Friday, June 5, 2009

Today's Kool Idea: Disney Pixar Movie 'Up'

Here in Florida, we have been experiencing consistent afternoon thunderstorms for the past couple of weeks, wreaking havoc on otherwise perfect temperatures for swimming...yep, it's summer all right. It's not easy keeping kids entertained in lousy weather, especially when you are trying to conserve costs in today's economy. After hours of playing family games, dancing to music and baking brownies, we decided to bite the bullet and splurge for a family outing at the movies. You guessed it...we took our children to see the new Disney Pixar movie Up.

The Daily Kool is a huge fan of Pixar, though no one in our family can ever agree on which is the absolute best of their movies...yes, they're all that good. Up is another brilliantly artistic film that certainly lives up to Pixar's reputation. Pixar has, without a doubt, found the secret formula for success, creating near masterpieces that encompass the perfect blend of heart and humor in a way that caters to children and adults alike.

The story of Up opens with the introduction of a young Carl Fredricksen who meets his soul mate (Ellie) and shares his love for exciting tales of adventure. Pixar sends us on Carl and Ellie's life journey in a wordless montage that is stunning and heartbreaking in its elegant reflection of love, joy and tragedy. Carl and Ellie dream of exploration to South America's Paradise Falls but, as often is the case, life gets in the way of their plans. After Ellie passes away and Carl finds himself a lonely widower, he pays tribute to her by tying hundreds of balloons to their little house to finally fulfill his lifelong dream of adventure. But, after discovering an eight-year old stowaway named Russell, the unlikely pair soon find themselves on a hilarious journey filled with danger and surprises.

As one critic aptly described, Up is "more about ideas and themes rather than action," and deals with adult ideas in a way that is acceptable to children, with an endearing depiction of how disappointment can sometimes reveal hidden opportunities for happiness. Admittedly, our kids could have done without the heaviness of the first third of the movie...however, as adults, we appreciated the insight provided by Pixar's carefully thought out character development. Plus, the Pixar team more than makes it up to the children with the always moving and optimistic Boy Scout wonder Russell, a whimsical and magical female bird named Kevin and the delightful talking dog Dug, who clearly stole the show for our little ones.

Up was absolutely worth the indulgence for our family. Though the rich color and lovely effects of the movie were no doubt enhanced in the 3-D version, a truly spectacular movie such as Up does not lose a thing on the regular screen. In fact, we suspect that the latest obsession Disney has with making their movies 3-D is more of a marketing ploy to justify a higher ticket price...3-D doesn't tell the story which is the backbone of any quality film. Up tells a wonderful tale, regardless of the number of dimensions used and is a definite "must see" for every family. Just remember that
Up is rated PG for some peril and mild violence when taking very small children...our four year old found his way onto our laps for comfort toward the end). Dug, with his direct expression of doggie thoughts ("I just met you and I love you"), is worth the price of admission alone. Squirrel!

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1 comment:

  1. Aw! I really want to see this cute movie. Thanks for the fab review. Now if I can just convince my boyfriend to sit next to me for it... ;)