Up. The new Pixar film. Or should I say the new Disney Pixar film. In 3D.
I’m not sure when I first heard about it, but it feels like I’ve been waiting a long long time to see Up. Finally, months after it was released in the US and months before it will be released in the UK, we got to see Up, in 3D, in NZ.
I’m not going to write a terribly long review – you either love Pixar films or you don’t, and this is a Pixar film. And it’s a goodie. The animation is simply brilliant. Very pretty scenes and a notice-ably nice soundscape.
The story revolves around Carl, a grumpy old curmudgeon who terrifies the neighbourhood kids. Turns out Carl is a heart-broken romantic. The scenes where Carl’s past are revealed are quite touching and I wasn’t the only one with a tear in my eye (I went to see Up with Mike. Just Mike, noone else). Younger viewers might be more drawn to the bumbling enthusiastic wilderness explorer, Russell. He becomes the unwilling passenger on Carl’s house when he unleashes the balloons to leave society behind.
This might not be the best plot description, but if you want to know what happens you’ll go see the movie! Up is a straight-out adventure movie. It’s about people who want to explore, and what happens when life gets in the way. Maybe I loved it so much because I still want to be an explorer – somewhere deep inside most of us, I think, there still is a little kid who wants to float in a balloon to the Amazon and be chased by baddies and find treasure and talking dogs…
Oh yes, there are talking animals. Mike would say/tease that my sister is bound to love it because it has talking animals (not strictly true – she also likes Harry Potter and Twilight. And yes, she is almost 30!). But seriously, how can you not love Dug, the talking dog and my personal hero?
“I have just met you and I love you!”
Moving on… 3D. I have an issue with 3D. (I’m not the only one.) Yes, it’s better than old school 3D, but I still can’t help but be drawn out of the film because of it. Beowulf, Coraline, the latest Harry Potter (first 15 minutes of it at least)… they were all great films, but I struggled to watch them. My eyes get sore and tired, and if you’re not sitting in the ‘sweet spot’ (right in the middle I guess), you can get strange edges around the image. It’s distracting. I go see films for the spectacle, sure, but primarily to be drawn in and escape into another world for 2 hours. 3D draws me out again. It cheats me of my escape.
At least, it always has done before. Even Coraline, which I was so determined to love, didn’t perfect the 3D technique. But, and this is a big ‘BUT’, I think Up has done it. There was nothing gimmicky – no spears thrown at you, naked men hiding behind a banquet table, no wizards on brooms flying across the Thames (although that did look pretty cool), it’s just Pixar animation… as if you were there. Strangely the computer animated graphics from Pixar looked more 3-dimensional than Henry Selick’s clay-mation/stop-motion. Up’s 3D drew you further into the film. And that’s something I didn’t think 3D could do. I take back anything bad I’ve said about it before: 3D can be done well, and done in a way which enhances the film experience. Fullstop. (Well, maybe a ‘comma’. I should add, that it isn’t always done that well.)
Enough said. Up is usual Pixar genius. If you like Wall*E, The Incredibles, Toy Story and Finding Nemo, you’ll almost certainly like Up. If you’re not too sure about 3D, give it a go. The 3D is the best I’ve seen so far and it may convince you too.