Saturday, June 06, 2009

Back from Up: Verne and Doyle in Motion

(Warning: Some content could be considered spoilers.)

(Oops, in the first iteration of this post, I was partially asleep apparently and attributed The Lost World to Verne and not Doyle)

Christine suggested Up for a weekend movie. She is more selective about what she wants to see than I, checking reviews first and weighing the quality of the experience against the time viewing requires.

I read reviews after movies. I pretty much see everything if I can, if not in the theaters, well there's Netflix, but it's always good if she wants to go to the movies. Saves me the persuasive speech.

We both agreed Up was incredible, an offbeat, often funny and wacky adventure that's infused with the spirit of the pulps and the memory of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Jules Verne. What more can you ask for from a summer flick?

A really warm and sweet love story? It has that too, perhaps the best surprise--that in an animated feature you have an elderly hero still in love with his wife's memory. Happily and in bittersweet fashion we see their married life unfold, all before balloons hoist the old man's house heavenward.

Both the elderly hero, Carl, and his wife, we learn, were enamored in their youth with newsreel reports of an adventurer of the grand scale, Charles Muntz, who brought back fossil evidence of a giant bird from a plateau in South America. Sound a little like Conan Doyle's The Lost World?

Faster than you could say Professor Challenger, that evidence was questioned, and Muntz set off in a Jules Verne-like Master of the World style airship crewed by hounds--ya gotta loves dogs in this movie--to find more evidence, leaving the young Carl and his wife longing to head for the same destination.

It's a path Carl pursues only in later years, and there's lots of fast-paced excitement, fun and perfecto plotting along the way once he takes off.

Meshing a new Disney/Pixar flick with the roots of Verne adventures past seems a wonderful homage while unfolding an all-new, colorful story that's unlike anything else, as fresh in its own way as WALL-E.

It's imagination unleashed, and it proves how a unique story can soar.

It's well worth the time and has a wonderfully sweet and complementary animated short attached.


Charles Gramlich said...

I'll probalby watch this when it comes on ppv. I really liked the recent Wall-E, and Lana did too, although I've heard others criticize it.

Erik Donald France said...

Fantastic review -- as sweet as the movie, no doubt.

Sidney said...

Thanks guys. Corrected The Lost World reference.

Shauna Roberts said...

This sounds like an incredibly fun movie, and I hadn't even heard of it.

Steve Malley said...

I hope we get this one here in NZ!

Drizel said...

ahhhhhhh it sounds soooo nice, cant wait till it comes here.....:)

Stewart Sternberg said...

I don't know why, but this film had a profound effect on me. Maybe it was the poignancy of the old man and the stark realization that he had never realized what his wife cherished as an adventure. When he reaches that scrap book and sees what there for the first time, I choked up.


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