Saturday, January 16, 2010

Up, Up, and....

Well still here. I'm having an odd week. As you all know I haven't done any posting this week. I've been in full recovery mode. The only thoughts that have been running through my head this week have been how to get from Point A to Point B. That means that all the things I want to talk about, all the cool things I've learned this week, all the interesting films I've seen, have been relegated to the back of my mind while I concentrate on learning crutches and finding out how to do things I've taken for granted before. Like eating breakfast, and showering.

But there is only so long I can go without writing, much like reading. And this was the breaking point. So I'm going to start with something that happened what feels like months ago. Last week I watched Pixar's Up and I've been wanting to talk about it. As most of you know I'm a HUGE Pixar fan. Other than Cars, which I thought was lackluster, I have loved everything that Pixar has ever created. Their movies are wonderful, their shorts are funny and poignant, and everything they create has tons of heart.

This movie is no exception. When I say that I cried within the first 20 minutes of this film you will understand exactly how much heart this movie has. I fell instantly in love with the love story between Carl and Ellie. We watch them meet, fall in love, get married, and follow them throughout their lives. This is done with little dialogue but by the end we are already in love with this couple. Those first twenty minutes of the film, may very well be my favorite montage in a film ever. I laughed, I cried, and I sighed with them. And that was just the set up.

The film follows Carl who, after Ellie's death, decides to carry out her last wishes and move to Paradise Falls in South America. He rigs the house with balloons and manages to fly there, with one stowaway, a young boy scout named Russell. Although Carl is not happy to have Russell with him, he realizes that getting him home would be problematic and the two become unlikely partners. When the house lands close to the falls, Carl and Russell decide to walk there to set up. Along the way they meet Doug, a talking dog and Kevin, a gigantic bird that becomes the basis for all the movie's conflicts. They also meet a famous explorer who Carl once idealized. He has been hunting for Kevin for decades and has been driven mad by the search. He and his army of talking dogs then start hunting for Russell and Carl since they know the whereabouts of the bird.

It is an odd plot and in places is far more intense than I would have expected. The flight from the crazy explorer (Charles Munts) and the later fight against him was action packed with tons of impressive animation work. The visuals are beautiful throughout the film. But what really stuck with me was the heart of the story. The love story between Carl and Ellie and later the friendship between Carl and Russell really made this movie for me. We see how Carl changes over the course of the film. This is his story, and never has a children's film about an old man, created such a stirring realistic character. Kids will love the talking dogs and the moments of slapstick once the pair reach the Falls. Adults will love the character of Carl and the film's ideas of relationships, idolization, and life. Me, I just fell in love with the whole thing.


Susskins said...

I thoroughly love Russell, and can't help but smile whenever he's on-screen. "But it's a TALKING DOG!"

And Dug is wonderful. "I have just met you, and I love you."

Cat B said...

Such an adorable film! All of it. I enjoyed Russell quite a bit too. I loved him going off to hunt the snipe, completely oblivious.

Even the house seemed to have a personality all its own. Great movie.