Monday, February 09, 2009

NYC Comic Con 2009: Pixar's "Up"

When 78-year-old Carl was a kid, he used to dream of going on adventures. One day he met a girl who had the same fantasies. They got married and vowed to explore the world together, but time passed and she eventually died. Carl loved her so much that he still lives as though she's around, maintaining the house as she left it--his love seat nestled beside hers. Unfortunately, the world around their house changed. Developers want him to move out, so he brilliantly ties hundreds of colorful balloons to knobs inside the fire place, loosens the bolts on the house, uses curtains as sails, and manages to make it float away. Alas, earlier that week a Boy Scout named Russell begged to help him in any way in order to get his final badge for assisting the elderly. Being the anti-social, grumpy old man that he is, Carl made up some animal that roams his backyard and requested that Russell dispose of it. The day his house was floating away, the boy had wandered onto the house’s porch and flew away with him. The plot may sound slightly boring, but if you think of all the comedic potential in the coupling of a grumpy old man and a Boy Scout-prepared kid, you’d realize how hilarious this story will be. I mean, if you think about it, it’s really the story of how far a kid would go to get his last badge.

Hilarious moments from Clips
• There’s a scene where Carl fantasizes about dropping the overly-talkative Russell off on a nearby rooftop by a flimsy rope that eventually snaps.
Carl turns off his hearing aide when he doesn’t want to hear Russell’s babbling.
Russell often points at a badge in order to punctuate his knowledge of something. I love that he’s excited to use everything he learned as a Boy Scout, even something as little as digging a hole to pee.
Russell discovers a huge colorful bird that looks like a cross between an ostrich and a parakeet, so he adopts it and names it Kevin. It’s great for physical humor.
• Later on they meet a dog named Doug, who has a collar that speaks his thoughts, which are hilarious. Apparently, as a pretty dense dog he talks in a stream of consciousness. But what’s even more hysterical is that all of the dogs—we soon discover that he’s apart of a team of four that are hunting the bird—will stop mid-sentence to shout the word “Squirrel” and stare in its direction, then return to the conversation. It is so random and yet so funny.
Doug is trying to prove himself by kidnapping the bird alone, except his attempts to do so involve him asking, “May I take your bird back to camp as my prisoner?” and begging, “Please be my prisoner.” Well, at least he sort of has a plan.
• The head of the dog pack is a Doberman Pinscher named Alpha. Something went wrong with his collar so he sounds like a nasal evil genius, and his lackeys can’t stop laughing about it.

• Pixar has a simulator that predicts how balloons will maneuver, but they threw out the physics for the way the clothing move so that it was more of a caricature.
• Pixar is a director-driven studio, so the directors decide when they want to do a film.


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