Saturday, 24 October 2009
If you know me then you know I love Pixar. They're the most consistent film makers on the planet and have put only one film that can be seen as not being of the up most quality (seriously what were you thinking with Cars and why are you making a Cars 2?) These are the guys that gave us Toy Story 1 + 2, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles and Wall-E. So how does Up compare? Does it soar or does it slowly deflate in the corner?
Well there's only one possible answer to that question. It soars. It soars so amazingly high it's in trouble of popping due to proximity to that big ball of gas we call the sun.
I will admit to having some problems with Up when I saw the first teaser trailer. I mean seriously a old guy who attaches balloons to his house and goes on a trip? It just doesn't sound like a compelling movie. However that's the magic of Pixar, they take things you don't think will work and make them work so well. They made a movie about a trash collecting robot wherein for the first half of the movie there's no dialogue work beautifully in what was one of my favourite movies of last year and they do the same here.
The basic plot to Up is that Carl Fredricksen as a boy is obsessed with adventure and falls in love with a girl with very similar passions. They marry and grow old together and try to raise money for a trip to South America however sadly his wife dies before he gets the chance (this all told in one of the most gorgeous and sentimental sequences ever put to film). After this Carl grows old and disillusioned with life and is eventually evicted from his house (involving on of the more shocking and mature scenes Pixar have ever made) however he decides to attach balloons to his house and go on the journey he promised his wife in South America. In doing this he also kidnaps a small scout named Russel, accidentally of course
I'm not going to spoil any more because honestly that's already the first half hour of the movie and all I really went in knowing. What follows is one of the funniest, heartwarming, exhilarating and moving movies I've seen in a long time. Pixar just get how to make a brilliant and layered movie. Plus they don't mess kids around. They know that they can deal with issues such as death and divorce and things like that. They don't treat them like children, they just give them something fundamentally enjoyable to watch and it's why Pixar are the masters of animated films, just like their parent company Disney were in the 20th century.
Up is just a film that needs to be experienced. On almost every level it's perfect. It looks stunning, the voice actors are all brilliant, the story is superbly told, it's hilarious and dramatic at the same time and is just one of the most stunning film packages to come to film in a long time. Whilst it might not be as utterly superb and brilliant as last years Wall-E it's still an absolutely incredible film and one I would recommend to anyone. As long as you aren't some sort of misanthropic manic depressive who has no heart to them whatsoever.
Pixar just make brilliant films. I really don't want to spoil any of it for you if you haven't seen it and I honestly have no complaints at all. The interplay between Carl and Russel is absolutely superb ranging from touching to funny on the go. In fact Russel steals pretty much any scene he's in due to the way that he plays off of other characters (in particular Kevin who in his first scene with Russel had me in stitches).
Pixar have made yet another sublime film here, one that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. If you've enjoyed any of their previous films or just enjoy good cinema then you owe it to yourself to go and see this film. I promise you'll come out of it feeling a lot better for it.
*Just as a note The Wrestler is still my favourite film of the year despite the slightly lower score