Going to see UP? Bring tissues.
By Maria Young on June 04, 2009
BlogHer Original Post
Up is the number one movie in America, by far, bringing in $68 million in it's first weekend alone. When I took my daughters to see it (the first time) I was expecting just another entertaining, lighthearted, there's-a-lesson-in-there-too, colorful and beautiful to look at Pixar film. I mean, there's a floating house, talking dogs, an adorably chubby little boy and an equally adorable elderly man, the Disney equivalent to Clint Eastwood's character in Gran Torino (minus the racism). I'm a huge Pixar fan, loving just about everything they've produced so far besides Cars, which I just don't get the hype about, and I knew from the previews that Up would be no different, but I had no idea that I'd be sitting there fighting back tears for the the first 1/2 an hour and biting my lip intermittently throughout the entire thing.
I can't remember the last time a movie took me on such an emotional roller coaster and I'm a tad bit ashamed that it was a children's film that did it. I was happy, sad, amused, encouraged, angered and almost every other emotion in between and I must admit that Marinka, from Motherhood in NYC was spot on when she said that kids movies are emotionally manipulative - this one especially was, but not necessarily in a bad way.
Something I've always loved about Pixar movies is that they deal with situations and show life realistically, no matter how fantastical the story. They produce films that you have to talk to your children about, that foster thought and discussion and embrace many different situations. There was Nemo, his disability and his single father in Finding Nemo. In The Incredibles there were Dash and Violet who were struggling with their issues at school and bickering parents. In Up we met Russell, the adorable little scout that accidentally accompanies Carl on his journey to Paradise Falls who dealing with a lot of pain stemming from his parent's divorce. and his father's subsequent absence in his life. As someone newly divorced it pulled on the wrong strings for me, but I was appreciative of the fact that instead of making him just another child from another perfect family they made him someone my daughter's in particular could relate to.
I adored the movie. It celebrates life and love and adventure. There was one thing in particular about the film, a piece of the silent vignette spanning the relationship of Carl (who's seen during the previews as the crotchety old man) and his love Ellie that made me go 'huh? in a kid's movie? who approved that?!' but it went over my children's heads as I'm sure it did most kids'. I wish we had been able to see more of Ellie because wow, was she kick ass! She was strong and adorable and funny and fearless and everything that a leading character should be, except maybe a male or a friggin' princess, but that's another post for another day. I'm almost sad that her character was wasted in this because she could have easily been the star of her own movie.
I think most people would like Up, whether they are parents or not. There's the universal underlying theme in it - to live life to it's fullest, and that it's never too late to make good on your promises and do what you always dreamed of.
(Oh, and see it in 3D. It's totally worth the extra few bucks.)
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