Friday, 1 February 2013

UP! Script Breakdown

Dir- Pete Doctor and Bob Peterson
Year – 2009
Running Time – 96 Mins
Screen writing Genre – Golden Fleece (Buddy Fleece)

The Film
The current darling of the animated world UP cleared up at the BAFTA awards and also picked up a number of  Oscars as well. UP is a genuine classic and a film that has finally seen the animated movie fully mature, proving it can handle adult themes in a touching and fully credible way.

The story of Carl is brilliantly told and contains a number of strong images and messages. One thing that really stands out is the ironic take on the biblical tale of the man and his burden. Here Carl is weighed down emotionally by having to get the house to paradise falls but the actual burden is floating above him.

What’s in a name?

The title of the film seems deliberately cryptic. It tells us nothing about the characters or setting and nothing about the genre. I have to say this isn’t the strongest of titles and lacks the knack Pixar have for summing up their films with the title.

What makes it great?

So many things make UP a classic film. The animation is exceptional, the originality in the tale is brilliant and the script and camera shots are of the highest quality. Even the music is scored excellently. UP really is a film it's hard to fault, a master class in storytelling and film making that everyone can learn something from.

UP as a Golden Fleece Buddy Movie

The Golden Fleece covers films where our hero goes on a journey seeking something. Along the way he learns life lessons and grows as a person. Normally the hero starts by seeking one, normally false, prize but ends finding another true, prize along the way.

The Buddy fleece is where our hero is helped along the way by a group of (normally oddball), friends. UP fills the bill perfectly as our hero is helped by a colourful cast of characters, all who have their flaws, but who succeed by working together.

Time Line

Opening Image – The ‘Lost world of South America’

Theme Stated – Our theme revolves around the idea that ‘Adventure is out there’. Adventure is out there but it is also right on your doorstep and it is important not become obsessed with one goal.

Set-Up – The life of Ellie and Carl, we see how they meet, fall in love and what happens up to her death.

Catalyst – Carl hits the workman at minute 17.

Debate – Carl asks “What do I do now Ellie”.

B Story – Carl finds Russell on the porch, which starts the ‘Love Story’

Break into Two – Carl floats the house to South America and on minute 26 we emerge from the clouds in the new world.

Fun and Games – We meet new characters such as Kevin the bird and Doug. Russell and Carl explore the forest and Carl reveals there is enough helium to last fro three days (time clock).

This is a good example of fun and games as the characters literally play games. Kevin plays hide and seek and imitates, Doug chases after the ball and tries to capture Kevin.

Midpoint – Carl and Russell talk and our story takes a more serious turn as we learn about Russell’s circumstances. It is also raining and dark.

Bad Guys Close In – The dogs appear and take the group hostage. We meet Muntz and learn he has not given up on his obsession to find the bird.

All is Lost – Muntz takes Kevin at minute 63. There is a great whiff of death here as well as Doug makes the joke about the squirrel.

Dark Night of the Soul – Carl gets angry and walks alone to the falls. Sitting in his chair in the grey palette house he realises it's not quite what he imagined. He recovers when he reads Ellie’s adventure book.

Break into Three –Carl, having learned it's all about the journey and that family can be the greatest adventure, sets out to save Kevin and Russell.

Finale – Carl throws everything out of the house and flies off to save the day. Doug and Russell win their individual battles. Carl beats Muntz (ironically with Carl’s burden) and house disappears. The final remnants of his obsession have been overcome.

Final image – the ‘Spirit of Adventure’ at home and the house on the cliff.

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