Pixar has sets its niche as animation studio that produces not only an entertaining animated film, in a way that only animation films could achieve, i.e. with fantastical landscapes and physics-defying kinetic interactions, but also animated film with a weighed factor in the story that made it matters, relevant, and appeals to both the children and adults alike. However, with the introduction of more sophisticated theme, sometimes they also sacrifices the need to entertain the children, in which how the *traditional* view saw animation films. Case in point, “Wall-E”, I named this film as one of the best film in the year 2008. However, some people say that it was too complicated and too sophisticated for children. Urm, that is, of course, if you feels that animation films was intended for children in the first place which given the current trend, it’s an old-fashioned traditional views that should be left behind somewhere in time.
“Up” is a different beast than “Wall-E,” if you want to make that comparison. It’s central theme was boy adventure. A solid adventure film that mixes drama, comedy, and action into one satisfying film. I was thoroughly entertained, and even some of the scenes were much simplified in order to appeal for the younger audiences, I also found some substance, some nuance, and probably, some odd-reflection of the human’s basic ego, and not to mention, pride. And who, if I may ask, in their right mind, dares not to admit that the opening scenes were emotional, or at the very least, sweet?
Other than that awesome prologue, the film goes to a routine. A boy, Russell, got tangled with Carl, who aims to go to South America with his house flown with numerous helium balloons (this article shows that such feat is actually possible). Once they had arrived at Carl’s destined place, some talking animals, an exotic bird, and a super-villain made their respective appearances, and the film puts its routine to place, respecting every rules written in Movie Making 101.
During this time, I had welcomed the non-sensical, animated sequences like an old friend who had come to a visit for a coffee and laughs. I enjoyed the chasing scenes, the Alpha dog (you’ll get it when you see it), laughing at the right time, but never cringed like I usually does when presented with a forced humor, or repeated ones (the Alpha dog treacherously tread the brink of it). The best scene during this part of the film was when Carl was given the choice and eventually succumb to his ego and pride. I was wowed, because had I been in Carl’s place, I would do exactly what he did in the film which shown that given the right amount of pressure (just a little bit under one’s emotional threshold), one would often relegates to his own selfishness which is so human and that’s why I was wowed, because in this scene alone Carl shows the imperfectness of human, not the usual image of Hero as often presented by fictional works.
My rating: *** / **** Love the prologue, even if after that, the film goes to a routine. It’s simple and subtle message would appeals to many, and its animated sequences, bright colors would surely generate laughs from just about everyone (unless, of course, you’re cursed to not know what laughs really are) but for my money, it fells a bit short than Pixar’s previous “Wall-E.”