles Muntz, the great adventurer that Carl and Ellie admired since they were children, and the chance to meet Muntz while adventuring to Paradise Falls made Carl indescribably happy. Both of them were very sad when Muntz was stripped of the adventurer title for cheating, but it seems that the two of them don't believe it, their idol will one day return in glory.

Not long after meeting again, Carl was very surprised because Muntz was not what he thought, a great person, loving people and rich in compassion. Muntz is actually a sadist, deceitful and tries to achieve his goals.

Muntz awakens him and rushes to find Kevin, protecting Kevin from the hands of the evil bone seeker.

Actually, your idol is also a human being in the flesh, they also have ambitions and unforgivable wrongdoings. However, what we see on the screen or through the press is only the bright part of that person. Admiration sometimes makes us no longer rational to see their true nature.

To see the whole person, to see the shadow behind that glamor can make you lose faith in life. Don't be like that, they don't represent all of this life, this life is in your hands and you have the right to use your own strength to protect the beautiful things.


“Swear you'll take us there. Cross your heart! Cross it! Cross your heart!”


Keeping promises – Cross your heart


“Swear you'll take us there. Cross your heart! Cross it! Cross your heart!”

The famous line in the movie when Ellie made Carl promise to take two people to Paradise waterfall, I think this sentence will still torment and motivate Carl to make the journey in Up.

As the house rose into the air, crisscrossing every street corner, Carl kissed his late wife's photo and whispered, "We are on the way" – he finally had the courage to fulfill their dream. The sentence was like an announcement that he had fulfilled the dream of two people and his apology sent to his wife.


“To love is to keep promises, no matter how long you take to fulfill them”


Russell also accidentally used the phrase "Cross your heart" when Carl decided to protect Kevin with him, he also got angry with him when he only paid attention to the balloon house and let Muntz took his friend Kevin. The dialogue is as follows:


"RUSSELL: Mr. Fredricksen, Dug says he wants to take Kevin prisoner. We have to protect him. Can Kevin go with us?

CARL: All right, he can come.

RUSSELL: Promise you won't leave him?

CARL: Yeah.

RUSSELL: Cross your heart? CARL: Cross my heart.”


Listen to your heart and let your heart lead

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Friendship, empathy, and compassion for Kevin, the bird that Russell had just met, prompts Russell to set out to rescue her. Because of that, Carl, after reading his wife's confession in the album, decided to leave behind the two's memorabilia, to make the house lighter, to join the search for Russell and Kevin.

Dug's heart told him to fight alone against other ferocious dogs to protect his new friends, a loving heart that made him so much braver.


Giving is the key to happiness in life

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When Carl was close to reaching his dream, he had to stand still and watch the house of balloons slip out of his hand, the dream that he thought that he had in hand collapsed in the blink of an eye.

But Carl gradually realized that, just like when he was with his wife Ellie, what meant then was his wife Ellie, and now his friends, Russell, Kevin, and Dug. These things were more real, more meaningful than his other dream. The experience on the road to the waterfall instilled in him a love for others, for friends, for himself that he thought he had forgotten since he lost Ellie.

“Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be”


Letting go is something we learn as we grow up

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In order to save Russell and Kevin, he accepted to leave all his memories in the house of balloons, those filled with happy and sad memories made his soul heavy, like the house could not fly. After that, the house and his lap became as light as a cloud, easily gliding in the wind.


No matter who you are, how old you are, make your dreams come true now

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At nearly 80 years old, Carl was almost just waiting to go to the afterlife, but no, he had an adventure so far away that he didn't even think he could do it in his youth. He wasted his whole youth not acting, just thinking about it. A type of character rarely seen on screen, an old man withered away to fulfill his childhood dream. He is also a true "hero without a cape".

The boy Kevin represents youth, but because of his friends, and because his loving heart has motivated him to do unexpected brave things.

And both of the above characters overcame the insurmountable difficulties, worked miracles, and saved their friends.


The greatest reward is in the hearts of others, not medals or material things

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The contrast between Russell receiving Ellie's explorer medal - awarded by Carl himself - and old Muntz being stripped of his medal, the title of explorer really made me very happy. Every act of courage, because people deserve to be rewarded, not only in kind, but they have had a heroic place in the hearts of others, which is incomparable. And those who find all means to gain vanity will not have a good ending.

“Russell, supporting the elderly, and for performing above and beyond the call of duty, I would like to award you the highest honor I can bestow: The Ellie Badge.”


Happiness is in the little things around us

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The fact that Russell's father did not attend his medal ceremony helps viewers to understand that the boy lacks affection, he always longs to be loved and cared for by his father.

A young boy with small joys, befriends a strange bird, an odd dog that can speak human language, a cranky old man who often sits and counts taxis and eats ice cream.


Never give up on your dream even if the whole world turns its back on you

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I don't know if Carl still regrets not being able to reach Paradise Falls.  But he didn't know that the balloon house had already arrived. The dream he spent his youth with his life partner finally came true. Dreams will come true, persevere in pursuit, just a starting point and you take action.

Up brings the audience many different emotions, the warmth of Carl and Ellie's love for each other, Russell's cute and innocent personality. The joy of seeing other people to fulfill their dreams, seeing the house take off and fly over the street. Feeling sad when Carl reread Ellie's album… and feeling satisfied when seeing the house has reached Paradise waterfall.



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