dir: Peter Docter
Yes, so Pixar have yet another film out. Hooray. And it’s the usual synthesis of state of the art computer animation and interesting story telling with decent characters.
You know what? They’re spoiling us, and we don’t appreciate their stuff anymore.
Like a kid you give new toys to every other day, at first they might be appreciative and surprised, independently of how great they are. Eventually this feel of being entitled and owed kicks in, and new baubles and trinkets are greeted mostly with a shrug.
It’s shameful to admit that I often feel that way with each new Pixar release. With only one exception that I can really think of, each of their flicks has given me great pleasure, especially with repeat viewings. And, as anyone with kids will tell you, a solid kid’s flick is one you can play for the millionth time without wanting to frisbee that copy of Finding Nemo into the stratosphere.
Pixar do have the touch, despite now being a fully fledged vassal state of the Disney empire. The quality of their flicks and their storytelling has not yet diminished.
Last year’s Pixar entry, being the tremendous WALL-E, I liked upon first viewing, and downright adore after the tenth or so. Sure, my kid might wander away after half an hour or so, but each time I get to see it, I marvel at the whole wordless opening, and the ability of the makers to give such an incredible amount of soulfulness to a little robot.
I’ve only watched Up once thus far, so I can’t say where in the Pixar pantheon it’s likely to reside, but mostly what I feel to this point is relief. Sweet, sweet relief. It’s as good as their usual stories, still light years ahead of the Ice Age and Shrek-like crap being pumped out by Dreamworks, still pushing the envelope of computer-led animation, and yet still holding onto to those quiet moments that elevate their stuff above most live action stuff with allegedly real people in the lead roles.
A little boy watches a newsreel way back in the day, back in, I dunno, the 40s? The 30s? He is besotted with the news stories about intrepid explorer Charles Muntz, who intrepidly travels around the world, delighting children with tales of derring-do and adventure. His ginormous airship, the aptly named Spirit of Adventure, being more than a phallic overcompensation, inspires children with their own dreams of travelling to South America and seeing the great sights and creatures the world has to offer.