How is it that the most adult films over the past few summers have been Pixar animated? This isn’t going to be a normal review. I’m not going to describe the plot or the awesomeness of the visuals (especially in 3-D). Instead I’m going to focus my attention on one particular scene. Because, quite frankly, that’s all you need to know.
Up is unlike any animated movie I’ve seen. Wall-E got damn close, but Up actually made me care. I actually got emotional. I was stunned. Here’s how.
About ten minutes into the film there is a wordless montage that displays a man’s life. The scene, set to Michael Giacchino’s sure-to-be-Oscar-nominated score, is poignant, perceptive, genuine, heartfelt, sad, funny, and effortlessly beautiful. I saw the film six days ago and since then I have been trying very hard to think of a better, more accomplished montage sequence from any film. Ever. And guess what. I've come up short (the quiet, controlled boxing montage in Million Dollar Baby is close, though). The Up scene lasts for around ten minutes and deals with issues that young children won’t understand, and that I wouldn’t dare spoil here. It’s worth the price of admission alone. If this scene was in any live action drama, that movie would be nominated for Best Picture, without a doubt. In short, this is the best sequence I’ve seen so far in any movie this year. Behold a thing of wonder. A-