Manuel Betancourt

Up, or How Pixar remains my all-time fave studio

May 30, 2009 · in Uncategorized

Directed by: Pete Docter.
Written by: Pete Docter & Bob Peterson.
Voices by: Ed Asner, Jordan Nagai, Christopher Plummer & Bob Peterson.
Question: How do you know you’re watching a Pixar film?
Answer: When you find yourself describing a premise/plot that seems at once hilariously original and one which you find increasingly harder to figure out how they pulled off.
This is, after all the studio that gave us a story about monsters who need children’s screams to power their city, a film about a vermin turned chef, an epic story about a Woody Allen-esque waste allocating robot in love and… well, you get the idea. Up – the tenth installment in the Pixar oeuvre, steers not very far away from this as it follows a cantankerous widower old man who decides to fly away to Paradise Falls (in South America: “It’s like America, only South!”) in the house he shared with his late wife with the aid of thousands of balloons. Little does he know that Russell, an eager wilderness explorer was hiding in his porch when the house took off; or that his trip to Paradise Falls will turn into the greatest adventure of his life since his lovely marriage to Ellie. And that becomes the message of the film: you don’t need to leave your house to have an adventure. An adventure can be found in the small moments you share with those you love. Good thing the message is wrapped up in a wildly exhilarating balloon ride with great chase sequences, filled with exotic creatures, amazing vistas and more than one tear-jerking scene (can we just say that all montages should look like those presented in Up?). This is indeed a great addition to the Pixar pantheon, adding what’s possibly their most complex and mature character to date in the role of Mr Fredricksen: whose squareness (figurative and physical) allows for some cleverly nuanced dramatic moments but also allows for some quirky comedic scenes as well. Adding to my gushing: Giacchino’s score and the vibrant colours that populate every frame (I wanted to freeze (and) frame so many shots!). A