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“Up” Tackles Issues of Life, Death, and Fufillment With Animated Majesty

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The definition of majesty (according to my Mac dictionary) is this: 1. impressive stateliness, dignity, or beauty. Without knowing the specific definition of the word, my use of “majesty” to describe Pixar’s latest installment Up couldn’t have been a better choice (besides scrumtrulescent). My enjoyment of the film should be fairly self-evident, but what may not be is the lengths to which Up displayed supreme artistry and storytelling throughout. Helmed by first time director, but former Pixar writer, Pete Docter, Up may not serve as a typical example of Pixar’s silver screen magic formula. Going into the movie, I had little knowledge of the story and its characters beyond the few scenes I had seen in the trailers/teasers. Walking out of the movie, I was surprised to discover how little actually transpired over the hour and a half adventure epic. However, so much occurred on an emotional level, that it’s hard to say that it wasn’t as big of an adventure as Finding Nemo or Wall-e.

For Up, the simplicity of a few simple childhood memories wrapped in the heartbreak of the loss of a loved one is enough to sustain a wealth of classic Disney moments. Ten foot tall rainbow colored birds, talking dogs, and flying houses are all concepts that immediately scream unbridled adolescent imagination. While watching the imagination unfold, I was constantly remembering my own childhood fantasies and accepting Up‘s musings as my own. And this is why the film is being considered a masterpiece. Like many Pixar movies before it, but perhaps not as perfectly executed until now, the concept of a movie with a strong emotional core and vibrant, exciting visuals need only be inspired by something as simple of an idea that almost everyone has had at one time in their life, in this case: what if I could enjoy the comfort of my own house in some place exotic I’ve always dreamed about. A reverse staycation if you will. From this single idea are hundreds of other brilliant ones that blend together to form a seamless, wonderful movie-going experience that caters to all ages and leaves none behind.

The brilliance of the movie can be considered quite simply by the title itself. Up. Somehow, the geniuses at Pixar have managed to sell us on two letters. Unsurprisingly, everyone will buy it. “Up” is the hope that tomorrow will be better than today. “Up” is the limitless potential that all people see when they look to the skies, whether it be heaven, the stars, or both. It’s so simple and inherently human that it would seem impossible to screw up. But Up is evidence that an animated old man, fat boy, giant bird, and talking dog who become best friends is just as successful at making you feel something for a group of characters you’ve never met in a world you’ve never been to as the next drawn out, deathly depressing indie film. Kudos to you, Pixar, on this front. After all that’s said and done, the various layers of a typical Disney movie masterpiece are here. A moving score (Giacchino is officially KILLING IT this summer), awe-inspiring visuals, and characters that will no doubt stand the test of time. These elements all combine to elevate Up to higher levels of enjoyment. Man, it’s hard to write a review of a Pixar movie that doesn’t sound so damn redundant!

The fact of the matter is this: you’d be a fool to pass up the adventure that lies within Up. Regardless of your age group, gender, or ethnicity, you will be hardpressed to see the movie and not be captivated on some level, if not multiple levels. This is the ultimate summer movie: easy on the eyes and mind, an exciting chance to escape work and the recession, and more than enough heart to immediately win over 500 people from all walks of life, one theater at a time.

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6 Responses to ““Up” Tackles Issues of Life, Death, and Fufillment With Animated Majesty”

  1. Jackie Pennetta Says:

    This is a great review. I have been wanting to see this movie and after reading about the brilliant storytelling that is demonstrated I now feel that I need to see it.

  2. landry Says:

    Beautiful! I thought I might have been the only grown-up who cried. Thank you for your thoughtful review.

  3. Haiku Review: ‘District 9′ « Lifting Fog Says:

    […] * Albeit imperfect (more on that sometime soon) Up was the best movie of the summer. […]

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    […] back in 2009 I said, when it might have been a timely claim, that Up was the best movie of the summer. This was before I caught Inglourious Basterds, which turned out […]

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