I was relieved we hadn't brought a kid along. It's a film for children - so why does the narrative have to hinge on a tragic premise - death and sorrow. Sure, it's an effective plot device - but one that manipulates the audience - needlessly playing on its tender heartstrings. The preface about the unfulfilled dreams of the Fredrickson marriage could have been backstory. Then there's the heavy handed fortuitous meeting of the boy who needs a father and the grumpy childless widower. If Mr. Fredrickson whipped out his wife's sappy scrapbook one more time I would have thrown tomato avatars at the screen.
It's only fair to mention, by comparison, I loved Wall-E. Sure it was sentimental, but the love story was not a gratuitous tear-jerker - it was woven seamlessly into the plot. Wall-E learned about love from watching videos of old romantic movies. More important, he was a charming character.
The maudlin story line of Up notwithstanding, the characters weren't that appealing. I didn't really care about Mr. Fredrickson or Russell. Was Kevin, the bird, really that endearing? And the talking dogs, except for Dug, seemed unnecessarily menacing. I wasn't even captivated by the animation.
That's why I'm not down with Up.
Back to the Obama girls' summer reading lists soon.