Monday, June 1, 2009

Up Thumbs

Pixar keeps defying the odds by coming up with animated movies that continue to be imaginative and a treat to view. This year's entry, Up, is the next in line that delivers that special something for kids and adults, alike. This weekend, while we were in the desert, I took the kids to the local theatre that was running this in Disney 3D. And since I'm getting older by the minute, I found myself relating more and more to this year's creation and its protagonist. L.A. Times movie critic Kenneth Turan says it best:
"... 'Up' also generates genuine emotion and it does so by dealing unapologetically with one of Hollywood's last and most persistent taboos, old people. Instead of a Clint Eastwood-type senior citizen who is fitter than people half his age, "Up" gives us a man who uses a walker and can't handle stairs but still manages to be heroic when it counts."
What it also does, simply and poignantly, is examine the gauntlet that the old [male] must run through. And that is, regret. Even though it may based on love and emotion, this is what our hero (and widower) Carl Fredricksen (voiced wonderfully by Ed Asner) must get past in this tale--and what the villain, Charles F. Muntz (a silky voiced Christopher Plummer) cannot. Add to this what Pixar has mastered, and what Dreamworks Animation is finally catching on to, the dialog-free montage sequence. This year's model adds another great one to Pixar's pantheon that is a haunting treasure (yes, I'm an old softy, crust and all). And lastly, if you're been owned by a dog (or have cared for one at any time), you'll recognize their traits captured so lovingly with the canine supporting cast of this story. I highly recommend (because I refuse to use the obvious pun here).


  1. Nice review. You're right, old age IS H'wood's bugabear. I think it always has been. Probably could get an entire master's thesis out of the topic. Someone probably already has.

  2. I LOVED this movie (saw it in 3D, too!). Couldn't stop talking about it afterwards because there were so many lovely things about it. Carl putting his hand against Ellie's faded handprint on the mailbox when he got the mail? Had a lump in my throat every time he did it. When Ellie couldn't make it up the hill? Fuggedaboutit. And I wanted to adopt both Russell and Dug ("I just met you and I love you!"). Couldn't stand how they were neglected.

    I agree they handled the topic of aging beautifully. That fight scene between the two old men was HILARIOUS.

  3. Corey: You've spoke the truth.

    PCN: PIxar also handled the 3D with great skill. No obvious stunts in the audience's face just because they could. They used it effectively to enhance and augment the story, as it should be.

    Ditto on the gestures and memories up on the screen. They really drove home Carl's love and lament in the story.

    Thanks to both of you for your comments.

  4. Ok, gonna get some little people and go, thanks.

  5. Herb n Laura: always good to go with the little people to the movies. That way, you can munch their snacks, too ;-). Thanks for stopping by.

  6. I LOVE Pixar. TOY STORY is still one of my all-time favs! And you know canines own me! :) Can't wait to see this one. Thanks Michael.

  7. Jen, you'll especially love this canine cast. Some of their comments (if you've seen the trailer, you know by now they're speech-enabled) are hysterical. And, there is a teaser trailer in front of it you'll also enjoy.