Oh, boy. I watched this with Mrs B when it came out on bluray back in 2009 and while we both enjoyed it, we haven’t watched it since. We’d been married about a year at that time and how the movie starts hit a little too close to home.
However, 10+ years seems like enough time and after AVP I needed something good, which Pixar has always delivered.
Synopsis is that we see how Carl and Ellie meet, fall in love and grow old together until Ellie passes away. The movie really starts with Carl being a grumpy old man and refusing to sell his house to a developer while massive construction is going on all around him. A boy scout comes to Carl’s door, Russell, and Carl sends him on a snipe hunt to get rid of him. Carl has an altercation with one of the construction people and a court orders him to a retirement home. He uses a million balloons to sail the house away to South America to fulfill the dream that he and Ellie had but never realized. The complication is that Russell is along for the ride. They make it to the place that Carl wants to go, find a bird that nobody believes exists and meet Carl’s childhood hero, a world renowned adventurer who has been hunting the bird all these years and has intelligent dogs who can speak through electronic collars. It turns into a fight between Carl, Russell and Doug (one of the talking dogs) against the Adventurer and his dogs. The bad guys are defeated and Carl becomes the male authority figure in Russell’s life. A Happy Ending.
This movie starts out with Carl and Ellie meeting because of their love of adventure. It is done in this colored style that is reminiscent of a black and white movie. Once past the initial meeting, there is almost no dialogue but we see how Carl and Ellie’s life goes on. I have to admit, it was the most gut wrenching thing (again) and when Ellie passes, I was just sobbing. I was glad no one could see me. I was astounded how Pixar could pack so much intention into scenes lasting only seconds with no dialogue.
Then the movie goes into the main part and we see grumpy old man Carl meeting Russell and it turns into a Buddy movie. I enjoyed the rest of it, but after having my emotional guts torn out in the beginning the impact just wasn’t the same.
I was glad to watch this but suspect it will be another decade before I watch it again. Not as good as Toy Story or Monster’s Inc, but a solid movie in the Pixar line up.
With my reading of the Lord of the Rings ending soon, I’ve decided to watch the extended edition dvds that I own. However, when I was looking at my shelf, I also saw the 10th Kingdom, a miniseries that Mrs B introduced me to. It is 5 episodes long and would take about 3 posts as well. So your vote for the next three months. Choose wisely (for your own sake!).