Now that we've all had a chance to see Pixar's Up (right??), let's talk about how it compares to the studio's last film, 2008's Oscar-winning WALL-E. I noticed right off that while WALL-E tried to create a vision of the future that was plausible, with machines that looked like they could actually work, Up has no qualms about being a fantasy adventure. The dogs with thought-translating collars, the house that is lifted by nothing more than a few hundred balloons, the insane explorer living alone in the jungle well into his 90s? The filmmakers obviously had different philosophies here (which is just fine, of course).

But it turns out that Up resembles WALL-E in a lot of smaller, less significant ways. Nothing major in terms of themes or messages; just little parallels. Here are some that I spotted -- and be warned, there are SPOILERS afoot.

Both films begin with characters who don't talk much, and both films have nearly wordless opening sequences. (The one in Up comes after a couple of dialogue scenes.) Carl and WALL-E both live alone, basically, until something happens that motivates them to head for the skies. WALL-E does it because his beloved EVE has boarded a spaceship and he wants to pursue her; Carl does it because his beloved Ellie has passed away and he's being forced out of his home. WALL-E is a stowaway, while Carl has a stowaway, the over-eager Wilderness Explorer Scout named Russell.
categories Cinematical