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What's Up?

July 13, 2009
up-movieIt’s rare that I talk about movies. The last one was Slumdog Millionaire, and this time it’s the Pixar computer-animated comedy-adventure movie distributed by Disney --- Up. All I knew of the movie before seeing it was that a cranky old man lifts his house up with balloons and is accompanied on his airborne journey by an overzealous boy scout. It was perfect that way; the less I knew, the more delights I got to discover!
Pixar is known for very intelligent storytelling, and this was one of the best. I loved the way I was able to understand the love story and the drive behind the main character, cranky old Carl Fredricksen, through seeing scenes of his life gone by set to music. You see this man’s story and relate it to your own – of young love, of mature love, of relationships, of life. And this was all set to colourful animation, lots of comedy, and adventure!
I thought of one scene I’ve always remembered from 1984 fantasy film The NeverEnding Story, where the Empress gives the main character Bastian a grain of sand, all that was left of Fantasia. The reason that Fantasia was being destroyed was that people were not using their imaginations, their creativity, anymore, and all that was needed to restore Fantasia to what it once was was for people to use their imagination. It is a true delight to find films that have stories with a great moral behind it, beautifully and creatively told, that resonates with everyone and lifts the spirit up.
Up is not a film with a Catholic message, but at its heart it is. Because it is beautiful and has a beautiful message, it leads you to think of higher things. And maybe it is through beauty that we can reach a world that no longer devalues religion and instead lifts it up. I’ll end with this quote I read this weekend: “Beauty, however described, is compelling in an age where little compels, captivating where there are so few captivating moments, and invites to commitment when commitment is so fragile.”
I give Up a thumbs up!

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