The latest offering from Disney Pixar, Up, makes you laugh, cry and sit at the edge of your seat, all at the same time.
From the first frame, which is an old fashioned newsreel telling about the daring adventures of the explorer Charles Muntz on his zeppelin, The Spirit of Adventure, you know you are in for a thrill ride with a difference.
Two children, Carl Fredricksen and Ellie, dream of adventure while watching Muntz's acts of derring do. When Ellie shows Carl her "book of adventure" with a house perched on top of the exotic Paradise Falls in South America, and a host of blank pages to be filled up with "things to do", a bond is forged between the two.
Carl and Ellie grow up and get married. The couple survive a heart-breaking tragedy to grow old together making contributions into a jar for their trip to South America. However, by the time Carl buys the tickets to South America, Ellie is no more and Carl is left all alone in a rapidly-changing world.
With a construction company building all around Carl's house, the 78-year-old balloon seller decides to make that promised trip to Paradise Falls, albeit unconventionally - in his house propelled by thousands of multi-coloured balloons. He discovers too late that he has a stowaway - an eight-year-old wilderness expert, named Russell.
As an unlikely bond is forged between the two, the adventure truly takes off involving the unexplored wilds of South America, an exotic bird, packs of trained talking dogs and Muntz.
The movie is technically awesome, with bright colours and imaginatively-designed set pieces.
The voice cast from Ed Asner as the reticent Carl and Jordan Nagai as the enthu cutlet Russell, to Christopher Plummer as the dashing yet slightly sinister Muntz is exceptional.
However, it is the story that is the real star of Up. While the first third of the movie might be a little grim for children, the screenwriters Bob Peterson and Pete Docter should be commended for not sugar-coating grief and loss.
Up celebrates the spirit of adventure, second chances and friendship. Go ahead and treat yourself to the ultimate pick me up.
Genre: Animated adventure
Director: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson
Voice Cast: Ed Asner, Jordan Nagai, Christopher Plummer, John Ratzenberger, Bob Peterson, Delroy Lindo, Jerome Ranft
Storyline: A 78-year-old balloon salesman and an eight-year-old boy go in search of adventure in a house propelled by balloons.
Bottomline: An A for awesome in every department