Yesterday afternoon my sister generously offered to babysit yet again so that Dom and I could have a date. We went to see Up. (Because of the timing and the girls’ naps we actually saw the 3D version, which cost an additional $4 each and was not so easy on my eyes. Incidentally anyone else remember when the matinee cost only $3? Ouch!)

I knew nothing about the film going in except it was a Pixar production and that it had received rave reviews from a bunch of bloggers I follow. To all of which I heartily concur. Six thumbs up here: two from me, two from Dom, and I’m making the baby give it his two thumbs as well just cause I say so and I need more thumbs.

It reminded both Dom and I of my other favorite Pixar film, The Incredibles. At the heart of this story is a deep understanding of the true value of marriage and family and an acknowledgment that the greatest adventure any of us can undertake is to live our ordinary lives with courage and conviction and joy, facing and accepting all the challenges and disappointments that come our way and never refusing the hard work of everyday life.

I love the way Mary Poppins NOT at crazyacres put it in her Small Successes post for the week:

“… today, I got up, and started to do the whole darn thing all over again. After I see most of what I do undone so very, very quickly, and my efforts so completely unnoticed, I figure that the fact I am still trying is a flippin’ big success, actually. So there you all go, a little, bitter success. Hurumph.”

That was what The Incredibles understood so well. Mr Incredible was a hero not because he saved the world but because he got up and went to a job he hated every day because it was what was necessary. Mrs Incredible is a heroine becasue she stretches herself to be there for her husband and for all of her children, even when they think they don’t want or need her. Up is a different sort of story with a different sort of hero; but the heart is in the same place: the true spirit of adventure is found in embracing ordinary life.

I can see why everyone has been so reticent in writing about Up: so hard to do it justice without giving anything away. Suffice it to say that the movie is plain old good storytelling with real people and real love and oh my goodness I cried and cried often. Had to remove both my glasses and the 3D glasses at one point they got too fogged up.

Steven Greydanus of Decent Films gives it an A. See his great review here

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