I got a wonderful surprise this weekend when I brought Hannah and some of her friends to see the new Pixar movie Up. I must confess I really didn't have any idea what it was about other than it was a kiddie movie with an old guy floating around with some helium balloons. What a treat it was for adults as well as children.
I was thinking that many times adults don't feel a kids' movie is "good" unless it entertains them as well. When did we become so selfish that we can't just let the kids enjoy children's entertainment even if it might not be our own first choice? Usually, when someone says a movie appeals to adults as well as children, that is code for "there were many double entendres which the children didn't understand, but kept me, the grown-up interested". Lately, even more blatant adult humor is dressed up in kids' clothes. A classic example of this is the movie, Shrek which is chockful of double entendre and badly veiled adult humor. But what made Up appeal to me as an adult was completely different. It had to do with the themes of lifelong love; heartbreak; grief; starting over; and healing among many others which were presented in such a simple, poignant way. I found myslef at or near tears more than once. A man, who feels he never was able to fulfill his wife's dreams finally heals from his grief when he realizes that it was he, himself who fulfilled her dreams! It was such a beautiful message. At first I thought that some of these ideas would be upsetting to the children, but the simplicity with which they were brought out, with very little dialogue... just watching the story of this couple's life unfold in pictures ... brought it all to a level where the children "got it", but not to the point of getting upset enough to ruin the rest of the movie, which, by the way, was alot of fun, too.
We didn't get to see the 3D version, but I don't think anyone noticed. The graphics were absolutely beautiful anyway. On the way home I asked each child what they thought of the movie and not one of them dwelled on any of the emotionally upsetting parts, you know ... the parts for the adults. The only sad part they remembered was that the couple couldn't have a baby... which I think is a testament to their own "open-to-life" families! Mostly, they loved the funny parts, the action , and adventure aspects of the film. And I did, too.. plus the bonus of some great ideas to ponder and discuss with them afterward! Enjoy the trailer for Up!