Carl Fredrickson is a chubby little boy with big dreams to be an explorer, but nothing else really going for him. While on a mission in a deserted house he meets a fellow explorer, Ellie, who is everything he's not. Over time they somehow end up together and we see a glimpse of their life over the next 60 years.
They share a lot of happy memories, enjoy fixing their new home and decide to save for a ""big"" adventure to South America, but meet many obstacles on the way - including medical bills for the accident-prove Carl and a very sad section when they lose their unborn baby. They never reach their goal and Ellie dies leaving Carl alone. To make things worse, a developer has bought all the houses around them and wants their land. Under mounting pressure, he hits out at a well-meaning construction worker and is about to be sent to a retirement home for his own good, leaving the house with all the memories behind to be demolished.
Next day when the men in white coats arrive, he asks for a few minutes to say his goodbyes ... but suddenly thousands of helium-filled balloons erupt out of everywhere and rip the house from its foundations, and then up into the air. Using a set of wings through the side windows(!), he sets sail for South America ... but after a tapping on the front door realises that he has a passenger wearing bright-yellow with a huge back-pack that wasn't in ANY of the earlier shots as the house was flying. Anyway, this is 8 year-old Russell, a boy-scout with a terrible father whose goal in life is to gain his last badge - one for ""Assisting the Elderly"".
Unable to just dump the little guy out the window, together they set sail for Panama...
Our Rating: 8/10 - Could do with a few more laughs
Watchability: 8/10 - As ever, the animation is top notch
Contributed By: Jordan Taylor
Tagline: Fly Up to Venezuela
- Country: USA
- Language: English
- Runtime: 136
- Budget: $175,000,000
- Revenue: $293,004,164
- Production: Disney Pixar
Using Russell's GPS system, they make it to Panama in no time with the help of a little tornado. Wanting to put the house down in the exact spot that Ellie drew in a picture, they decide to walk around a canyon dragging the entire building with them rather than just hopping back on the house to fly the short distance over. On the way they meet a rare Ostrich-type female bird they name Kevin (who gives one of the funniest moments of the film that you'll have seen in the trailer), and stumble upon a dog that can talk through a mechanical voicebox-decoder.
As it turns out, the dog belongs to disgraced explorer Charles Muntz (Carl's boyhood hero) - who happens to be a nobel-prize winning type genius when it comes to dogs ... and also a serial killer when it comes to fellow humans. (I know, right?! But in a friendly 'Incredibles' style way so kids aren't too scared.)
Muntz soon realises that his new guests have found the elusive bird -- the same one that has defeated him for 60 years -- in just a few minutes with the help of a bar of chocolate. Not too happy, Muntz wants the bird (to take her back to the US to clear his name) - and will kill his guests if they get in his way.
Carl and Russell defend the bird with their life as the balloons on the house keep popping.
Evil Muntz takes a torch to the house to make Carl choose between his memories ... or the bird. Carl chooses the house. He drags it to the right spot in the picture, while Muntz and the dogs set off for home in the blimp.
Slowly Carl comes to his senses, but not before the kid has decided to take some balloons and save Kevin himself. Carl dumps all his gear, then sails the house towards the blimp, rescues Kevin, and make it out before Charles takes it to the next level and brings out a shotgun!
Muntz follows the others into the house, resting perilously on the blimp's wing, but cannot get out as it falls -- and snatches a few balloons as he plummets to earth. Carl decides to steal the blimp and joyride it back home.
Meanwhile the house floats down to land in the spot they wanted all along - a prime spot of real estate. And probably on top of Muntz.
Back home, Russell is at his presentation evening, not having had time for a wash it seems. Carl shows up just in time and takes the badge to present to the young boy -- steals it -- and swaps it for an old Grape Soda bottle top that he tries to fob off. Don't believe me? Check it out!
The dogs are all in the audience, and bark together. They know what he's done.
We see in the credits that Carl now has his new portable home (the blimp) that he has graffitied with the tag ""The Spirit of Adventure"", Dug the dog has had many puppies, Carl makes some friends at the retirement home, the dogs are all looked after, and Carl and little Russell strike up a good friendship as they embark on many adventures together.