Thursday, June 25, 2009

Up is a Downer

Took the kids to see Up this afternoon.

It's beautiful,funny, scary but overall, I have to say, it's romantic and melancholy. I don't think I've ever been so sad at an animated film before.

And it's not just me.

Mari was scared of the house falling over a cliff and then she was scared of the pack of dogs that showed up, so we had already taken a little walk outside and she was sitting on my lap when Carl looked through Ellie's book of adventures.

He flipped through the pages and there were photos of his marriage and he sat there next to her empty chair.

Mari's body was wracked with sobs. What's wrong? I asked her. Are you sad?

This is a quiet part of the movie, so everyone in the theater (not that many, but all of them) heard her sob, "I'm thinking about when Mommy dies."

Of course, that broke my heart, too.

So there's Pixar's triumph: conveying in blobs of computer generated color the depth of a romance and the abyss of loss to a four year old.

(PS. Afterward, I asked Mari if she liked the movie and she did, even though it was sad. Something to be said about learning that stories don't have to be completely happy to be "good.")


pc said...

I saw this movie too, and loved it and cried during the photo montage and thought the dogs were scary and was creeped out by the adventurer. I also wondered, how exactly is this going to sit with a kid, there's just so MUCH, seemed like too much. Glad to read that kids are able to recognize the subtlety.

Wilson said...

The kid I wound up sitting next to (well, the parent had his kid whining on his lap) was really bored by the movie. I was moved by the first part of the movie, but not the "primary" adventure story.

jc said...

I agree with you, Wilson, that the love story was more moving than the action story.

Just to follow up: we were talking about the movie and it turned out that Austin didn't even realize that the woman had died. "Didn't she just move to a different house?"

From emotional sensitivity to emotional tone-deaf.