Up (Rated PG)
Gavin Grade: A
I read somewhere that Pixar said they were no longer concerned with making good films for kids but are now focused on making good films. That couldn't be more true with their latest opus. As the first 15 minutes of "Up" are playing out in front of us, I heard a woman talk to her friend next to her and say, "This is way too serious for kids." She might be right, although I don't think kids will understand the gravity of what's going on. But the opening montage shows you one man's life in 15 minutes and I'd be lying if I didn't tell you that I had tears pouring down my face from behind my 3D glasses. Don't worry though, it's get lite. But Pixar really has evolved to the point where they can get away with stuff like that. I've been a HUGE fan of Pixar since "Toy Story." But their movies have increasingly gotten better and better. They do such a good job of taking adult subjects and packaging it in bright, colorful, funny stories that kids can still enjoy. And they are boldly taking more risks. Can you imagine how the pitch meeting with Disney went for "Up" when they said they want to make a movie with only 5 main characters, virtually zero celebrity voices and the main one is a grump, old man? That alone shows their power. The Disney marketing team must've scratched their heads till they bled trying to make toys and costume characters that kids would want to hug on that one. But "Up" captures the human soul so well and will strike a chord with everyone who has ever loved and lost or watched their grandparents go through it. The story gets absurd at times, but you're totally willing to forgive that since you feel so deeply for the characters. The animation is still a work of art, although the 3D isn't worth the extra cash at all. Pixar is utterly amazing! They've released yet another movie while still keeping their perfect box office and critical success stellar...and they've made me desire a dog with a talking dog collar more than anything in the world!