Monday, 19 October 2009
Wow. What's not to like? Good old fashioned story-telling and nice to look at too with all those colorful balloons and a gorgeous South American waterfall. And a story about an old person! Who gets a second chance! You're wrong F.Scott, there are second acts in an American life. I kept thinking about The Wizard of Oz and the flying house, the anthropomorphized animals, and the disgraced old wizard (in UP it's a self-exiled explorer who has been wrongfully shamed which makes him turn evil). Reconfigure a few of these cherished concepts and they stimulate all the right memes in the parents' brains. Now for the choice of the Asian-ish boy. I wish I'd been at the meeting (not really). "And the kid will be fat, slanty-eyed, and let's see, he'll have an absent father! Any other banalities we can use?" Well, of course there are! But by now it's not a banality but a given: the poor long-suffering selfless wife who never gets to live her dream (when does she give it up? around thirteen perhaps?) trading it in to play help meet to her husband for her whole life. And of course she can't have children (ever hear of adoption?) and then she dies and her husband gets to live her dream. Now how sorry is that? Yet again the straight white men, albeit old (does this say something about Pixar's executives), still have all the power and most of the fun. Does anybody really want to identify with the fatherless fat kid or the dead wife? After all, there are no second acts but just the same old act. Oh well.