Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Last weekend, Sheryl & I took the kids to see the new Disney/Pixar movie Up. In the grand tradition of the Pixar flicks, it is a masterful movie that combines storytelling with film-making to actually make you forget that you’re watching a cartoon, because you become so involved in the story itself.

The movie starts off with a depiction of the life of the main character, Carl, in 10 minutes. He meets the girl of his dreams as a boy, and they marry, planning great adventures with each other. But, as it does, life intervenes, and the plans they made fall by the wayside as they deal with those inevitabilities. The conclusion of that 10 minutes is some of the most heartbreakingly beautiful film making that I’ve seen in a long time.

As a result of life, Carl becomes a fairly standard Hollywood “crusty old man with a heart of gold,” but because of the investment of the first 10 minutes, the culmination of his conversion doesn’t seem Hollywood-ized. It seems like a natural part of his character coming out. He meets up with Russell an 8-10 year old Wilderness scout, Dug a talking dog, a strange chocolate-loving bird-creature, and an adventurer who is darker than he appears.

The voice acting is up to Pixar’s usual high standard with Ed Asner and Christopher Plummer in major roles (I actually would have like to have seen them enact one of their final scenes.) There are some genuinely funny moments and some fairly scary ones. Kinsey loved it, but Connor found some of the scenes with the guard dogs to be pretty scary.

It really is a great movie and yet another one to go into the pantheon that Pixar is developing. On one hand, you wonder when the magic is going to run out, but after so many incredible movies, maybe it never will.

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