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Up with Up

Yes, that was a lazy title, but if you don't like it, write your own. Pixar continues to create quality productions that reinforce the fact that if you don't have an engaging story and characters to care for then you ain't got nothing--hear that George Lucas? There are probably three million sites to check out a synopsis for the movie so I'll skip it. I will rather touch on a couple of thematic elements found in this "cartoon." 1) Dreams deferred and readjusted. Carl, the elderly main character, (Kudos to Pixar for showing that the elderly can carry a "children's" movie) has to come to grips with the fact that his dreams of adventure, with his wife Ellie, did occur, just not in the way he had expected. Perhaps this is better thought of as contentment, especially in such an age as ours. The other main character, Russell, a quasi-Boy Scout (he's a Wilderness Explorer) comments that the things he remembers most about spending time with his absent father are "the boring things." Quotidian details add up to a life well-spent. 2) The importance of friendship. After Carl's wife dies, he becomes a cantankerous crank, committed to his house (against the purchasing designs of some corporation) but nothing else. Having Russell, involuntarily, join him in his quest to visit Paradise Falls in South America. They both come to rely on each other, Russell becomes for Carl someone to care for (Kevin, the bird does too), and Carl becomes a patron (in the old sense) for Russell.
Not only can Pixar deliver a great story, but they continue to amaze with their visuals. It isn't the flashy stuff that attracts, it's the tiny details--the pattern and texture of fabric, the stubble on Carl's chin--that complete the viewing experience.
Lastly, I have to comment that when we first meet Alpha the dog and his thought translator is on the wrong setting, my wife and I couldn't breathe from laughing so hard. The scene proves that incongruity is a key to comedy. My children found the scene funny, but nowhere near the level of hilarity as the adults. Maybe for you too?


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