I didn’t really want my next post to be another movie review. And this one will be difficult, since I’m trying not to reveal anything about the plot. So, we will see how this works.
Pixar’s brilliant advertising usually revolves around what they get the audience to expect. They interest them just enough to step into the theatre, and monotone expectations are so over-gratified that people are left feeling like it was the best movie in the world. Well, when I saw the “shock and awe” previews for Up, with the elderly fellow hoisting his house with balloons, I thought to myself: “That’s cute…..How on earth are they planning to pull this one off?” Friday night gave me the answer.
What looked like a quaint and funny little family film turned out to be one of the most artistic and ecstatic works the celebrated family film company has ever done. Perhaps the most. From those silly previews came what might be the best story Pixar animation has yet told. The swashbuckling, fictitious storyline coupled with the intense emotions was something that few movies, even live-action ones, has hit upon. And it simply goes without saying that it was accompanied gorgeous animation, and good, hearty, multi-generational humour.
A warning: If you go and see this film, do not read any of those reviews that give everything away. And remember when I said to wait for the DVD with Night At the Museum? It won’t work this time, since you can’t get get home movies in digital 3D. This was the first film I’ve viewed in that format, and it was well worth the extra bling. When the message came on the screen that instructed us to put on our glasses, followed by the preview for Ice Age 3, I almost freaked. You probably don’t know what it’s like to see Scrat, his acorn, and his mean female counterpart come right out of the screen at you.
A second warning: If you go and see this film, expect to miss a few unimportant lines. During several moments, I couldn’t hear what characters were saying because everyone, myself included, was laughing so hard. We really couldn’t help it.
A genuine warning: Even this masterpiece has it’s bumps. I noticed that, other than The Incredibles, this was the only Pixar film to receive a PG rating. And not for a bad reason. The storyline, in a couple of key scenes, is so uncommonly intense that at least two dozen times the entire theatre erupted with “AAAAWE.” A lot of moments were really endearing; and some brought me close to tears. At one point, a child actually started bawling out loud. And the films packs several moments that a kid of weak constitution would find quite frightening. Fortunately the most intensely sad part for me went over most young heads (it’s near the beginning, by the way). It shouldn’t be a problem for most families, so don’t let it dissuade.
So, in conclusion, I find myself daring to say that, at least as far as storyline goes, it seems that Pixar has exceeded itself. This film comes with a load of themes, but I will leave those for you to decipher. To quote, or paraphrase, one reviewer (whom I didn’t read till after I watched the movie) “It makes me wonder why more people aren’t making movies like this. And I’m beginning to think they simply don’t know how.” It made a lot of even the cool action movies look just stupid.