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The Up DVD is a must-have!

By Arthur J Pais
Last updated on: November 20, 2009 13:47 IST
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A scene from UpWhen the funny, touching and life-affirming animated adventure Up from Pixar and Disney hit the big screens a few months ago, its producers promised that in the film, the sky is no longer the limit. They may want to use the same slogan again as the film is creating strong waves on the home entertainment territory.

One of the biggest animated family hits in recent years, Up continues to be still leading the box office in a few countries after having amassed an impressive $670 million worldwide. Its DVD and Blu-ray editions have shot up right to the top in North America on the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert sales chart and VideoScan's Blu-Ray Disc sales chart.

With the holiday season starting next week in America and with the Thanksgiving week being a very lucrative period for the movies in theatres and home-market, Up is bound to be a favourite for many weeks. Worldwide, movies and DVD and Blu-ray discs enjoy big patronage from the third week of December, for at least 10 days.

The film starts with Carl Fredicksen (veteran Ed Asner), a retired balloon salesman who is an amiable but eccentric dreamer getting ready for his last chance -- he is flying from America into the Venezuelan forest, and hopefully, beyond it. Tying thousands of balloons to his house, he sets off.

Soon he realises that Russell (voice of Jordan Nagai), an eight-year old Wildnerness Explorer who has never ventured beyond his backyard, is also making his own journey. Russell has accidentally become the stowaway.

A scene from UpSurely, this is an unlikely pair but they create a bond, and as their adventure continues, they make friends with many interesting creatures such as Dug. Its special collar allows it speak and add to the film's fun. Then there is Kevin, the 13-foot tall flightless bird.

In the jungle, Carl learns a new lesson: life's biggest adventures aren't the ones you set out for.

The film, which has the voices of several seasoned artists especially Christopher Plummer, may be a hot contender for the Oscars. It was also one of the best reviewed movies of the year. The widely read reviewer Roger Ebert found it to be an unusual and mature film that appeals to the young and the old.

'Up is a wonderful film, with characters who are as believable as any characters can be who spend much of their time floating above the rain forests of Venezuela,' he wrote. 'They have tempers, problems and obsessions. They are cute and goofy, but they aren't cute in the treacly way of little cartoon animals. They're cute in the human way of the animation master Hayao Miyazaki (from Japan). Two of the three central characters are cranky old men, which is a wonder in this youth-obsessed era. Up doesn't think all heroes must be young or sweet, although the third important character is a nervy kid.'

A scene from UpA heartwarming fable from Pixar, the movie follows in the tradition of Finding Nemo and Monsters Inc, among the very best of Pixar. Incidentally, Monsters Inc, which is out on Blu-ray, is also doing superb business.

The home entertainment version of the film comes in several packages. The four-disc combo includes Blu-ray and DVD as well as a digital copy, and many other bonuses including the short film Doug's Mission and the Making of Up featurette.

According to Home Media Magazine market research estimates, Up has sold over five million units by November 19 after only a week being out in North America, earning about $90 million. It would have also earned many millions in rentals.

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Arthur J Pais in New York