Y’know, if Pixar continues with this, I might really need to stop going to the cinemas to watch their movies because crying in public is kinda embarrassing.
But yeah, I just watched Up and this is the second Pixar movie since The Incredibles that I am really liking. Last year’s WALL-E was a tour-de-force in raising awareness of environmental issues and really giving a good addition to the really small sci-fi animation movie genre. Up really continues the Pixar ball rolling and tells of a touching tale without being too sappy yet in a very much escapist fantasy manner. Really, it’s not everyday you see a whole house floating on balloons.
The part I really like about the movie is the first fifteen minutes with the long exposition of Carl’s life from his childhood to marrying his wife, Ellie and their trials and tribulations ending with her untimely death. It expertly grounds the movie in the reality and gives Carl a much more human side to him as we get to know from the start of the movie of why he becomes a ‘grumpy old man’. It also serves to really connect the audience instantly to Carl and makes them more forgiving for the actions he takes later on.
The rest of the movie then goes on to the present ‘grumpy’ Carl and the introduction to Russell, the active, slighly overweight but enthusiastic Wilderness Explorer. Russell’s character provides a very good foil to the wizened and cynical Carl with his energy, which can seem to be annoying in the beginning. But despite that, Russell’s intentions are all well-meant which is a realistic, albeit slightly over-optimistic view of kids nowadays, made even more poignant when framed against the revelation later on that Russell only just wants to see his father, who is divorced already, again.
The main antagonist of the movie is Charles Muntz, Carl’s childhood hero, and it’s where some of the realism of the movie escapes. It’s quite hard to believe that there’s a 92 year old man surviving in the jungles of South America for 70 years, even more so when its shown that he’s managed to train a whole army of dogs that do everything for him, from cooking to piloting fighter planes. Undeniably, it does provide a level of excitement to the movie with the battles between our heroes and his dogs.
I guess I won’t spoil it anymore for readers who haven’t watched it yet, but suffice to say, this a movie well-worth your ticket price. Definite shoo-in for best animated feature of the year.