5.28.2009

Up : 5 of 5

Thanks once again to lucky Melinda (who seems to my source of free sneak previews now!), I got to see Up a couple days early (and we even got press seats this time). Being the first animated feature to ever open the Cannes Film Festival, there were lots of reviews for me to read beforehand, and since all of them are so positive, I was prepared to be amazed. All I can say is that I'm completely impressed that Pixar is a studio that can totally focus on the art and storytelling of a truly great film, creating movies that can speak to everyone without compromising for Hollywood's money-making schemes. Up is so wonderful that I'm practically speechless, and it's a perfect example of Pixar's solid integrity. There won't be a lot of kids wanting to play with a 78-year old man action figure, yet Carl Fredricksen is an incredibly compelling character. Of course, animation has to include some suspension of belief (so we have to accept a house flying to South America on helium balloons), but the situations and emotions of falling in love, growing old, losing a spouse, and finding something to live for are all intensely real, and definitely intended for an adult audience. That's not to say there aren't tons of laughs to be had, because electronically-talking dogs ("Squirrel!") and great dialogue from Wilderness Explorer Russel make for some hilarious moments. Just about every detail is fantastic, from the beautiful score (which you can actually hum as you leave the theater), to the subtle use of 3D (which adds a little to the movie, but certainly isn't abused). I know I've said this before, but I'm so glad that Disney bought Pixar so their logo is on this film, because Pixar is without a doubt making the movies that Disney could have only made in the past. Up is not only a triumph of animation, but also a success in every element that makes a great film, period!

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