Pixar's Up Reviewed in TIME

Time Magazine's Richard Corliss has the honor of being the first major film critic with a review of Pixar's Up. He gives it glowing praise, already proclaiming it the summer's best film. Sounds terrific, and I can't wait. Pete Docter's Monsters, Inc. was a real favorite of mine, and I expect Pixar's Rubber Soul Era to continue in earnest. Or are we now in the "Revolver Era?" Read the full review here.

Here's a clip:

With the love of his life gone, widower Carl (Ed Asner) might as well be dead. His grief has soured into guilt, which he walls up in a castle of cantankerousness. His day is a dull routine of dressing, hobbling with his cane to sit on the front porch and keeping his home just as it was when Ellie was there. It's really a mausoleum, and he is both caretaker and corpse. We never heard Carl say a word to Ellie while she was alive, but now he talks nonstop to his absent darling. She'd understand his bitterness; she might even forgive it.

Since this character study is also an action-adventure film, Carl has to go somewhere — Paradise Falls, obviously. But he doesn't have to leave his home. Threatened with eviction to an old folks' home, he attaches 20,000 helium-filled balloons to his house, and off it floats toward South America. But there's a stowaway on board: Russell (Jordan Nagai), a plump, determined kid who has been pestering Carl to let him "assist the elderly," the one good deed he needs to become a full Wilderness Explorer. The old man isn't pleased, but he's not stopping now.

As Docter notes, Up is driven by the idea of escape — the notion, familiar to dreamers of any age, that "you could just float away and take what you want with you." What Carl wants to take is the house where he spent a happy half-century with Ellie and where, in a sense, she still lives. Like a snail or, more likely, Atlas, Carl carries his house and the world's burden on his back; his wish for escape is also a sacred responsibility, to take Ellie to Paradise Falls.


szy said...

Can't wait to see this movie! I feel the same excitement and anticipation I had with Wall-e, Ratatouille, etc. As you said, let's hope Pixar never sells out. We already have enough animation companies creating crappy "just for entertainment/money" products.

Malik Ming said...

Fabulous news! Corliss, if I'm not mistaken, called WALL-E last year's best film, so to hear what he had to say about Up has made me all the more excited.

I still believe Pete Doctor had to have been partly inspired by Howl's Moving Castle, Miyazaki's own somewhat "old-people-in-action" film, which Doctor helped co-direct the English dub for. It probably strengthened his case that a great film could be made from his premise.

Three more weeks!

Geoff N said...

Nice review,

On the topic of Pixar, they will be opening up a studio in my city of residence, Vancouver.

This new studio will handle all of Pixar's short films. I might have to infiltrate my way in there at some point...

Please ignore the bickering of some of people making comments on the site. =P

James said...

I'm always excited when a Pixar movie comes out. But for me, Monsters Inc. was their last great movie.

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

Well, fortunately, we don't have to worry about bickering on this site just yet. We're all getting along great, right?

I read about Pixar's new studio in Vancouver yesterday, where they're going to focus exclusively on short-length works. These might include things like DVD extras, but I'm hoping they move seriously on theatrical shorts. Given the next two Pixar releases will be sequels, they don't want to lose their creative momentum now. It's something I've been personally hoping and cheering for.

James, you should be looking forward to Up. It's Pete Docter's movie, and he directed Monsters, Inc. He was also in charge of the US dub for Howl's Moving Castle, which I'm sure was an influence on him. This movie will be something special.

Thanks to everyone for all the thoughtful insights, as always. You're the ones who make the Ghibl Blog a success.

Geoff N said...

Yup, everyone on this site seems to get along just fine. ;)

However, there is a Provincial Election here in British Columbia on May 12th and it seems everything turns into a political debate nowadays...such as the comments section of a newspaper article discussing the opening of an animation studio in Vancouver. =P

Monster's Inc. may still be my favorite Pixar film of all time. I think it goes something like this. (Director in brackets)

1. Monster's Inc (Docter/Silverman)
T-2nd. Wall-E (Stanton) and Ratatouille (Bird)
4 The Incredibles (Bird)
5. Toy Story 2 (Lasseter)
6. Toy Story (Lasseter)
7. A Bug's Life (Lasseter)
8. Finding Nemo (Stanton)
9. Cars (Lasseter)

Only a few weeks away of slotting in "Up". =)

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