Posts Tagged ‘disney’

Movie Review: Up (2009)

Elderly man and youngn boy riding on a bird with a dog following them.Summary:
Carl’s wife Ellie has died, and now he’s sitting in the house they shared biding the time until he can join her.  An unfortunate conflict with the developers building all around him leads the court to order that he be sent to a nursing home.  Defiant, Carl decides to take the trip to South America he and Ellie always meant to take by flying there–with his house.  An 8 year old stowaway, a mysterious bird, and dogs with collars that allow them to talk all make for an interesting adventure.

I know, I know.  How had I not seen this already?  I admit, I thought the premise sounded dumb at the time it came out, and was surprised at how into it everyone got.  I don’t entirely blame myself for this.  The advertising ignored everything that makes this movie wonderful and instead focused on the balloon house.

This story showcases the problems faced as an elderly person.  Other stories do this, but this is a cartoon, generally aimed at children, and it is frankly a delightful pairing.  It’s an old wive’s tale that there’s an innate connection between the elderly and the very young, and this movie decidedly backs that up.  Russell, the 8 year old, is lonely due to his absentee father, but in his youth is still full of energy and optimism.  Carl, in spite of living a good life, is depressed and lonely without Ellie.  There is no one who bothers to care for him.  They only see a crotchety old man, which granted is the way he’s behaving, but maybe it’s for a reason?  Kevin respects Carl, and this gradually opens him up to connecting with another human being even at this late stage in life.

In addition to the wonderful themes, the scenes are beautifully drawn.  The colors are just the perfect mix of cartoony and realistic to make for a visual feast.  Additionally, the comic relief of the talking dogs and the mysterious birds are handled with an expert ease that hits the funny button at just the right moments, but are still creative enough to be delightful.

If you happen to have still not seen Up, I highly recommend it.  It’s not your average animated movie plot, and it is visually gratifying.

5 out of 5 stars

Source: Netflix

Buy It

Movie Review: Bolt (2008)

March 9, 2010 6 comments

Cartoon poster for Bolt featuring a dog, hamster, cat, and people.Summary:
Bolt is the star of a weekly tv action show in which he protects the little girl he loves from evil masterminds using his super doggy powers such as the super bark.  The producers, however, have worked hard to make sure Bolt doesn’t know it’s not real, so when he accidentally gets shipped to NYC, he’s in for a bit of a surprise.  Lucky for him along the way he teams up with an alley cat and a hamster who help him truly become a super dog.

Anyone who knows me knows I have a thing for talking animal movies.  It’s probably got something to do with the fact that in the imagination land that is my head, I tend to create my own soundtrack for the animals around me, so when dogs in a movie see a ball and we hear them saying “ball!  ball! ball!” instead of barking….yeah, I’m hooked.

That said, I wasn’t intrigued by the preview at all.  It all seemed so contrived, that I went into it expecting not to like it.  I was, however, pleasantly surprised.  The story manages to be cute and believable enough.  Bolt isn’t egotistic.  He’s intensely loyal in a way only dogs can be.  He’s been led to believe he can shoot lasers with his eyes, and it’s kind of adorable when he tries to melt iron in the real world.

The characters he meets along the way are the best of what we’ve come to expect from animated movies.  From the bad-ass alley cat to the over-exuberant hamster to the gangster pigeons they all work together to make Bolt’s non-television world the vibrant place it becomes.

The overall message of Bolt is actually quite delightful, and a surprise coming from Disney.  Only when Bolt comes to accept that over-the-top superpowers are fake can he come to be the best dog he can be in the real world.

I would definitely show this to kids, but anyone who enjoys animated movies without shout-outs to adults watching will enjoy this film.

4 out of 5 stars

Source: Netflix

Buy It