C.S. Lewis once famously observed that, “a children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” Herein lays the kernel of wisdom on which Pixar have built their stunningly successfully empire.
Pixar clearly understand that while the ostensible purpose of children’s stories is to entertain children, the true power lies in making adults feel like children again. And I don’t mean ‘feel as if they have become children again’ but instead to return adults to a simpler, more optimistic world when we used to live in when we viewed our surroundings through the same uncomplicated lens that our children do.
‘Up’ is the latest in Pixar’s industry-dominating series of computer animated children’s films and it is another fine demonstration that with a good idea, simply executed, a small cast can dreams can come true and adults can feel like children again.
Pixar’s staggering financial success is a testament to how well they’ve cornered their market. I came across an article detailing the math and it works out that the first 9 Pixar movies (that is Toy Story through Wall-E and not counting Up) have grossed a worldwide total of$4.8 billion. That’s in the same neighbourhood as each of the following:
- All 23 Bond films combined
- All 6 Batman films and all 3 Spiderman films combined
- All 11 Star Trek films and all 4 X-Men Films AND all 3 Jurassic Park films combined
See the original article at DailyFill.com for further comparisons to Star Wars, The Matrix, Indiana Jones and more!
Before Kellie and I went to see the movie we were warned to take Kleenexes, and we should have listened. The film opens as a shy young Carl Fredrickson first encounters his extroverted wife Ellie. An incredibly poignant montage then lovingly and tactfully summarizes their life together, ending with her passing. By the time this highlight reel had finished not a dry eye remained in the theater
The movie follows Carl’s attempt to fulfill his and Ellie’s life-long dream of visiting South America. A retired balloon salesman, Karl ties thousands of balloons to his house in order to bring his home along on his grand adventure. He accidentally brings Russell, a young boy scout who happens to have stopped on his porch at the moment of lift-off. Together the two navigate the South American jungle encountering talking dogs, an aged and embittered explorer, and a giant bird named Kevin.
The cast is small and the plot is deceptively thin, but Pixar do quite a lot with it; the hour and a half run time positively flies by (pun intended). The talking dogs are outrageously hilarious and the movie is perfectly paced and wonderfully touching.
However some of the best entertainment during the film was actually watching other, obviously height-phobic, movie-goers trying to deal with the staggering heights at which the film takes place. During the climactic battle hundreds of feet in the air, the lady three seats down nearly had to be restrained, she became so involved in every slip and near fall the characters took.
Several publications have taken it upon themselves to determine just how many balloons it would take to actually pull off Carl Fredrickson’s grand adventure in real life. Wired took a fist stab and came up with an estimate of 105,854 balloons. However, Slate.com did their own calculations, pointing out that Wired failed to take into account the weight of the balloons and string. The number of balloons they came up with was a staggering 9.4 million!
Up director Peter Doctor explains that animators used approximately 20,000 balloons for the take-off sequence and around 10,000 for most other shots in the movie.