At some point in time Pixar became more than fodder for the imagination and giggles of children. I'm not exactly sure when. Perhaps with the underwater character development in FINDING NEMO. It could have been the perils of family, and the surrendering to the 9-5 in THE INCREDIBLES. Hell them boys at Pixar can even wrap a whole multitude of message in a five minute short (the theatrical short featured before UP, and on the DVD is no exception). Here's what makes Pixar just plain better: Story. They can make you laugh, they can make your children laugh, and they can move you, to the point you are at war with the lump in your throat. WALL-E was a turning point for me (as you can see in my long ago post) that was the point I walked out of the theatre and said to myself, "Did Pixar just rip my heart out with a nifty little tale out how our consumerism, and lack of connection could lead to our doom?" Why yes they did, yes they did.
UP is heavy. The story goes as such. Boy meets girl, falls in love with girl, marries girl, grows old with girl. And then after she passes on (yes death, one of the many lovely adult upgrades Pixar threw in here for kicks, and by kicks I mean spoon munching your heart) he then proceeds to dodge the retirement home by flying his house to another country by way of a thousand balloons tied to his roof. Sound crazy, over the top, silly, it is. It's all that and more. The one thing that just floored me about this movie was the imagination. To even fathom connected such heavy content with the story of an old man in a flying balloon house... I mean W-T-F. Yes I do use the msn from time to time, Stop ya damn hatin.
The kids will catch some of it, but not all of it. There is a lot here for the adults. Which brings me to another thing Pixar has mastered, making a film children and adults can enjoy on two different levels, and yet together. They don't need cheap over the kiddy head sex jokes, and one liners, they use intelligent structure. Simple imagery. That us grown ups get, and the kids clap.
My jaw was floored a few times at the beauty of the flick. It was just so over the top I couldn't believe I felt a tear crawling up the old Boony throat hallway. But there it was.
You will laugh many many times in this movie. Giant crazy birds, talking dogs, fat Asian camp kids, has it all. In my mind one of the best films of '09. With Oscar expanding to ten nominations (after realizing that snubbing public loved films like THE DARK KNIGHT was murdering their ratings) I would be surprised if they don't give this one some attention. It deserves it. If for nothing else the sheer magnitude of the creators limitless limits... wait... that don't sound right.
Movie scale 4 out of five stars
Animated movie scale 5 out of 5 stars (you will not be disappointed)
For the record. I still think there is something about WALL-E that will keep it my number one Pixar film ever... but who knows what they have coming, and UP was damn close. I might even say the better story. I just loved that damn lovable hunk of garbage processing bot.
-Chuck Boonsweet saying duck!!!!!!!!