No Right Explanation

No Right Explanation
You've Got a Friend In Me

Firefilm | 19 Nov 2012 16:00
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Thanks to the Disney channel, I had the pleasure of watching Toy Story, Toy Story 2, and Ratatouille. The shear awesomeness per minute ratio is off the charts for Pixar movies, and I was getting hit in the feels left and right. Jesse's song? Ohmagush it's crazy. I do however have several Pixar movies that I cannot watch again, due to the overwhelming rush of emotions they cause. Up is one of them, for the obvious first 10 minutes of that film. Toy Story 3 is the other, but for different reasons. Without getting too spoilery, the toys realize Andy is too old to play with them, list off toys that already got thrown away, almost get separated, and then spend the rest of the movie in a toy concentration camp. WTF, Pixar? Low blow, man ... give the toys a break for like 5 minutes, will ya?

Anyways, as you might have noticed, there were no points on this episode. It's pretty clear that when we do a multi-topic episode, you're going to have a free-for-all. So, in the spirit of Pixar, I will take this time to focus on the most depressing moment in Up, what I consider to be the saddest moment they have made thus far.

Spoilers, spoilers, spoilers.

The first 10 minutes of Up, referred to me earlier and many fans in the comments. What is so sad about it? Where do I start? They start with a kid meeting a girl who shares his love of adventure, if anything surpassing it with her shear moxy. We're then treated to a montage of their entire life together, good times and bad. Always close to their goal of a trip, life keeps holding them back for a little bit longer. It's extremely relatable to save up for some purchase or trip, only to have a last minute flat tire or broken leg cause you to say "Well, maybe next year."

This is where Pixar is genius. They distract you with the life of these two people, and start slipping in the idea that there's always tomorrow to have your great adventure. Then, the build-up begins. The fella decides that there might not be so many more tomorrows left, so he plans to surprise his lady with the tickets for their trip. We as the audience are ecstatic, because we know what this is going to mean to them. Then Pixar kills the wife before they take the trip, going so far as to give her a heart attack as she walks towards the tickets.

This is almost obscenely sad. And that's just the first 10 minutes of the movie. I can't watch this film again, I just can't.

The reliability of life being hard is such a low-hanging fruit that it's astonishing no one has grabbed it as hard as Pixar has. Perhaps it's because cartoon movies on the whole try to distance themselves from harsh realities. The fact that it's all done sans dialogue makes it even more groin-kicky, because they show scenes that we all have been in. The flat tire, the sudden illness, the ever growing and shrinking savings jar that never quite gets to the top quick enough to be used for the right reasons ... all work together to rope in the audience to have an emotional connection with these collection of pixels.

Then we have the elephant in the room that Pixar completely sweeps under the rug. The wife has a miscarriage. Oh, I'm sorry, didn't you remember that? Probably not, because so much other emotional time bombs were exploding in your feel place. That's right, during the montage of their lives together, Pixar had the 3d rendered balls to have a miscarriage in what at least partially can be called a children's movie. They could have just as easily have skipped kids entirely, by showing the couple laugh at parents with unruly brats. They could have simply had the guy firing blanks, and not had a dead baby thrown in the mix. But no, as long as we're killing your wife right as you were about to take her on the trip that both of you have spent your entire lives saving up for, why not throw in the fact that you almost were a dad but no ... dead baby.

10 minutes ... and we have a dead baby, a dead wife, and an old man who lives alone. This is a family movie, and Pixar kills a man's entire family as the exposition to the story. And yet we love them for it, which only goes to show how fantastic they are at their jobs.

I'm going to go cry now.

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