Disney's Up

2009-10-09 | |

Disney-Pixar are always releasing films that seem like good ideas. They always end up being overhyped, and overdressed, and really lack anything meaningful or awe-inspiring. They're just cash cows, hoovering up the metaphorical cud from the pockets of many a soccer-mom. The latest release to go through the whole phase of being Pixar'd is titled, quite simply, Up.

Up opens with the usual Pixar short. This time, it's titled Partly Cloudy. It's a silent short, much like the little old man short that appeared before Toy Story; it even had the same feel to it. The basis of it was just purely silly, to warm you up for the big feature. It was good, though. It deserves pride of place in the list of Pixar shorts, particularly for the animation of the baby Ram, which was so cute even I went "N'awwww!" Frankly, if this were a film, I'd have paid to see it.

Now onto the main feature! What can I say about it? It's the usual Pixar film. It opened in a way that actually hooked me. I wanted to know more about Carl Fredricksen; I wanted to know more about his desires, his losses; what made him tick. But, it suffered from far too many a Pixar cliché:

  • Love at first sight

  • Deranged villain with no real motives

  • Comedy sidekick who's only funny because he's tubby and possibly a bit retarded.

  • Too many little things to pick up on.

  • I think they're self-explanatory clichés. The first one is an industry standard, so I'll let it fly. The second one...well...the villian is this film's Stinky Pete; a curmudgeonly geezer with no real reason for anything. It doesn't ruin the film...it's just been done before. Where's the character depth (like the evil HAL-esque autopilot in Wall-E!). The third...well...Russell is Ham the Pig meets Rex. In fact, I think Up could have been told by using Ham, Rex and Slinky...and it would still have worked.

    As for the little things. They're things that annoy me, but, when I catch them, they please me. There is a small picture in the 'Adventure Book' of Carl's deceased wife, as a child, with the words "I found a pigeon. He's called Herbert" (or something like that). You don't necessarily spot it unless you're looking for things. I suppose I'm being picky.

    The storyline could have been a little bit more (or perhaps less) developed. In short: Old man promises his wife he'll take the house to Paradise Valley; Old man takes house to Paradise Valley; Old man has adventure versus a villainous poacher. Honestly, I would have been happier if the story had ended when he got to Paradise Valley, but, if the adventure to get there had been more 'James and the Giant Peach' and less 'Honey, I Shrunk the Kids'.

    In all honesty: there was a lot of hype around this film. There have been people who have loved it; others who have slated it. What you have to remember when going into this film is: "It's for kids". Sure, Disney make films for all audiences, and there are no doubt references that adults will chuckle at more than the children will, but, on the whole, it's a kids' film, and for that, it comes out top so far.

    Overall: 7/10 - Yes, it's cliché; yes, the storyline is a bit garbled; but I honestly think this classes up there with the likes of Wall-E, Ratatouille, A Bug's Life and Toy Story in the "Top 5 Pixar Films".

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