Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Disney's Up! On DVD and Blu-ray November 10th

I just saw Disney's Up! for the first time, and it tickled me pink.

When I first heard about the concept (a little old man flying his house away with balloons), I wasn't sure what to think. I didn't see how it could work in a cartoon.

But Up! had such high ratings in the theater that I just had to see it on Blu-ray.

And it's fantastic!

There's so much more to the story than I knew: a truly sweet love story in a series of vignettes, fun and colorful characters, humor and adventure. Ed Asner is perfect as the voice of Carl, the loveable curmudgeon who resolves to take on one last adventure. And early on in the movie, when that old Victorian home erupted in an incendescent bubble of beautifully animated, brightly-hued balloons, it really did light up the screen.

Retro touches, like the posters sprinkled throughout this post and created especially for the film, add to the appeal of a bygone era of adventure and discovery.

And so many EXTRAS come along with the Blu-ray edition of Up! You get not one, not two or even three but FOUR discs, with commentary from the movie creators (including the pencil sketch that started the whole concept rolling), a digital disc for playing on your computer, and exclusive clips on the making of the movie, the actors lending their voices to the characters, and bonus shorts, like "Dug's Special Mission":

• Commentary by director Pete Docter and co-director Bob Peterson.
Dug’s Special Mission – An all new original short film that follows the
misadventures of Dug as he attempts to complete his “special mission.” The
short is directed by Up Story Supervisor, Ronnie Del Carmen.
The Many Endings of Muntz – Many ideas were hatched about how to dispose
of the film’s arch villain, Muntz, and now viewers can see the many alternate
endings proposed during story development.
Partly Cloudy –The hilarious short film that preceded screenings of Up.
Everyone knows that the stork delivers babies, but where do the storks get the
babies? The answer lies up in the stratosphere where the cloud Gus is a master
at creating “dangerous” babies, which prove to be more than a handful for his
loval delivery stork Peck. Directed by Pixar story artist, animator and voice actor
Peter Sohn.
Adventure is Out There – This action-packed documentary tells the story of the
filmmakers’ own trek to the tepuis mountains of South America to research the
design and story of the film.

And, only on Blu-ray Hi-Def, hours of features,
and behind-the scenes bonus features,

Cine-Explore – A visual montage of concept art, clips and documentary
coverage that illustrates the directors’ commentary.
Geriatric Hero – A character study of Carl, from research to realization including
art and design, rigging, animation and story. It focuses on the issues of aging,
Canine Companions – For anyone who ever wondered where CG puppies
come from, an introduction to the design, behavior and language of dogs.
Russell: Wilderness Explorer – A character study of Russell from inspiration
and design to finding the character arc and authentic voice for this wilderness
Our Giant Flightless Friend, Kevin – Find out how avian research and
development at Pixar helped bring a mythical, 13-foot tall iridescent bird to life.
Homemakers of Pixar – Carl and Ellie’s house is an important “character” in the
film. Fans follow the development of the house from story to art to its ultimate
realization in the computer.
Balloons and Flight – Carl’s house and Muntz's dirigible presented the
filmmakers with two different problems—how could they make a physical
impossibility possible? And, in the case of the dirigible, how would they unearth a
fallen giant and let it soar?
Composing for Characters – Composer Michael Giacchino returns to score his
third Disney•Pixar feature film. See how the Up filmmakers collaborated with
Giacchino to create the memorable score and compelling musical themes.
Married Life – The original story concept that became the powerful “Married Life”
scene, showing Carl and Ellie’s love story.
Global Guardian Badge Game – Players try to locate countries, states and
capitals around the globe in a multi-layered BD-Exclusive geography game
enhanced by BD-Live.

Disney's also provided some fun facts for me to share with you, for when your kids start to ask those tricky questions as they watch the film.



Have you ever wondered how many helium balloons it would take to lift different objects Up into the air?

It’s a tricky question and an even trickier answer because there are so many variables to consider. For instance:

• How big are the balloons?
• How heavy is the object?
• How quickly to do you want the object to rise Up?

We have come Up with a general formula you can use to figure out how many balloons it would take to lift... well, just about anything!

• Helium has a lifting force of about 1 gram per liter.
• An average size party balloon is approximately 30cm (one foot) in diameter.
• It can hold approximately 14 liters.
• That’s 14 grams of lift power per balloon.
• Estimate and subtract the weight of the string and the latex balloon.
• Formula: 1 balloon = 10 grams of lift power.

How Many Balloons Would It Take To Lift:

Disney • Pixar’s Up Blu-ray™Combo Pack?
At approximately 227 grams (or 0.5 lbs) in weight, it requires approximately 22 balloons to send the movie Up, up and away!

A Blu-ray Disc™ Player?
Most models weigh just over 2 kg (4.5 lbs.) which requires 200 balloons to add a whole new meaning to Blu-ray™ “high definition.”

Your Neighbor’s Dog?
“simplexity”, shape-language and compelling character arcs.
A happy Labrador Retriever dog weighs in at about 32 kg (70 lbs). It would take approximately 3200 balloons to lift this furry friend off the ground.
Fun Fact: The voice of Dug (the Dog) in the movie Up is actually the voice of Co-Director / Screenwriter, Bob Peterson.

A Bicycle?
The average bicycle weighs approximately 19 kilograms (or 42 lbs). You will need approximately 1,900 balloons
to turn a 2-wheeler into an air-bike.
Fun Fact: Before the Wright Brothers built their first flying airplane in 1903, they operated a small bicycle repair shop.

A Sumo Wrestler?
The average weight of a Sumo wrestler is approximately 148 kg (or 326 lbs). That means it would take about 148,000 balloons to send this guy Up.
Fun Fact: Sumo wrestling was established as a national sport in 1909.

A Small House?
This figure can vary in terms of quantity of balloons given the size and scale of the house. Let’s say the house in Disney/Pixar ’s movie Up weighed about 46,000 kg (that’s 101,413 lbs). That means it takes approximately 4,600,000 balloons to send Carl's home Up and away!
Fun Fact: Nearly 70 animators worked on the movie Up during peak production.

Up! comes out on Blu-ray and DVD on November 10th, and yes MUST have this one in your video library, folks.

I received a preview copy of the 4-disc Blu-ray edition of Up! to aid me in this review for the upcoming release.

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