We then speed ahead to the present where Carl Frederickson, still grieving the loss of his darling wife Ellie, has blossomed into a first class lovable curmudgeon. A former balloon salesman specializing in making things take flight, Frederickson chooses to adorn his rooftop with a bundle of helium floaters and take off into the sky to avoid a bleak nursing home fate. Having promised his wife in childhood to take her to South America, he decides this new adventure is the perfect opportunity to plant the house on the spot they had discussed for their whole lives (one involving the legend of an old-time adventurer who recurs in truly strange ways). Along the way, he accidentally picks up a boy scout named Russell, who nobly attempts to earn his “helping the elderly” badge. Together they somehow end up on a totally enjoyable yet utterly incomprehensible South American adventure involving a renegade explorer, an endangered bird, and an army of dog soldiers. All the while having the floating house tied to their backs. Quite a feat.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
DVD Pick: Up
The latest from Disney’s unstoppable Pixar, Up, is by far one of its most exciting adventures. Not quite the meditative masterpiece that Wall-E was, the film is more story-driven and plumped with action. A few very welcome juvenile touches (talking dogs!) make it feel like kid fare but there are so many adult ripples that one wonders how much of this children would understand or appreciate. In classic Disney fashion, we open with a tragic death. And it is perhaps the truest and least candy-coated cartoon fatality. Neither animal, nor spectacle, it is a quiet and sophisticatedly rendered human death from natural causes.