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I’m not down with Pixar’s UP

June 10, 2009

Review by keito

three out of five giant movie sodas

Words I would use to describe Pixar: imaginative, talented, wonderful, funny, the best.

Words I would use to describe Disney/Pixar’s Up: scary, sad, dark and depressing.

With all the hype, I was expecting to be blown away by Up, and instead I left the theater feeling both disappointed and a little downtrodden.  I was surprised by how scary the animated feature could be, not to mention sad, since the movie is about an old man learning to let go of his old life with his deceased wife and move on.  On the other hand, this film is probably the most sentimental a Disney feature has ever been about the death of a female character, who are famous for getting knocked off quickly and with little afterthought by the film’s characters, but still earn plenty of tears by younger viewers (oh Bambi’s mom, will we ever get over you?!).

I was not entirely comfortable with Up’s depiction of a Doberman pincher and bull dogs as bad guys, dogs falling off of cliffs, and (spoiler alert!) a child essentially being executed by the central villain.  That wasn’t the only shady lesson; (spoiler alert again!) Carl is responsible for said villain’s death (in self-defense, of course), and then keeps his stuff!  Couldn’t he have just defeated him, tied him up and brought him to a police station?

There are a lot of nice points, lovely animation, and a few good jokes (especially if you’ve ever had a dog who suffered the indignity of “the cone of shame”).  Dug (the best part of the movie) and Russell are also cute diversions, but a lot of the points of conflict in Up seem contrived.

Overall, I enjoyed Partly Cloudy, the short feature shown beforehand, way more than I did Up.  I couldn’t help but wonder if the story of a sad, grouchy widower wanting to take his house to South America would have been better as a short as well.


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