Every time I really enjoy an animated movie, I realize we don’t necessarily need actors, actresses, a complicated script written in 19th-century-English or high-cost scenes set in big cities to really feel something. Sometimes, only colors and a few animated characters can be enough to give you chills when you have a touching and whimsical story — and of course a perfect music to complement it.
Up, the latest animated feature from Disney + Pixar, for me, wasn’t a cheerful kids movie. It had a serious story: the story of Carl, an old man in deep regret and longing after the death of his wife, Ellie. Especially the beginning of the movie felt very emotional. The first third mostly introduces Carl as a lost and introvert soul after a happy life with his childhood sweethear, Ellie. The few minutes during which you see their relationship touches on themes rather more serious than those in kids storybooks: love, romance, marriage, financial difficulty, an unsuccessful pregnancy, loneliness and growing old among others. Once Ellie passes away, the aging hero, Carl becomes more and more alienated every day in his neighborhood. One day, he fights with a construction worker and smacks the man with his cane. As a consequence, he’s seen as a danger to his surrounding and is to be put into a retirement home. Carl decides to tie thousands of ballons to his cute little colorful wooden house to float away from his troubles and sail towards Ellie’s lifelong dream.
The emotional foundation, I thought, was remarkable. There’s a lot of serious stuff going on for an animated movie — felings like love, melancholy, loneliness, longing, adventure, romance, a relationship between an 8-year and 78-year old and many more… It did take me to another world – could take you too.