Up (2009)

IMDB plot:

By tying thousands of balloon to his home, 78-year-old Carl Fredricksen sets out to fulfill his lifelong dream to see the wilds of South America. Right after lifting off, however, he learns he isn’t alone on his journey, since Russell, a wilderness explorer 70 years his junior, has inadvertently become a stowaway on the trip.

You may find spoilers ahead. I’m not sure, I’m just writing this review. You have been warned.

I must say that after watching all Pixar movies so far, this is the saddest, darkest movie they ever did. I mean, seriously.

It all starts with this kid and his dream. Then he finds a girl with the same dream. They grow up, get married, still having the same dream. Then they decide to have kids and surround it with their dream. Then, in one scene, it seems they lose the kid to a miscarriage (and, as a side note: How the hell would you explain to your kid why that woman is crying?) Time passes, husband finally decided to take that jump forward to finally complete the dream (in not exactly the way it was dreamt) and the wife dies. And that’s like the first 15 minutes of the movie. From there, things just go downhill.

All the movie is dark ’cause the husband seems to find more trouble trying to get to the dream then getting there. For every single step forward, there are at least two back (sometimes, more.) Only in the final 20 minutes it turns to somewhat more happy tone, when husband finally decides to let his wife go and pursuit his own adventure instead.

So, there you have it. The whole movie is 1 hour and 30 minutes long. 15 minutes of introduction, 50 minutes of the saddest, darkest, unhappiest Pixar movie ever and then finally 20 minutes of something a little bit more upbeat.

I still like Pixar style and this movie is still faithful to it, although most of the time they seem to be careless about small details, like when Carl puts a piece of paper or chocolate in his jacket inside pocket and the scaling of the house near the waterfall (it may even be right, but the camera positioning makes it feel like that house suddenly got scaled a bit up.)

Personal opinion: 2 of 5 stars.

WALL-E (2008)

IMDB plot:

In the distant future, a small waste collecting robot inadvertently embarks on a space journey that will ultimately decide the fate of mankind.

Hey, a Pixar movie! Let’s watch it!

So, looks like WALL-E is the darkest Pixar movie so far. Why? ‘Cause it shows a completely barren, empty Earth where the only inhabitants are the cleaning robot of the title and a cockroach. Still is a kids movie ’cause the cockroach is cute and the robot have big eyes to make it look like a kid.

One of the things that impressed me was how much emotion Pixar manage to put in the robots, using just eyes. Later, when I saw the extras, the director mentioned that they were specifically playing with a binocular and that was used to build WALL-E. All magic broken ’cause you think “Hey, that’s one interesting thing they did by accident” and then they say it was on purpose. Oh well…

Also, this is probably one of the Pixar movies with less lines of all. Most of the action happens between WALL-E and EVE, and they basically don’t talk. They can say each other names, a few words and that’s it. Most beeps and computer generated sounds, some directly from the OS X voice-to-speech synthesizer. Well, since Steve Jobs owns most of Disney, Pixar and Apple, there are a lot of references to OS X/Mac products in the movie.

People mentioned that there is a strong political message in it. In a way, yes: The Earth is dead, the human population is now living in a spaceship with robots doing all the hard work so they don’t do any kind of exercise (not even walking) and so attached to communication devices they don’t see that the person they are talking is sitting just right next to them or look at the stars.

Such laziness is just broken when a small robot that doesn’t belong there start doing things they don’t expect. Then, suddenly, they realize their ways.

Although there is a message there, I think it fails to deliver it. Call the medium for it, but… it just don’t work. There is no transition state: They are lazy, then they are not. It’s weird, it lacks the “getting a conscience” part of the experience.