UP – Is Up Up Up and Away!

Disney/Pixar’s UP Raises The Bar On 3D

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By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

UP is the perfect union of Classic Storytelling and State of the Art Technology.

The screenplay by Bob Peterson is brilliant. The plot-lines are innovative — weaving nostalgia with the implausible, and the keeping of a promise no matter what, where or who. The musical score by Michael Giacchino is married to the unfolding story. The entire composition meets and tackles an amazing array of emotional and environmental challenges ranging from the strain of solitary grief to the roar of a blimp chasing down a balloon-borne two-story house.

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It’s all about timing. It’s all about the set-up to the punchline. UP is packed with belly laughs. The 3D special effects furnish plenty of opportunity for vertigo and bracing against unexpected projectiles. But the genius lies in the far shots and the fascination within its layers of deep perspective.

Fans of Pixar’s previous animation success stories will marvel in the latest advances in 3-D technology, especially the feathers on those obligatory flocks of happy Disney birds. Even better, the demonstrations of dimension and the rhythmic blending of 3D gags and gimmicks inspire relationships with the characters – creating familiarity, longing, and just enough anxiety about how we’re going to get whatever or whoever from over here to way over there. Especially when it’s about pulling your house up from its foundation, raising it up to rainbow heights with helium filled balloons, and then anchoring it up a cliffside next to a waterfall somewhere in South America. While a pack of blood-thirsty wired-for-talking dogs are chasing down your ass. And every one of them is stop-in-their-tracks seduced by the lowest—most down to the bottom—response to that primitively persuasive call, “Who wants the ball?!”

Throughout the 90+ minutes, it doesn’t matter what celebrity is doing which voice. The actors were perfectly cast, their celebrity does not distract from the story, and their performances are worthy of a new Category Nomination come Oscar Time. Featuring the vocal talents of Edward Asner (Carl Fredricksen), Jordan Nagai (Russell), John Ratzenberger (Construction Foreman Tom), Delroy Lindo (Beta) and Christopher Plummer (Charles Muntz).

UP is an ideal script brought to life through powerful imagery, supported by a magical score, with art and technology capturing the fantastical and frightening, making the familiar seem as real as looking outside. Directed by Pete Docter and Bob Petersen, UP is and will prove to be the enduring variety of a Classic Tale.

UP is playing now at San Francisco’s Castro Theatre until June 17th. Showtimes through June 4th are 11:30am, 2:00, 4:30, 7:00, 9:30. From June 5th until the 17th: 2:00, 4:30, 7:00, 9:30. Click here for group information: The Castro Theatre

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Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Seán Martinfield, who also serves as Fine Arts Critic, is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”, which is being prepared for publication. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on AllExperts.com. If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: sean.martinfield@comcast.net.

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