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things are looking UP

2 June 2009

Saturday afternoon Jeff Houghton and I (with some help from Rotaract volunteers) did improv workshops for kids at boys and girls town. Two solid hours of performing, teaching, laughing, shhh-ing, the first hour with boys and second hour with girls.
Magical to watch how some of them are so clever and their little eyes light up after a good idea.
Sad to watch how quickly some of them use profanity and violence. It doesn’t fit, seeing little kids behind a wall of silence or resistance or anger like you’d expect from hardened adults.
I can’t shake the feeling that this isn’t how it should be. wishing i could do more than spend 2 hours trying to teach them about teamwork and make them laugh.
I left feeling a mixture of gratitude and sadness, rushing off to meet my hot date to see UP.

Pixar, you’ve done it to me again. This makes three straight movies whose trailers have not enticed me all that much (Ratatouille, Wall-E, and now UP), but upon viewing i fell absolutely in love.
Ratatouille’s view of an artist’s life and creative fulfillment. Paris.
Wall-E’s whimsy and nostalgia. simple romance. environmentalism.
Now with UP, Pixar proves again they can tell a love story better than 90% of chick-flick screenwriters. And make it hilarious. And touching. And deal with some issues very close to my heart:
the desire to travel, childhood and old age, lifelong dreams fulfilled.
Oye. It’s just entirely delightful. even better in 3D.

I don’t want to give too much away, because the movie is so much more than the trailer lets on and it’s such a yummy surprise, but there’s a montage close to the start that left me with that my-heart-might-explode feeling.
i remember this exact feeling from watching Garden State the first time (see a previous post for how much things have changed since that viewing), but i still remember the feeling. sitting next to a boy i liked, when they kiss at the edge of the infinite abyss… *sigh*
it’s completely ridiculous, i know.
but i like ridiculous feelings of happiness sometimes. a little boy finds a little girl who gets nerded-out about the same exact things he does.
it’s a nice idea, right?

UP paints a beautiful picture of romantic love, but also the love of a momma bird for her babies; the obsessive love of a mad explorer for his prey; the platonic love of our unlikely heroes.
And we learn that love (for a person, a place, a memory, a dream) is best when it’s shared.

There’s also a nice element (again, i don’t want to drop spoilers on y’all, so i have to be vague) of people vs. things and experiences vs. things. How much stuff really means (or doesn’t mean) in the face of life-long dreams and the people we share them with.

SO I loved it. Every second.
And you’d better believe I was feeling bloggy after these two events back to back. Thinking about what i can do in the face of out-of-my-hands sadness and out-this-world inspiration.
be grateful for what i have. for the childhood i had. give when i can. hope even when i feel like i can’t. recognize beauty and truth when i see it.
(even in a movie. especially in movies.)

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 2 June 2009 8:13 pm

    I need to see this. Disney/Pixar movies always reinstate a faith in humanity that I thought I’d lost.

  2. 2 June 2009 10:38 pm

    this is my first visit to your blog. :) You’re a great writer! I have to go see UP now. I felt the same way about the same 3 movie trailers you mentioned. I have seen Ratatoulle and Wall-E, and loved them, also. :)

  3. 3 June 2009 11:05 am

    Oh my goodness! I saw it last night and cried three times. Once at the end of the short played before, once at the end of the montage at the beginning, and once at the end of the movie. It was AMAZING! My favorite animated I think EVER. So cute. And Doug was my favorite. :-)

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