Every time a new Pixar movie hits the cinemas, my inner child starts poking my chest, trying to get out. I’ve struggled it at first, trying to resist the hype just for the sake of resisting the hype, but ever since Ratatouille I’ve given up and embraced the kid, letting him out and fully enjoying it. Because hey, you have to admit: Pixar movies are pretty rad. And in that regard, UP is certainly no exception.
As a story, UP is all about letting go: Carl is an old man who’s lead a mostly happy life. An old man who feels rejected by society and mourns about the things he’s never done. One of these is going on an adventure, an adventure ending with living in Paradise Falls, a land lost in time. When one day he is threatened to be evicted from his home, he decides to turn his house into a giant balloon and fly off, searching for this fabled land. But he didn’t count on finding Russell, a young boy scout, on his porch.
The premise of this story is simple – a lot simpler than Wall-E. Wall-E predominantly was a critique to society, and in doing so it was automatically pretty heavy. UP, while maintaining a firm message to its audience, is a lot lighter in its execution and really does make you feel good – no buts attached. UP also tends to get a bit silly, but it’s expectable right off the bat. That means that, as opposed to Wall-E, UP is a tad more coherent in its own story. Which doesn’t mean it’s better or worse – it’s just different.
Small Mailman Returns
As per usual with Pixar, UP is a stunningly beautiful movie. What I like is that the style is different from everything they’ve done before (as always). UP is also a lot more colourful than we’re used to: the balloons are bright, the jungle and its inhabitants are cheerful… Even if the premise of the movie (loving a lost one and letting go) is dramatic, the execution has laughs and cheers written all over it.
I guess that’s a bit of the magic I like in Pixar movies (or anything I tend to like): it’s a not-so-new concept that was executed in a (for that concept) strange style. We’ve seen these kinds of stories before; just not in this kind of execution.
I always wonder what makes a Pixar film appeal to me the way they do. I mean: I like animation as a medium, but the older I get, the less I like. Pixar’s always been high on the list and I think that’s in part because they try to reinvent the wheel a tiny bit everyt time they bring something out. With Wall-E, I was amazed how un-Ratatouille it was. And now, with UP, the same thing struck me again: I still had Wall-E in my head, and withing ten minutes, they made me forget that movie completely. Obviously, I’ve been comparing to Wall-E in this review – but while I was watching, I never made the comparison.
UP sucks you in from the first scene onwards. Of course, you might think that this stuff is for kids and not like it. Maybe you just won’t like it either way. But for me, this movie opened my eyes yet again, and showed me that this is the kind of stuff I want to do: I want to fill a theatre with adults, grown-ups with boring jobs, and make them all feel eight years old again.