Couldn’t Have Put It Better Myself 012810

On second viewing, the Pixar movie Up, appealing enough in its first viewing, definitely got better.  The things that annoyed me, didn’t; what I thought were flaws, weren’t.

Such as: The fast-paced first ten minutes were my favorite part of the movie the first time around; probably still.  But on first viewing, I found myself disappointed that I didn’t get to spend more time with Ellie.  An energetic pushy tomboy, she was far more appealing than the “small mailman” that accompanies Carl on his old-age adventures.  But within the first segment, she had met Carl, married him, suffered a miscarriage, grew old, and died.  I had only started to get to know her.  I felt cheated.

Now I see that’s what the filmmakers wanted.  Without that emotional opening sequence, we’d have a hard time sympathizing with Carl’s nostalgia and disappointment.  Given the opening ten minutes, we don’t just see Carl sighing over the unfinished adventure scrapbook; we sigh right along with him.  We miss Ellie as much as Carl does.  The movie makes the viewer feel nostalgic, until we realize that we, like Carl, need to shed the Bunyanesque burden of the past (the house that Carl comically pulls around by the garden hose) and get on with the next thing.

By Peter J. Leithart, (


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