As 2009 begins to come to a close and critics and pundits consider the movies that will ultimately make their Top Tens and Best Of lists, Up seems like a shoe-in for all of them. Effortlessly charming, deeply affecting and genuinely rousing, Pete Docter's follow-up to Monsters, Inc. is nothing short of spectacular. I'm especially reminded of this now that the film has arrived on Blu-ray, in no less than an epic four-disc set. But even as one of the best films of the year, is its home video iteration one of the best Blu-rays as well? Looking at the material contained (if also spread out) in this collection, I'm not so sure, even if everything on it nevertheless manages to make Up look like a masterpiece all over again.
Disc One features the film itself, two short features, and a modest but potent slate of extras. In terms of presentation, Up looks simply gorgeous, offering remarkable clarity and vividness no matter what's up on the screen, while the audio is muscular without being overwhelming. Meanwhile, the two shorts – "Partly Cloudy," which was attached to theatrical prints of Up, and the interstitial "Dug's Special Mission" – offer further adventures for viewers to check out once they've cried their eyes out watching the movie itself.
Additionally, the two featurettes, "The Many Endings of Muntz" and "Adventure is Out There," showcase specific aspects of the creative process that will probably be of most interest or importance to viewers: the first examines the way the filmmakers came up with the "villain"'s comeuppance, and what other options were available; and the second follows the creators as they journey to South America to visit the real-life tepui mountains that gave them inspiration when conceiving the film's picturesque vistas.