When I was child I saw a film called Dumbo, a wonderful Disney film that displays the true essence of finding yourself, loving who you are and also the gift of a mother and sons bond. There was a certain scene in this film that always made me cry quite hard. A mother trapped and a son torn from her, with lyrical music and images of other mothers and their children together warm and happy. Since this film there have been no animated movies that have made me cry quite so hard until UP. I will quite possibly be persecuted for saying this but I will never watch this film again. While I am a firm fan of Pixar in every way this time I was let down and I think it will take some time for me to forgive them. I will at this point give myself a disclaimer wherein I explain I have dealt with a lot of loss in my lifetime and being in a relationship with a man that owns my heart did not make watching this any easier. This film is about loss and pain and letting go, of moving forward and living in life, normally wonderful items for a film gifts that many of us need to deal with. This film however did not deliver the wonderful Pixar characters to balance out that pain, we will all remember that touching moment in Toy Story 2 where Jessie recalls being loved and looked after when her owner was a girl but being dumped as she grew up. A sad and devastating moment in the film but balanced out by the wonderful aftermath of meeting Woody and Buzz and the gang.
The characters in this film did not balance out the pain of the initial loss that the old man feels. The villain of the piece was too dark for me, one of the great things I love about Pixar is that they always create villains that are really more neutrals or bumbling idiots, in UP the villain is a very dark character with quite an evil streak. The talking dogs I had massive issues with the bird was again sad and upsetting, the kid was mildly amusing but overall just plain irritating. For me the only character worth watching was the old man, perhaps because what he did was something I know my boy would have done for me. I will say there are quite a few wonderful Pixar moments in this film that did make us both laugh, the ongoing squirrel joke was quite charming!
I am being awfully harsh on a Pixar kids film I know but I simply feel if you choose to create a film about loss and pain and you also choose to be a children’s film, then work harder on balancing the pain with the joy. Then again of course, I always say that if a film touches either good or bad then it has done its job in some way. I will not in this review recommend or discourage any of you to see it, I simply warn you too take tissues and try to separate from what is going on on the screen.