Height and depth

Yesterday evening I saw the latest Disney/Pixar animated feature, Up , in 3D on the huge screen at the BFI IMAX cinema at Waterloo, London. There have been a plethora of animated features recently, but Pixar still stand head and shoulders above the others for the quality of their content and the animation. This is possiblly their best yet. The story is complicated: an elderly man who had hoped to go exploring with his wife but never managed to do it before she died, whose home is threatened by developers, and who is about to be forced into a care home, attaches thousands of balloons to his house and flies off to South America - collecting, to his annoyance, a dim-witted small boy, a completely looney twenty-foot-tall bird, and a daft dog with a collar which enables him to speak. Once there he gets into conflict with his childhood hero, a disgraced explorer who disappeared from sight decades ago... this is an over-simplification (don't ask).

The underlying theme is how the elderly man, who is a depressed curmodgeon who just wants to be left alone, learns to take responsibility for others. It's skilfully scripted (if perhaps a trifle too long at 102 minutes) and beautifully animated. The use of 3D is subtle: up to now the tendency of 3D films has been to shove things into the audience's face for effect - Up does this only a couple of times and makes restrained use of the technique which blends into the overall effect.

I wish more films would adopt this approach: the trailers for forthcoming 3D films contained a succession of things being thrown or poked at the audience - I can't answer for people with more normal eyesight, but my eyes take a noticeable moment to react and converge when this is done, which doesn't help, although I can see 3D perfectly well. The trailers are a useful warning to keep off these films! Perhaps, just as moving pictures themselves, sound, colour and widescreen all settled down to being something normal, 3D will eventually be just another accepted technique. It would be nice if they cleaned the glasses occasionally, though.

Posted: Tue - November 3, 2009 at 09:33 AM by Roger Wilmut          



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Published On: Mar 11, 2016 05:00 PM