Cast and Crew: Delroy Lindo, John Ratzenberger
What It’s About: Cranky old Carl Fredericksen (Ed Asner) takes his house into the sky using thousands of helium balloons. Unfortunately for him, he has a stowaway-Russell (Jordan Nagai), a Wilderness Scout who is hoping to get his merit badge. Carl is a widower, and he’s taking his house to a supposed lost world in South America where his (and his late wife’s) idol Charles Muntz (Christopher Plummer) disappeared with his dogs, flying in a Zeppelin looking for a living fossil-a giant bird.
Why Watch it Today?: The first piloted balloon flight occurred on this date in 1783, when the Montgolfier brothers took to the air in a hot air balloon. Up captures the whimsy of flight, as well as delightfully harkening back to the pulp fiction of the early 20th century. They even manage to pack a tear jerking story of love, loss, and missed opportunities to achieve dreams in the credits sequence; this is Pixar at their best.
Other Choices: Another Lost World movie, The Island at the Top of the World, features an exploratory mission conducted via balloon.