1: Pixar’s Up has a multicolour bird in it.
The Saturday’s Up has five multicoloured birds in its video, to use the vernacular.

Actually, that’s the only thing they really have in common, one is a angular if ordinary pop song, the other yet another pretty terrific Pixar animated movie. And one where the critical consensus is spot on, a terrificly powerful first ten minutes followed by a somewhat random but very funny main film. So bearing in mind that yet again this movie will end up in best of the year film lists and so on, its worthwhile reflecting on the trends in Pixar’s movies which often feel without precedent and extremely original. But are they?

Well yes they are. But actually from a narrative point of view Pixar films are not all that bold. Grand jounreys are usually undertaken in which the metaphysical growth of the leads is made physical. Pixar films do not try to flag their morals or meanings, but they are usually there plain for all to see. But they do believe in being as messy as life often is, hence Up’s frankly devestating first ten minutes being a springboard, not a cap, to adventure.

Perhaps where the actual innovation in Pixar lies is their choice of lead characters. They tend not to drwell on the idea that the best viewpoint character for a kid being another kid. Whilst kids rock up in many of their pictures, they are rarely the leads. Nemo exists to be found, Boo is a monster. Up is about an old man, and kids can understand some of the old man mindset because they have grandparents.

Perhaps what is best about many of Pixar’s films is that you can be told the setup, and even watch the first twenty minutes of the films, and not be all that sure where they are going. Up is a particular example of this, which is as chaotic as the best picaresque kids book, throwing in needless talking dogs and Zeppelins because they are cool and funny. Its not the throw the crap at the screen philosophy, but Up is much messier than most Pixar films, which in itself feels rather refreshing.

2: The Saturday’s sing: “I’m ready to be in control and the ground isn’t good enough for me,”
In Pixar’s Up, the only time Carl is truly in control is when his house is lifted by thousands of the balloon and no longer on the ground.