And why is that? Because Asians have invaded Pixar!
Yours truly saw Disney’s first 3D animation on the weekend and it didn’t take its crystal clear and super realistic imaging for me to notice the distinctive facial features of our main character Russell. Sure enough when I came home and googled him, reports stated that the little chap was modeled after a Korean-American staff (Peter Sohn) on the production team. Then it got me wondering, how did this manage to slip under our noses for so long since it supposedly premiered in late May?
Maybe because it hasn’t been heavily promoted where I am but the other reason why I’m actually writing this is, of all the ghastly productions from Disney Pixar in recent years (and I’d gone for a “Disney Marathon” expecting the goodness of yesteryear’s Disney princesses), “UP” managed to impress me enough to want to watch it again. As with all cartoons, Disney and Dreamworks included, I’m usually happy with one sitting but UP has reopened my eyes to new possibilities for the genre.
The film presents an unlikely protaganist in Carl Fredrickson, a 78-year-old who’s just lost the love of his life and is getting on in years. He turns a little solitary and soon enough life alone rekindles his childhood dream of conquering a place called Paradise Falls. The old folks’ home turns up at his doorstep and he decides to hoist his house with thousands of balloons and float his way to this mysterious location in South America. As soon as he sets out on his adventure, a young wilderness explorer/scout, Russell, who’s determined to collect his badges joins in as an accidental stowaway and the story begins. What happens after that is an explosion of color and fab work from the supporting characters.
Some critics have said this animation was aimed at an adult audience but whether this was their intention, I’m glad that such a monumental project was what reassured me of the dreamy yet stellar quality of Disney’s cartoons. Russell’s innocence endeared a hard old man like Carl and UP has lived up to Disney’s name. Check out snippets of the film if you haven’t already seen it (apologies for the links, a lot of them disabled embedding)!