Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Down? See UP

~~If you haven't seen Pixar's latest movie, UP, you need to. It's the perfect animated movie--beautiful visual images, wonderful story, and lovable characters. UP is the best I've ever seen and though I really liked last year's WALL*E, I found UP to be much sweeter and multifaceted. Finally the promise of computer generated animation has been achieved. UP combines the color saturation of the old glass plates with the intense detail of computer animation. Some of the best visuals range from stained-glass colorful to the effective use of gray tones. Check out the rainbow light that glows through the balloons that float the house on its long journey to South American or the equally detailed grays of the old news reel that inspired the trip. It would be worth the price of admission just to see these images, but add one of the best, most nuanced stories you'll ever see, and you have the best animated movie ever.

~~UP is the story of elderly widower, Carl Fredrickson, who is trying desperately to cling to his memories of his beloved wife, Ellie, the home they built, and the dream of their long-planned trip to South America. Into Carl's life come developers who want his land and house and Russell, a Wilderness Explorer Scout. Russell helps Carl find both new purpose and love in life. Along the way, Carl shows Russell the meaning of true love and fathering. UP's greatest strength is the multiple themes that subtly reinforces and reflect each other. they include:
*Don't give up on your dreams.
*You're never too old for adventure.
*Keep your promises.
*Help others.
*You don't have to be a parent to take care of a child.
*Friends come in all shapes, sizes, and ages.

~~Dog lovers take note--you will be thrilled with the helpful and endearing Dug. Enjoy the many "doggie-isms" that play out--from the distraction of "squirrel" and "ball" to loyalty and sheer doggedness. Play fetch with a lovable pooch and you will find out just how sloppery a tennis ball can get. ; )

~~Pixar and Disney have offered us a wonderful gift in UP, but didn't stop there. the main feature is bracketed by a wonderful short feature that answers the follow-up question children are sure to ask after being told that storks bring babies--"But where do the storks get the babies from?" You'll never look at clouds the same way again. ; ) And don't neglect the credits either. Each of the usual categories--production, sound, music--is illustrated to perfection. Sit tight and enjoy.

~~All in all, UP is a wonderful way to spend a summer afternoon or evening. There's a story line or theme for everyone. So take the time and allow UP to give you a lift. And enjoy the shade while you do.