Animated film equals to childish film. False. It could have been seen coming. Since the founding Toy Story (1995) to the desmythifying The incredibles (2004), through the disturbing Wall-E (2008), contemporary animated movies have become a container for the most original stories and, at the same time, transmitter of those messages that conventional cinema doesn’t want to, doesn’t know how to, or doesn’t dare to transmit. Partly because of the need to bring ticket-buyer parents to cinemas, partly because of the freedom allowed by the validity of the false axiom that opened this paragraph.
And it was just a matter of time for the twilighted Up (P. Docter, B. Peterson, 2009) to arrive: starring an old man and a child, it is a hard vital metaphor disguised in a colourful Pixar production.
In Up there’s humor, adventure, action… But, whoever want to see, will see, in the literal act of carrying a house, a metaphor of the vital weight we choose to carry on our shoulders and the need, sooner or later, to get rid of ballast just to go on. That old days idols, without the prism of innocence, might be not so admirable. That life goes on despite the loosses and that it’s never late to change. That searching an unreachable dream might blind us to the point of not being able to see the happy moments we already lived. And that there are life lessons that can only be taught by someone who already lived enough.
In its form, Up will enrapture the children for its humor, action sequences and awesome tridimiensional landscapes. However, in its essence, the film is far from Disney’s fairy tales and much closer, for instance, to Gran Torino (C. Eastwood, 2008).
And the conventional and predictable happy ending is not enough to make you forget the emotional impact of the first ten minutes, the saddest seen in an animated feature film for a long time.