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Pixar Rising
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lil_shepherd
I love film animation, but I have never been totally sold on the feature length films from Pixar. Yes, the computer animation is excellent, but I have failed to respond to the writing. Boy, have I failed to respond. Monsters Inc - hated the characters - and was totally unimpressed by the animation of the fur. Toy Story et seq. Another set of highly unlikeable characters plus hammering morality. Finding Nemo? Highly impressive animation - still, I think, the most impressive film in their ouvre in that respect - but more character dislike, and an example of that over prominent father/son bonding that is such a feature of many American movies.

I liked The Incredibles but it needed tauter scripting, and I can't help feeling that my liking owes a lot to my love of comic book superheroes (and the Fantastic Four.)

So we don't often see Pixar movies at the cinema - not since The Incredibles, in fact. However, we recently bought the DVDs of Wall-E and Up and have played both this week.

Wall-E was, well, okay. The cute robot thing was laid on with a trowel, but the beginning was exceedingly brave, and it was a gamble that really paid off, though later the film descended into a very ordinary comic-adventure. Its heart was in the right place, and I loved the cockroach...

Up, though, took me completely by surprise. For my money, this is the best thing that Pixar have ever done, particularly in the characterisation, which was so much more subtle than anything that had gone before. The opening made me cry - Ellie, despite being dead before the proper plot opens - is a wonderfully rounded and loveable character, as is Carl Fredricksen. Russell, on the other hand, is far less well drawn, and is pretty much a stereotype - but it does make a change to have substitute grandfather/substitute grandson bonding rather than real father/real son. (Russell's father never does show up.) Of course, it is pretty difficult to compete with the voices of Ed Asner and Chris Plummer (as the villain.) However, it really is the character of Carl that makes this movie.

The dogs reminded me of the animals that Disney used to do, with that accurate observation of real life pets. Lady and the Tramp, in particular, is perfectly observed, both of dogs and cats, and now so is Up.

Finally, the images are beautiful. The house being lifted by the balloons, and the reaction of people as it floats past them is heart-lifting, and Kevin is glorious..

And to add - I would have seen this movie in 3D. In fact, it is the first movie I have seen that I wish had been made in 3D. ETA: It was, apparently.

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Cars is worth watching if you get the chance. Yes, it is a bit folksy/midwest, but it is none the worse for that.

If I can pick Cars up cheap, I'll take a look. Up came as a buy one get one free Disney offer at Sainsbury's, and the get one free was The Black Cauldron which I have never seen, and bombed at the box office - however, I love the books, so we shall see.

Haven't seen 'Up' yet although will get it on DVD after your review and didn't fancy 'Cars' at all. I've seen all the others on the big screen exept Toy Story 3 and I know what you mean about characterisation. Some of them can be extremely annoying. I think my favourite all time Pixar character is 'Dory' from 'Finding Nemo'. Voiced by Ellen DeGeneres. She totally steals the movie!

I agree with you absolutely about Dory. She's wonderful. It's the sort of sub-Woody Allen Marlin character that annoys me the most.

I did like the first 40 mins of Wall-E too. The cockroach was a brilliant addition. Rest of the film is trying to send an important message but does it badly.

I absolutely loved the opening part of Up, but found the rest merely OK. I don't like dogs, so that aspect of it wouldn't have appealed to me no matter how well it was done.

But, but.... Squirrel!!

Ditto for 'Up'. It made me both laugh and cry, from ten minutes in, all the way to the end.

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