Peter Docter's UP
Movie review by Dennis D. McDonald
I’ve seen this movie twice so far. I’d like to see it again in the theater before it leaves. Why? I just enjoyed it so much. It’s funny, touching, exciting, screwball, warm, lovely, and just plain entertaining.
I am again amazed and impressed that Pixar produces such entertainingly successful films without having to resport to cheap, vulgar humor. Slapstick, yes. But there’s an underlying warmth and friendliness that is just plain refreshing.
I was most impressed with the artwork at the beginning. The interiors of the house look 3D even when presented in 2D. Just look at the detail. It’s real, but it’s still a cartoon. Quite an achievement.
And the dogs. Wow! What an idea! Talking! Absolutely brilliant. Whoever came up with the idea of referring to the “small mailman” is a genius. (I’ve got a dog of my own that goes berserk whenever he sees a squirrel or the mailman so that’s another touch of reality.)
And who would ever have thought you could build a film around a cranky old man. That’s possibly the most amazing effect of all. He’s not sugarcoated, he has his own personal and emotional history to deal with, and he is unique enough not be steretyped as just another “crazy but cute old coot.” I’m sure there were some eyebrows raised when the idea was first floated. But there he is.
What amazes to me as I watch this again via the DVD are the amazing quality of the production, the warmth, the vast quantity of just plain funny gags thrown at you one after another, and the lovely and subtle nuances of facial expression and body movement. Awesome.
Review copyright (c) 2009 by Dennis D. McDonald