UP: Pixar hits another homer

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UP is a lovely, sweet, very funny movie. It made me throw my head back and laugh with my mouth wide open like a little kid, and plop big tears all over my shirt. Man, Pixar. Total genius. I cannot think of another company that makes such consistently well-constructed things. And it’s beautifully designed and animated. Well worth seeing it in a cinema- don’t wait to rent it on DVD- the swooping size of the big screen makes it a worthwhile cinema trip.

Avoid reading trailers & spoilers, if you can- there are lots of nice reveals in the movie that are much better experienced naively. I think it might actually be too scary for little kids, which surprised me; there’s some dark stuff. Really, the story turns on the central relationship between the little boy and the old man, which I think means it’s really a movie for people who think about aging, disguised as a kids’ movie.

Things to like: (no spoilers)

Character designs are awesome.

Voice performances are fanatastic, especially 9-year old newcomer Jordan Nagai as chubby boyscout Russell

Asian lead character!

No fart jokes. Pixar never needs to stoop that low. Compare and contrast to G-Force, the awful-looking Disney trailer that precedes UP, which has a fart joke AND a poo joke in a 2-minute trailer. If they couldn’t find two minutes of footage without a cheap joke, all I imagine is a movie that’s basically gonna be someone’s sweaty uncle with a keychain farting machine and some rubber turds.

Some nice reversals with characters turning out to be different than you expected.

Perfect set-up and payoff for pretty much every single plot point and joke.

Classically well-constructed movie. They should teach this in screenwriting classes, actually.

Funny, and sweet, and sad, and then funny again. So good.

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10 Responses to UP: Pixar hits another homer

  1. Leslie says:

    I cried like a leotardid idiot.
    We saw it in 3D at the AMC 24. Worth the extra $$

  2. alisonjutzi says:

    Oh my god, I really wish I had brought kleenex so I didn’t have to keep recycling the one napkin I had in my purse.

  3. carlyjay says:

    I cried like a bullied little girl. Seriously, I started crying about 10 minutes into the movie, and pretty much kept crying (with many a watery laugh in between) for the next hour and a half. Then, talking about my favourite parts after the film, I started crying again.

    The. Best.

  4. j.bone says:

    I am a man and I cried like one. It’s okay for men to cry.
    And thank you for pointing out the no fart jokes (there was a poo joke…think “shovel” :) When talking about the awesomeness of RATATOUILLE I always use the fact that a movie about food and rats didn’t burp, fart or poop EVER and were still able to find enough jokes to make me laugh! I look at it as a sign of weakness that the other studios mine the bottom with such regularity (and, yes, I just made a couple of bum jokes in that sentence…I never said I wasn’t weak).

    I love the kid! His slight lisp, and earnestness were just perfection!

    I didn’t see it in 3-D but I got a pair of the glasses from the AMC because they look like Carl’s big ol’ clunky glasses.

    Did you notice that Carl is pretty much built on squares? His hands were awesomeness! Big blocky mitts! Good contrast with the round little kid.

    hugs,
    j.

  5. stamperoo says:

    J, I cannot for the life of me remember the poo-shovel joke. When in the flick was it? I wonder if that’s Pixar’s first ever poo joke?

    I loved the squares on Carl! The shape-echoes between his chin, glasses, hands, belt, and torso were very aesthetically pleasing, and the fact that Russell had no neck and was all ovals like a little egg made him totally adorable. Russell was modelled on a Pixar animator named Peter Sohn- pic here.

  6. j.bone says:

    The little boy has to go to the bathroom and heads off into the woods with his shovel saying “I’ve always wanted to try this.”
    He yells to the old man should he shovel the hole before or after? Oh. Before. And then he’s shown patting down a pile of dirt. Now, we could argue that he buried his tinkle but I think we both know that when you wee-wee in the woods you don’t have to bury anything. He’s burying poop.

    Which I have no problem with because Pixar didn’t animate the poop, they didn’t have flies buzzing around the pile of dirt or a green cloud. They didn’t do anything vulgar with the joke. It’s just a funny little aside that’s really more about Carl trying to be patient with the kid and not really doing all that good a job.

    poop.

  7. stamperoo says:

    Oh yeah, I forgot that one. RIght, though, it’s delicately handled. That’s like a euphemistic Seinfeld way to talk about poop, by only showing a shovel. Tasteful, in so much as a poo joke can be tasteful. Maybe I’ll stop saying poo and taste in the same sentence.

    Man that moment made me howl. That kid pooped super fast. He’s a super, pooper, lights are gonna blind you.

  8. j.bone says:

    Oh yeah…in Bug’s Life a crowd of flies at the circus order the poo-poo platter. That might be Pixar’s first poo joke.

    hugs.

  9. stamperoo says:

    Jason Bone, people. Resident Pixar Poo expert. He can usually be reached in the washroom, where he screens selections from his high-quality 3-D animated movie library on his laptop.

  10. j.bone says:

    I never realized I was such a Pixar nerd until now!

    :)

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