In most kids' movies, children laugh at certain jokes and adults laugh at others. In Pixar's latest animated blockbuster, Up, everyone seems to be in on the jokes.
Living up to its simple title, the movie mixes drama, comedy and action to create a wonderful journey out of an airborne house, a bad-tempered pensioner, a whiny schoolboy and some talking dogs. Directors Pete Docter and Bob Peterson have somehow managed to find just the right balance of entertainment, sentimentality and comic relief to keep all viewers firmly in their seats.
At the center of Up is Carl Fredriksen (voiced by Edward Asner), a retired 78-year-old balloon salesman who finally fulfills his lifelong dream of heading to South America on an adventure - courtesy of thousands of balloons tied to his house.
The dream is not quite complete, however, as it was supposed to have taken place with his late, and sorely missed, wife Ellie. Content to stare at old photographs of them together, Carl's nostalgic interludes are soon broken by the discovery of nine-year-old stowaway Russell, a wide-eyed and hugely optimistic Wilderness Explorer.
Up breaks away from standard animated-feature fare by winding in intense emotional subplots and tender narration about Carl's younger days with his wife. Carl also shows hints of Russell's childlike enthusiasm when he sees black-and-white newsreel images of his idol, the famous aviator and explorer Charles Muntz. Later, Carl and Ellie's romance and life together is beautifully shot as a 4-minute-long silent montage that effectively tugs on the old heart strings.
With his box-shaped head and huge snub nose, Carl is not a typical Pixar hero. But when the colorful balloons burst through the top of his wooden house, it's as if a thousand imaginative thoughts had finally been set free.
Disney Pixar's 3-D adventure Up opens at cinemas citywide from Aug 4.
Other films showing at cinemas now include:
Doraemon: The Movie
Doraemon uses his magic powers to make a tree come alive, creating new adventures with his favorite schoolboy, Nobita.
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
The much-loved Hasbro toy comes to life in this film set 10 years in the future. It shows the origin of G.I. Joe operatives and their terrorist enemies, Cobra. Starring Channing Tatum, Brendan Fraser and Sienna Miller. Stephen Sommers directs.
On His Majesty's Secret Service
A James Bond-inspired comedy about the secret service agents responsible for protecting the Chinese emperor, including agent Zero Zero Dog, who is determined to prove himself. Starring Louis Koo and Barbie Hsu. Wong Jing directs.
Three policemen from a special criminal intelligence bureau are assigned to investigate a major stock market deception, and get themselves into some serious trouble in the process. Starring Lau Ching-wan. Felix Chong and Alan Mak directs.