In its latest release Up, Pixar has created a film worthy of both children and adults alike. The story of an old man trying to keep a promise to his deceased wife and a young boy trying to gain the respect of his father, the story follows their fantastic journey across continents, and in the end are forced to face the cold hard truth that our heroes are not always the people we make them out to be.
Not often seen in a animated feature primarily marketed toward children, Up contains a montage of Carl Fredricksen and his wife Ellie's entire relationship, from their first meeting as children, until her death. This section of the film is especially appealing to adults and presented in a subdued fashion as to not scare children.
The message that clearly rings true for adults and serves as a warning to children is learning the truth about ones heroes. During the course of the film, Carl discovers he and Ellie's childhood hero, Charles Muntz, is not the champion of nature and wildlife he once believed. A parallel revelation occurs for Russell when he admits that his father is not the man he has been portraying him to be. Both Carl and Russell have been living in a fantasy of their own choosing and sharing the moment of absolute vulnerability brings them closer together.
The relationship between Carl and his young neighbor Russell is symbiotic. Carl who has never had children, sees Russell as a surrogate grandchild. Russell is desperate for approval from a father figure and uses Carl as a replacement for his father who is an absentee divorcee dad. The duo come to mean more to each other than biological family and is permanently solidified at Russell's final badge ceremony.
Up is a film that will become a timeless classic and provide new insights into itself and your own personal relationships -- the greatest gift of film.