I went to see Pixar’s new release, “Up” at the cinema on Friday night. II appreciate that my friends in other parts of the world will have seen it months ago, because Pixar are apparently the only studio left who like treating England like second class citizens when it comes to release dates, but there’s nothing I can do about that.
Like all right thinking people, I love Pixar movies. In fact, I strongly suspect that people who do not love Pixar movies may in fact be less than human, and I think we should perhaps organise some kind of cull. It’s certainly a yardstick worth considering when we finally decide to do something about this planet’s overpopulation problem, anyway.
I was a little tentative about Up in that the trailer gave away very very little about it – there’s a kid and a grumpy old man, in a house suspended from helium balloons. It didn’t have the immediate accessibility of something like Toy Story, The Incredibles, or even Ratatouille, which had high concepts that were clear from even the short trailer. I didn’t have a lot of idea what to expect, and well, while I don’t think there Pixar have yet made a bad movie, they have definitely made movies that are less good than their usual standard. (From any other studio, Cars would have been a perfectly OK movie. It just didn’t clear Pixar’s usual bar, that’s all.) I had, however, heard good things about Up from people I trust. So I went in with an open mind and some hopes.
I was utterly blown away. I do not mind admitting that they had me shedding a few tears within the first ten minutes of that film, a feat they then repeated at intervals throughout. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a movie with such a perfectly judged level of sentiment – it remains steadily touching throughout without ever tipping over into mawkishness. The film is an absolute masterclass in how to tug on heartstrings, and have the audience thank you for it. And yes, it’s still as funny as all the other Pixar movies. I really don’t know when I’ve seen the subjects of love and grief handled with such a lightness of touch.
Serious candidate for the best film I’ve seen this year. I’d love to see get a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars, because if ever Pixar have produced a film that deserves to break out of the animation ghetto at the those awards, then this is it. Go and see it.