Thursday, July 23, 2009

spolier alert

if you haven't seen the pixar movie UP and you plan to see it, stop reading now, and come back after you've seen it.

seriously, stop.

and if you did see it and really loved it, you might want to stop now, too.

(don't say i didn't warn you.)

here goes (i'm now going to ruin it for you):

as i see it, the summary of the movie goes something like this: people do crazy things in their grief and end up finding out things aren't as they have always seemed. (yeah, it's a children's movie.) like taking off flying in his house, for example, as mr. fredricksen does, propelled by a large bunch of helium balloons (curious george, anyone?). he doesn't land on a lightpost, though; instead, he flies his house to a waterfall in south america, where his dead wife had always dreamed of living. and where he meets his and his wife's lifelong idol, a world-famous explorer, who turns out to be the bad guy, trying to rob the wilderness of a mysterious bird, and, in the process, killing many rivals and attempting to off fredricksen.

disenchanted yet?

not to mention fredricksen's eight-year-old stowaway, russell, whose deadbeat dad he only hopes will show up for his wilderness explorer ceremony and whose mom apparently didn't even notice he was missing. (sure, fredricksen steps in for dear old dad--who actually doesn't show up--but a seventy-eight year-old widower neighbor for a father figure? hardly a happy ending.)

oh, and as for the bad guy, charles muntz, he was once upon a time a legit explorer, but he apparently fabricated a find, lost his reputation, was stripped of his credentials, and vowed never to return from south america until he had proven his innocence by capturing a living version of his mysterious bird. poor guy is still trying seventy-ish years later, now a curmudgeonly old hunter, who--forget the bird for a minute--gets no credit for having invented a collar that allows dogs to talk or for having trained said dogs to serve as not only guards and hunters but chefs, waiters, housekeepers, and pilots, among other things.

disillusionment galore.

yeah, it's a children's movie.

a rave review? hardly. but actually, i'd say the movie has got it right: grieving people (and i do speak with authority on this, though not on much else) do crazy things, things they'd never think of doing in their "right minds"; and grief does make people rethink what they've always known, what they've always trusted.

pretty instructive, for a children's movie. (not to mention that luke loved it--though he spent much of the time covering his ears and/or eyes and saying, "i wish this movie had never been made!"--and raved that it was great as we left the theater. no accounting for taste.)

but don't worry: i won't be staying up all night tying balloons to my roof.

(as for my recommendation: take your kids to see it, but just don't pay too close attention.)

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

I'm glad you were able to redeem it. For my part, I was sorely disappointed in Up! Oh, Pixar, I waited for this???