Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I took the boys to see this film yesterday, not sure what to expect, but I promise, I won't doubt the Lamp again. I wondered what they'd do with a bunch of automobiles. I wondered how they'd make a story about a rat and food interesting. And I wondered about this one. What could be so good about a crotchety old man who floats his house with helium balloons? I wondered if the previews might show the best parts of the movie.

(I hope that my comments don't spoil any plot bits for anyone who might be reading...then again, what am I worrying about? That would only be an issue if I had readers...)

As usual, my wondering was off base. The folks at Pixar have told a touching story about these characters without hitting you over the head with any of the sentimental stuff. I was touched by the opening sequence where Carl meets Ellie, grows up and finally grows old with her, then loses her, and the loss becomes such a huge hole in his life, a hole that he doesn't want to fill.

But he's forced to fill it, unwillingly, as Russell, the Wilderness Explorer Scout, is carried along for Carl's adventure. Even the big colorful bird (improbably tagged "Kevin" by Russell) and the floppy eared, loyal pooch named Doug help to fill it. In the end, this is a movie about having a family, and Carl finally gets a sort of family to help fill in that big hole that Ellie's loss left him with. I could go into more depth about the ways that this theme is developed, but that isn't really my purpose here. I'm not big into deep analysis.

Suffice it to say that this was a success, and may be the Lamp's best to date.

The short film that preceded the feature was called PARTLY CLOUDY, and it fit right in with UP thematically. My boys love these little shorts; they have the funniest bits of, say, Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner with the emotion of a Disney short subject. This one was a worthy addition to the collection of Pixar shorts.

A big thumbs up for UP!

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