For the second time this year, I teared up in the first ten minutes of a film. At the moment this happened, I seriously wondered if I had reached some age in my life where I was becoming overly susceptible to media emotional manipulation -- I can't recall any two movies where I nearly cried at the beginning before 2009. Yet, here I was again, months after my [fabulous] experience with Star Trek, blubbering this time over the first ten minutes of an animated movive -- Up.Star Trek at least had a lot of history going into it. I knew what was at stake, who the characters were, and the lasting impact of the situation. In Up, the first ten minutes tell the life-story of the main character and his recently deceased wife, mostly without words except for their first couple encounters. And it is done with joy and heartbreaking sadness that makes me well up just thinking about it. The summation of their time together, and the things they never quite got around to doing because life got in the way. There's a small part that addresses their inability to have children, which I don't know if has ever been done so adroitly, directly, in any film much less an animated film. It's striking in its simplicity and grace, and fearlessness to "talk" about topics that are so very unusual for an animated film. The life you lead, moving on, letting go, growing old, lonliness, and long, lasting unashamedly unapologetic love. The adventure.
A film that is ostensibly about a man who floats his house away with balloons to fulfill a long-put-off promise, Up is shocking and surprisingly moving and wonderfully entertaining, fulfilling its own promise of its first ten minutes.