Saturday, December 17, 2011

The 2011 Up Ornament Is As Mediocre As The Movie.

The Good: Good sculpt, Generally good coloring.
The Bad: Balance bias, Comparatively expensive
The Basics: The 2011 Up ornament has some neat features, but underwhelms for the price.

I am not exactly sure why I have steered away from reviewing most of the Disney ornaments this year. I really liked the Rapunzel ornament from Tangled that was released this year (reviewed here!). So, as I prepare for the final holiday push, I have been getting more ornaments to review and I decided to take a look at the Up ornament. The Up ornament is the first in a series of Disney/Pixar ornaments, which implies that Hallmark will continue making ornaments of popular Disney/Pixar ornaments in the future. Hopefully, they will be ornaments that I can more enthusiastically recommend than the Up ornament.

For those unfamiliar with Up (reviewed here!), it is a travel story of Carl Fredericksen who is attempting to get away from the world after his wife dies. Unfortunately for him, Russell, a young Scout, is trying to get his merit badge for helping the elderly and he tags along with Carl against the old man's wishes.

Carl and Russell looking at one another as Russell gets his new merit badge is how Hallmark captures the pair for the 2011 ornament.


The Up ornament recreates Carl Fredericksen and Russell as they appeared at the very end of Up. Carl looks less grumpy than he does through most of the movie and Russell is beaming at the old man with his trademark goofy look on his face. The ornament, released in 2011, is a very cool and accurate sculpt of both the man and the boy. Carl has a somewhat blockish cut to his head and features, while Russell is very ovular.

Hallmark clearly made quite an effort on Carl as the glasses are nicely molded on his squarish face. Carl is molded with very cool other details, like his bowtie and belt buckle molded to look exactly like the digital model of Carl Fredericksen. Russell looks good as well, but because his appearance is less detailed in many ways, it is not as impressive on the sculpting. Russell looks like a boy who might have once been a jelly bean. The Up ornament measures three inches tall, two and one half inches wide and two and one sixteenth inches deep, the Up ornament is a very solid ornament and it has a bit of heft to it. At that size, it seems a bit expensive at the original issue price of $17.95.

The Hallmark Up ornament is made of a durable plastic and features the proud kid and grumpy adult. Some of the detailing is absolutely extraordinary. Carl Fredericksen's jacket, for example is molded with a zigzag pattern that mimicks tweed as closely as an animated ornament ever could expect to. But the truly immaculate detailing element is not in Carl's glasses, jacket or busy eyebrows, it is actually on Russell. The boy's merit badge sash is exceptionally detailed with each one looking like it is an individual badge. This is impressive as each badge on the sash is only about 1/8" in diameter! So, generally, this ornament looks good.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, Up could have a sound effect, but it does not. Instead, this is a less-expensive option that is just the two principle characters.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake Up ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Disney or Pixar movie Christmas Tree, the Up ornament is a very expensive option with a serious balance problem. There is a slight bias toward Russell, so the ornament does not hang straight. The ornament has the standard brass hook loop embedded into the top back of Carl's head. This is fairly obvious and necessary for the ornament. Unfortunately, because the entirety of Russell is attached to the left of that, the ornament hands slightly lopsided (about fifteen degrees down and a little down in the back). This is not a serious impediment, but no matter how I adjusted the ornament, I could not get it to hang perfectly flat.


Hallmark Keepsake began delving into the collectibles market in 1991 with Star Trek when it introduced the exceptionally limited edition original U.S.S. Enterprise ornament (click here for that review!). Within a few years, every major franchise from Star Wars to A Nightmare Before Christmas to Indiana Jones started making Hallmark ornaments. Up is one of only a few Disney ornaments on the market this year and this is the first in a series, which promises more Pixar-themed ornaments.

Unfortunately, I think Hallmark might have an underwhelming ornament with this release. Up was not a hugely successful Disney/Pixar film, at least in the U.S. The ornament seems expensive and it is unlikely to appreciate in value as a result.


Fans of Up, Disney, Edward Asner, and Hallmark ornaments are likely to be neutral to the Up ornament. It has its merit in the detailing, but it is very expensive for the price, making it a very tough sell.

For other 2011 Hallmark character ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2011 Fleeing The Fiendfyre Harry Potter ornament
2011 Prima Ballerina ornament
2011 CLU's Light Cycle Tron: Legacy ornament


For other ornament reviews, please visit my index page on the subject by clicking here!

© 2011 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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