Up Movie Poster Image


Pixar's stunning adventure is an upper for everyone.
Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 98 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

Meant to entertain, but might inspire an interest in travel and adventure.

Positive messages

Carl and Russell become good friends and teach each other about responsibility, caring for nature, and the movie's main theme about "the spirit of adventure." Loyalty, grit, teamwork, and creative thinking are also themes. 

Positive role models

Strong role models for multi-generational friendship and a successful marriage. Young Ellie befriends an otherwise lonely young Carl; they become best friends and later a married couple. He takes care of her after she grows ill, and he embarks on a journey to fulfill a lifelong dream of theirs. Russell is a spunky, determined kid. Characters demonstrate integrity, empathy, and gratitude.

Violence & scariness

There's some mild peril from thunderstorms hitting the house, and a sad sequence that shows Ellie sick in the hospital and then Carl in a funeral home, surrounded by flowers. Both a real gun and a tranquilizer gun are fired at various characters. A house gets set on fire. Younger kids might be scared by some 3-D images that jump at them from the screen, as well as Muntz' dogs, which sometimes appear seemingly out of nowhere, growling and angry. Muntz tries to get rid of Carl and Russell, even if it means trying to kill them. One character falls to his death.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable

This movie is part of the Disney-Pixar dynasty, with merchandise and other marketing tie-ins associated with the film.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Two adults drink out of champagne flutes.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Up is the second Pixar movie (after The Incredibles) to receive a PG rating, mostly due to a few potentially frightening scenes involving a band of trained talking dogs trying to get rid of the protagonists, some moments where characters almost fall from a floating house, and some guns firing. That said, it's Disney/Pixar, so the violence is mild. Viewers should note that an early wordless sequence follows an emotional and potentially upsetting trajectory that could trigger questions about old age, illness, and death.

What's the story?

In UP, septuagenarian Carl Fredricksen (voiced by Ed Asner) and his wife Ellie had a shared dream since childhood: to visit exotic Paradise Falls in South America, a place the once-famous explorer Charles Muntz (Christopher Plummer) claimed was the most beautiful in the world. After Ellie dies, Carl decides to make his beloved late wife's dream come true and unveils hundreds of helium balloons to fly his house to Paradise Falls. Unbeknownst to Carl, a young Wildlife Explorer scout named Russell (Justin Nagai) is along for the ride. When they finally arrive, the odd couple discovers that Muntz is more interested in killing an elusive rare bird than living in paradise.

Is it any good?


Pixar has brought to life a multi-generational odd couple in a film that's visually stunning, surprisingly touching, and unsurprisingly delightful. After nine films, Pixar's legend is well known; it's the only studio with a perfect record both commercially (each of its releases has grossed more than $150 million) and critically. Up is no exception on the latter front, and considering the demand for family entertainment, it's sure to be a big hit money-wise, too.

The beginning of the film is an unexpected tearjerker following the entire marriage -- from first sight to widowhood -- of adventurous-at-heart Carl and Ellie Fredricksen. But he bulk of the story, as the trailer promises, is Carl and Russell's amazing skyward journey to Paradise Falls. Above the gorgeous and colorful animated vistas, Pixar's astonishing achievement is the sweet, funny, lasting relationship that it's odd-couple heroes share.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Up's central relationship between Carl and Russell. What does the movie have to say about multigenerational friendships? What does a young boy teach an elderly man, and vice versa?

  • Kids: What kind of adventures do you dream of having? Does an adventure need to be somewhere far away? 

  • How do the characters in Up demonstrate empathy and teamwork? What about integrity and gratitude? Why are these important character strengths?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 29, 2009
DVD/Streaming release date:November 10, 2009
Cast:Christopher Plummer, Ed Asner, Jordan Nagai
Director:Pete Docter
Studio:Pixar Animation Studios
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Adventures, Friendship, Great boy role models, Misfits and underdogs
Character strengths:Empathy, Gratitude, Integrity, Teamwork
Run time:98 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:some peril and action

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Parent of a 3 and 7 year old Written bybzmom September 7, 2009

Not a kids movie at all.

i brought my 6 year old to this movie. first off it was depressing and sad with adult life situations that were above his head. I thought some of the images were scary and inappropriate. He liked it, but didn't really understand it. my friends 5 year old was traumatized by some of the sad and scary animal scenes not a child's movie at all, in my opinion.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written byJustino4 April 23, 2011

Guns from Pixar

This movie is good for PG. G would be too soft for this Pixar movie due to the violence that is given during the "final battle" of the movie. A gun? Siriously? A gun? That wasn't needed for Charles Muntz to defeat Carl and gang. Take out the violence (also the scene where Carl hits a guy and he bleeds badly.) and you've got a G movie.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Adult Written byfammovie72 July 19, 2009

Great family movie.

This movie will be one to add to our collection...& we are picky about what movies we buy. It centered around relationships. The annoying little boy & the grumpy old man changed each other because they were forced to be together & encounter danger. You also discover why he's grumpy & how that gets resolved. The talking dogs were a bit scary (for younger kids) but also humorous. I got a kick out of the dogs & how they talked. It was so "right on" funny! This is a movie that I had no problem bringing my preteen kids to. My husband & I both cried during a few sad parts, but for the most part it was a very positive movie. It enforced the message of relationships & sticking together, The story just seemed more "realistic" & "down to earth"...even though it was a story about a floating house with balloons. :) Hope that makes sense. The only thing I would caution is that younger children might be scared by the bad talking dogs & their crazy owner. And the peril that happens in the air at one point.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models