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Friday, June 19, A.D. 2009

Yesterday, I watched Pixar’s Up. Like everything that Pixar makes, Up is fantastic. I highly recommend that you see it.

The movie’s opening that establishes the background for the plot may be the most remarkable animated sequence ever made. It is simply beautiful—both technically and as a story. Indeed, the only complaint that I have about the movie is that the rest of the film cannot compete with the beginning.

I don’t know how Pixar attracted the people that it has, but they are an amazing bunch. I may often complain about our society’s mediocrity and decadence in other domains, but it is arguable that Pixar has made the last decade the golden age of animated film. I love Disney’s old classics, but they lack the delightful childlike playfulness combined with the depth and insight of films like The Incredibles, Ratatouille, WALL-E, and, now, Up.

Spoiler Alert!

I expect that everyone will appreciate the powerful opening and the convincing and endearing relationship between the old man, Carl Fredricksen, and the boy, Russell. However, I must add that I found the death of the movie’s villain, Charles F. Muntz, rather insightful. Note that the “dogfighters” parachute to safety after their planes are destroyed, but Muntz falls to his death. Up suggests, correctly, that sometimes the enemy cannot peacefully coexist with you. Until Muntz was destroyed or reformed, the birds of Paradise Falls would not be safe. We would all like to see redemption, but sometimes, the bad guy has to die. And so he did. Kudos to Pixar for not having him carted off in a crazy wagon, pantsless and delirious, in the manner of most silly cartoons. No, the obsessive explorer who threw away his life on a quest to salvage his pride plunged to his death in his quest for the fantastic bird. “Kevin” and her brood would thereafter live safely in their unspoilt paradise.

Posted by Joseph on Friday, June 19, Anno Domini 2009
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