FILM ONLY REVIEW
As a young boy Carl Frederickson loved adventure and travel, he closely followed the latest explorer and loved the idea of growing up and becoming one himself. Carl met a girl called Ellie who was also into exploring and adventure and over time they married and explored things together. Ellie always dreamt of visiting the Lost Lands of South America but over the years the savings for the trip had to be used on other things. Carl and Ellie are now old and have never made the trip, unfortunately Ellie dies before she gets to visit it leaving Carl all alone.
Carl id having problems as the street which his house is on is under development and the developer is trying to get him to move out so his house can be knocked down. Carl is not willing to move and fights them. It is when Carl is at work selling his balloons that he comes up with an idea. He connects hundreds of helium filled balloons to the roof of his house and hopes to fly it to South America and fulfil Ellie’s dream. Fortunately the plan works and Carl is soon on his way to the Lost Lands but he gets more than he bargained for when a young Scout Explorer has stowed away with the house.
Can Carl make it to the Lost Lands and what will happen to the Scout and just how far can the balloons take him?
I have only given a very brief outline of the plot to this film so do not be put off by the apparent lack of story as there is still more to be discovered by watching. I was really looking forward to watching this film as both me and hubby do enjoy the animated children’s films and the trailer had made this one look very good. I am pleased to say both me and hubby were very impressed and found the film to be very entertaining throughout. The storyline was very good and enjoyable. It is very suitable for the children’s audience it was aimed at and I do think they will be able to follow it with ease. There are a few times in the film when we get a small amount of peril or very mild threat but there is nothing to scare children.
The animation throughout was excellent, each frame was detailed and colourful and I did at times actually forget that I was watching a cartoon. I loved the appearance of the characters and the best by far was Carl, he was shown at different ages through his life and he always looked good and just like a normal human, when he was old he had the usual old peoples problems and walked with a stick and I thought they managed to really bring him to life. He had good facial features and was easily able to show expressions and feelings with his eyes and appearance and I found the vocals which Edward Asner gave him suited him perfectly and really helped to bring him to life. Despite this being animated I still found there to be a great connection with the characters and the bond which formed between Carl and the young scout Russell to be lovely and showed to be more of a Grandfather and child bond than two strangers.
The vocals which were used for the other character were also very good, some of the actors used included, Christopher Plummer, Jordan Nagai, Bob Peterson and Delroy Lindo, they all did excellent job in putting personality into the animated characters and really helped bring them to life.
The setting for the film was very mixed, we had the start of the film which showed a building site and them moved into the air where we got some lovely views over the animated countryside and then moved to the Lost Lands where we got the jungle feel. I found it to all look very good and enjoyable to watch and found that there was so much detail included and the colours really caught my attention and will help younger viewers stay interested.
There is a lot of fun in the film and a few good laughs, they come mainly from the relationships Carl forms later on in the film, I found all of the humour to be ease to see and understand and even though there was a lack of adult humour I really did not miss it and think the film would have lost the emotions if this would have been added. The film has a good soundtrack which fits in very well. None of the tracks were stand out ones but they were all appropriate and helped with the emotions and feelings of the film.
This is a film only review so there are no bonus features to speak about. The running time of the film is 96 minutes and the rate is a Universal. Agree with the rate and think all ages will enjoy this film. The DVD can be bought for around the £7 mark but fortunately I managed to catch this on Sky moves for free but I would say this is worth the price tag it has.
I am more than happy to give this film the full 5 stars as it really deserves them. The storyline is good and a little moving at times, the animation and voices are excellent and this is one the whole family can enjoy together.