Sunday, August 30, 2009

La Haut

I finally saw UP-it still hasn't been released in the UK but I caught it last weekend while in France. It's one of Pixar's best-had me crying with sadness & joy. The (beautifully) stylized design of Carl & Russell must have proved awkward to pose but the animators worked wonders wringing emotion from their stumpy limbs! As others have noted the flights of fancy give the film a Miyazaki quality. To enjoy the picture you do have to buy into the conceits of the floating house, canine thought vocalizers, giant birds & dogs piloting aircraft!

On a side note did anyone notice the similarity between Muntz and the Kirk Douglas inspired character from the BIG STORY? I' m not implying any plagiarism but it was great to see the Douglas physiognomy applied to a CG design too.


As usual with Pixar movies the French dub is excellent. Charles Aznavour voices Carl in the version Francais.
I can't wait to see the film again in English & in 3-D!



At the cinema I learnt there's a live action Lucky Luke movie coming soon starring Jean Dujardin. Watch the trailer here. It's only been a couple of years since the last animated version.

12 comments:

Oscar Grillo said...

Bloody Hell!!..Lucky Luke makes Sergio Leone's westerns look like John Grierson's documentaries!

Joke for cinephiles

kellie said...

Big Story was my first thought too.

On Lucky Luke: it's the grass-chewin' version! I've noticed all that grass being added to the covers of the new english language editions - didn't realise it was happening in France too. He still has his cigarettes on the inside pages. Does he chew grass in the recent cartoons too?

Here he is rolling his first cigarette in 1948, from a Danish history of the character. That book also includes a fine three page Spaghetti Western spoof of Lucky Luke by Gotlib.

Alex said...

Hi Matt.
Great stuff here,
amazing drawings.

Paul's Paper Escapade said...

UP was insanely good! I've been wanting to see it a second time.

Thanks for the trailer too

Oscar Grillo said...

I saw it today and I found it immensely enjoyable

edhead said...

I saw UP for the second time last night (the first being about 2 months ago) and I was just as impressed the second time - if not more so! It's superb - a bizarre scattershot of ideas and characters brilliantly molded into one of the most imaginative and entertaining films I've seen in years. Afterwards there was a Q+A with Pete Docter and Producer Jonas Rivera - although Docter had a sore throat and couldn't talk LOL! It was brilliant however, since as Rivera talked and answered questions, Docter mimed and had a massive white board with paper on which he drew pictures and pointed out things for Rivera to elaborate on! It was superb and the best Q+A I've ever been to! Afterwards I got Docter's autograph and he drew me a picture of Carl in my sketchbook - he seemed like a really humble and very very cool guy!

Boris Hiestand said...

http://www.michaelbarrier.com/Commentary/Up/Up.html

Matt J said...

Thanks for the response folks.

Oscar-UP is just as charming as those flip-books of Doctor's that you showed us.

Ed-Doctor should be coming to Aardman tomorrow for a Q&A, I hope is voice has recovered. I had tickets to the BAFTA event but had to cancel.

Boris- thanks for offering someone else's opinion! Did you see it yourself yet?

Elliot Cowan said...

I thought Up was mostly dull.
I was hoping to enjoy it, though.

edhead said...

Any chance of you recording the Q+A with Docter Matt? It was a shame not to hear him talk, even if his drawings were great! I suspect the BAFTA one will be broadcast on the Podcast thread as and when the film is released in the UK in October...

I read Barrier's comments and I agree about Muntz placement as a villain being flawed - I'm guessing that the fact he has gone crazy over the years and killed innocent people in his quest to capture Kevin is mildly acceptable - but at a push. No, what I really enjoyed was the complete ludicrousness of the whole thing which I revelled in - a flying house, talking dogs, dragging a house through the jungle on a hose pipe, dogs in bi-planes etc. Add onto that wonderfully designed locations and great stlyised graphic characters and I sat there with a stupid grin on my face enjoying it as *animation*; the situations are perfect for the medium to do something new, bizarre, fresh and different, and whenever I thought this is a bit silly, I then realised it's perfect for an animated film - because it's FUN! And I did think there was an emotional core to the film that worked really well, with a nice message to boot. I'm not a huge fan of Monsters Inc, finding it an enlongated hide and seek movie, but there's no more emotional drive in Monsters compared to Up, if anything I found Carl and Russel's relationship more enjoyable and touching than that between Sully and Boo. Barrier's a bit of a bitter humbug if you ask me....

Boris Hiestand said...

Yes I have seen it Matt, you arrogant mutt, and I do have an opinion. I sent the link to Barrier's commentary because I agree with it. I was hoping to love it, and although it was an enjoyable enough watch, I was left utterly numb by it. The thing that gets me most is that just like with Wall-E the whole world seems to unanimously think it's the best thing since baked potatoes, while I believe both films are nothing more than mildly entertaining, and certainly not the profoundly touching and life altering BEST of cinema. With all it's off the cuff zaniness and strange story directions, this one could be a Dreamworks film for all I know (ooo now I've hurt feelings!).
Maybe Pixar has done SO well in the past that I expected more from Docter, whose Monsters Inc. is one of my favorites (and certainly hit me on an emotional level that UP didn't at all).
Let's fight over this and discuss when I'm back in England over a pint of ale.

Elliot Cowan said...

I agree with Boris (I agreed with him months ago, actually).
However, I won't be discussing this over a pint in England if I can possibly help it.