Friday, 9 December 2011


Any connection between the 1930’s Lost Horizon and the 2009 Disney Pixar film Up will be considered remote at first consideration. You would be wrong. The main theme of the film is the desire of Carl Fredricksen and his wife Ellie to find their Shangri-la - Paradise Falls in the midst of South America. As an eccentric tomboy who befriends shy and quiet Carl Elle confides that she dreams of moving the ramshackle old property which she invites Carl to join her in a club of 2 to take the house to the cliff top on top of the falls. Carl’s hero is an explorer Charles F Muntz who disappears have being accused that the skeleton he brought back of a giant bird is a fake.

The two grow up and marry and then age happily together with Elle still clinging to her dream but practical considerations prevent attempting to make the dream a reality although they do up the house as their comfortable home and in which Elle dies. Carl is determined to carry out her lifelong wish and devises a scheme to take the house using a vast collection of hot air balloons. Just before he is ready for take off he is approached by a young boy called Russell similar is part of an organisation called the Wilderness Explorers who need his final “Assisting the Elderly” badge to complete the set required to be honoured at which he hopes his busy father will find time to attend the ceremony. The approach to assist Carl is rejected but the boy hangs around on the porch and seeks entry into the house when it takes off for the adventure.

They make their way to South America but land near a ravine close to the falls so the two harness the buoyant house to themselves and attempt to get to get to the falls on foot when they encounter a large colourful bird which does not fly and which is trying to reach her chicks, Before then the two also encounter a talking dog because of a special collar.

The dog is part of a pack all who speak although one has a quirky voice because of collar defect, The pack are in fact pet servants of the explorer Charles F Muntz who has a large Airship from which he has spent years tyring to capture the colourful bird who is the living form of the skeleton which he was accused of faking

He wants and is successful in capturing the bird to take back to vindicate himself while Russell wants to rescue the creature so he can be reunited with his chicks. Carl just wants to get the house to the spot on the cliff above the falls but goes along with the effort to find and release the bird although he is initially impressed on finding Muntz until he realises how ruthless he has become killing others who have got in his way in the past. There is a great battle of wits with many scrapes until they defeat Muntz and take over his airship leaving the house just where Elle wanted and getting the bird back to her chicks. Before they return Carl has to jettison all the furniture to refloat the house and he finds an album which Elle has named the great adventure. He does not fully examine the book until he returns with Russell and attends the presentation of his award for having achieved a full badge set. He finds that in fact Elle had long abandoned the Paradise Falls project because she considered her life with Carl to have been the greatest adventures she could ever have hoped for.

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