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The buoyancy of Pixar’s ‘Up’
How emotions and aesthetics mix in this animated tale, and how it compares to Pixar's previous movies
 

“If it were mathematically possible,” said Carrie Rickey in The Philadelphia Inquirer, I’d give Pixar’s new Up “five stars out of four.” This animated tale about “a housebound old man who, rather than succumb to death, fights for life” is as “whimsical as it is fantastic,” and the movie “darts unpredictably between comedy and adventure, defying gravity and age.” (watch the trailer for Up)

“I admired the film much more than I enjoyed it,” said Joe Morgenstern in The Wall Street Journal. You really “want to love the old geezer” main character, “just as you want to love your grumpy grandpa, and you're grateful to the filmmakers for steering clear of sentimentality.” But “the characterizations are fairly coarse cartoons, in contrast to the emotionally rich cartoons that have become Pixar's hallmark.”

Up’s aesthetic failure stems from its emotional letdown,” said Armond White in the New York Press. The movie “drops its emotional elements for chase mechanics and precious comedy,” and “artistic standards get trumped by a special feature—sentimentality.” Up is “uninteresting” and “rote,” and “follows the same formula as the previous nine Pixar movies.”

 

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