Up (4 disc Set) [Blu Ray]
Pixar has the uncanny ability to create the most unlikely heroes in recent cinematic history – and make their stories instantly heartwarming classics. From a garbage disposal robot in love to a rat who dreams of being a gourmet chef, they have gone far beyond the boundaries of modern animated movies and injected a literary degree of emotional depth, insight and humor into their films. In their latest offering, Up, a crotchety old man becomes their latest hero and the story of that old man and a young boy flying to South America in a house suspended in the air by thousands of helium-filled balloons becomes a heartwarming classic.
Most Pixar films deftly slip adult humor and emotions into movies meant for children, but the entire first act of Up is a beautiful love story told in a series of flashbacks that literally left this grown man in tears. I had to go see this movie in the theaters a few times, always bringing my nieces and nephews, so I had an excuse to see it again without being the creepy single guy in a theater full of kids. And yet, each time the emotion was just as powerful, as was the hilarity that follows in the second and third acts. Leave it to Pixar to break your heart with a love story and then throw talking dogs at you.
The Blu-ray collection features 4 discs, including a few short films and enough behind the scenes and documentary footage to count as film-school credit. The collection also features a digital copy of the movie, which you can copy to iTunes and play on your desktop or iPod – a surprising bonus. Of course, viewing the film on Blu-ray is a surreal experience, with clarity that is almost too good to describe.
This year something momentous may happen at the Oscars. Up may be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar and win. They have made not only the best animated film of the year, but gone above and beyond that call to make a truly beautiful work of cinematic art that deserves to be recognized as a work of genius.