Up (Disney/Pixar, 2009) – review

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Up – film review

5/5 stars

I can’t recommend this new offering from Pixar enough. They really have surpassed themselves this time – it’s even better than Wall-E.

This is probably the only film ever made with such a moving portrayal of grief, loss and loneliness along with the best slapstick humour a cartoon can provide.

The film features a lonely old man, who misses his wife dreadfully (as does the viewer after the opening incredibly moving life story of how he meets his wife when they are small children playing at adventures) and lives in a home waiting to be bulldozed. This man’s eventual side-kick is  a small boy who’s clearly quite neglected by his parents, but not materially.

The flights of fancy this film takes you on are amazing – you could never guess at the plot. The story is beautifully paced, with regular laugh-out-loud moments. Although I cried twice, this is in the right places, at the beginning – when you find out the old man’s wife has died and at the end – I won’t tell you why. However, I was deeply moved since the film pulls at your heartstrings and recalls one’s own bereavements. I suspect that the film will only be particularly moving in this way for adults – but there is plenty of humour for the children. Most animated movies of recent years have used the ‘in joke’ to reel the adults in. This one, unusually, uses depth of emotion and adult themes of loss.

Very pleasingly, the film also has a very ethnically diverse group of characters – with the boy being a Japanese-American. So nice to see Disney move away from the mono-cultural stories we are used to.

I don’t want to spoil any of the wonderful surprises that are ahead of you if you haven’t yet seen this film. You must see it! You’ll laugh, a lot, you’ll cry, a lot (I’m still a bit weepy now!), I’d wager it’s my film of the year!

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