"Good Afternoon, my name is Russell and I am a Wilderness Explorer in Tribe 52, Sweat Lodge 12. Are you in need of any assistance today sir?" Boy, if only we were all as brave as that kid.
Carl is an old man. Never had children; lost his wife, Ellie, to illness. His only regret is not taking her on her dream vacation - Paradise Falls. So when he ends up about to be forced into a "retirement community" he figures he has nothing to lose, and takes his house there by attaching hundreds of balloons to it and flying down there along with Russell who wound up along for the ride because he was under Carl's porch at liftoff. When they land near Paradise Falls, they go through all sorts of difficulties trying to get the house next to the waterfall including meeting up with, and then getting chased by, Carl's childhood hero. Eventually, Carl learns the lesson he needs in order to get back home.
This movie is about letting go: of the past, of expectations, and especially of material possessions. Only, when Carl lets go of the need to get the house next to the Falls was he able to rescue Russell and his other companions. Up, more than its contemporaries, demonstrates what really matters in life: the friends you make, the love you share, and the spirit of adventure to really get out and enjoy life.