We get excited about Pixar movies at my house. And we often talk about going to see the latest Pixar movie together, but it rarely works out. The release of Up was no exception. We talked about it, suggested times, but in the end, Anjie and Daniel saw it first while I was in Chicago for the Arts Conference, and I don’t think Amy got to see it before she took off for New York last week. Yesterday, I was wandering around on a desperately needed Sabbath, and decided to drive by the new Thornton Creek Regal Cinema complex up the street from me, and I pulled in and saw that Up was scheduled to start in 10 minutes. I thought, why not.
Carl and Ellie. The Spirit of Adventure. A bird of bright plumage, a pack of dogs speaking in odd patterns a la electronic collars, and balloons–enough balloons to lift a house off it’s foundation and sail it around the world to an exact spot that is the locus of dreams. A small adventurer stowaway rendered in pudgy roundness. A poignant death, a book of “Stuff I’m going to do” with so many empty pages, and a decision to chase adventure after all.
I wept a little–want to again as I write this–over the beautiful simplicity of the relationship between Carl and Ellie. So recognizable, these adventures you swear you’re going to have and life happens and things don’t go just that way, and yet, the life that happens is just so gorgeous if you open your eyes. There are always adventures that go untaken because of the adventure you choose. There is no adventure like relationship, none nearly so satisfying, so demanding, so dangerous, and so freeing. And of course, it is the relationship that provides the fuel for the journey Carl takes on behalf of Ellie, the adventure that had the elements we come to expect from adventure–travel, exotic locale, heroes and villains. But in the end, it’s back to relationship, and new friends rescue each other in different ways, the ways in which we all need to be rescued.
As the credits rolled, I thought, how beautiful. Not necessarily my favorite Pixar effort, but a work of art, a work of beauty. Such resonance and poignancy. A simple and quirky road to truth. As all the reviewers are saying, it soars.
Beautiful making, lifted me…