Saturday, March 13, 2010

Up with Pixar!

   Pixar's latest movie, "Up", came away with a couple of Oscars last Sunday night, one for Best Animated Feature and one for Best Original Score. Any praise of this film is well deserved - this is a great movie and Michael Giacchino's music (like the scores he wrote for "The Incredibles" and "Ratatouille") is magnificent.  It also received a nomination for Best Picture, but I wonder if its being an animated film was a disadvantage in that category. Brad Bird, creator and director of "The Incredibles", has pointed out that, much to his annoyance, animation is still regarded as a genre rather than as a medium through which stories of any genre may be told.  I understand that the Academy wants to recognize the great skill that goes into animation, but I don't think that animated films should be bundled off to their own category any more than, say, a film shot in black and white ought to be. Perhaps the category of "Best Animated Feature" should become a technical award for "Best Animation". If a film is good enough to be nominated for Best Animated Feature, it ought to be good enough to stand against all the other Best Picture nominees, as "Up" did.

 In any case, I am glad of Pixar's success. This is a company that knows how to make good films. They are truly family films, although I hate to use that term because it often brings to mind dull movies that range from sickly sweet to idiotically vulgar, or which are laced with unamusing double entendres (to keep us grownups entertained, of course). We can generally tell these wretched offerings by their trailers and have been lucky enough to steer clear of most of them, but when I see trailers for a feature like "G-Force", I always ask myself, "How bad were the ideas this producer turned down that day?"

  A good film (or book, or short story) is one that says something true, and does so in an engaging manner. "Up" is ostensibly a fantasy, but it has much to say about real life: our aspirations are not always realized, but the death of particular hopes does not have to mean the death of hope. A faithful marriage is indeed a great adventure. And talking dogs are FUNNY!!

 If you haven't already seen "Up", give it a whirl. You won't be sorry.


  1. I hid under your porch because I love you. Great review, Mrs. Beaz--SQUIRREL!!

  2. I'm looking forward to not being up so high.

  3. Carl FredericksonMarch 15, 2010 at 5:15 PM

    Okay. Let's get some comments happening without any flash dancing or rap music.