I don’t know how those Pixar folk do it, but it seems that every film is better than the last. I would be hard-pressed to choose a favorite, particularly as the list continues to grow and the breadth of topics covered widens.
Last summer’s WALL-E was a revelation, as they explored communication in near-silence and humanity in an automated society. In UP, the theme is Adventure- and the discovery that our greatest adventures are found in connections as much as locations. It was lovely to get to the end of a film and realize that I had laughed aloud, teared up a bit, gone on a journey to another world, and yet never experienced sensory overload.
We opted for the non-3D version, but I don’t know that it would have changed much. The scenery (as always) looked almost real. At one point a chase results in several characters falling into a river. The animators seemed to have improved even on the amazing work done on Finding Nemo. The characters were more stylized… the people were reminiscent of those in The Incredibles. The animals were almost like Aardman critters, but without the odd teeth.
Ed Asner’s performance as Carl was touching- probably the most endearing cranky old guy to grace the screen in years. It was also nice to have a fairly realistic child character… a little whining, a little wisecracking, a little babbling, and a good mix of fear and bravery. The number of cultural references (a staple of animated films like Shrek) was so low that I couldn’t even think of one… a testimony to the creativity of the writers and actors.
This film is definitely worth the price of admission, and I suspect that it will stand up to repeat DVD viewing.