Sunday, 12 June 2011


Up was, I think, a new triumph for Pixar. Now that they’ve moved on from making novel objects talk (toys, bugs, cars, fish, rats) and begun to focus their attentions on heartwarming stories, I think that they might enter a new era of sorts, which I, not yet tired of the house style, find an appealing prospect indeed.

The film centres on an old man who in order to fulfil a childhood dream decides to make his house fly, his life story told in an expository segment so that we are on his side from the start. His story is not exactly tragic, but he finds himself alone with strong links to the past, and so he takes action. The physics, fanciful contraptions and unlikely coincidences that follow as the old man meets new characters and strange creatures and gains a new sense of purpose, are not what is important beside the spectacle, the affectionate characterisation and the sheer fun of the scenario. There is much to make the audience laugh, make them sad, make them cheer and make them care. And the sheer beauty of the film, particularly when it comes to landscapes, is another layer of pleasure.

Not everything is perfect: I felt like there should have been more resolution for the family unit at the end of the film, less of a feeling that a father figure can simply sweep in, but generally everything I was unsure about, from talking dogs to men isolated for long decades failing to accomplish their goal, eventually turned out to be a positive aspect of the film and I was most impressed. It may not endure quite like Toy Story or Wall-E, but it was great stuff.

(originally written 15.10.09)

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