Pete Docter Talks Up

(Taken from Suite101.com, written by the journalist Dominic von Riedemann. All the following material is copyrighted and belongs exclusively to Riedemann and its original publisher site, Suite101.com. No intends to infringe the copyrights, but with the only purpose to informe).

While Pete Docter and Bob Peterson haven’t experienced the runaway success that their Pixar comrades John Lasseter (Toy Story), Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Ratatouille) and Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo, WALL-E) have enjoyed, the duo developed A Bug’s Life and Monsters Inc., two very solid additions to the Pixar canon of CGI animated films.

Docter and Peterson have now returned with their 2009 film, Up. Starring the voices of Ed Asner (Lou Grant), Christopher Plummer (The Sound of Music), John Ratzenberger (every Pixar movie to date) and newcomer Jordan Nagai, the movie is a “coming of old age” film that revolves around a 78-year-old man named Carl Fredericksen, who takes a balloon trip along with an 8-year-old Boy Scout named Russell.

Ed Asner, Christopher Plummer Star in Up

“Carl used to be a balloon salesman,” co-writer/co-director Pete Docter explained to MTV, “and so when the outside world is going to take his house, he ties all his surplus balloons, fills them with helium, and floats his entire house up into the sky off to South America — that’s the image of the film . . . It kind of defies description, because it’s moving, it’s emotional, it’s active, but it’s weirdly poetic and doesn’t make a lot of logical sense. And yet it’s really the cornerstone of the film.”

Apparently, it’s all part of a promise Fredericksen (Asner) made to his deceased wife, who always wanted to see the mountains of South America, but never got the chance. Russell (Nagai), the Boy Scout, stowed away in the house because he wanted to earn his “Helping the Elderly” merit badge. During the course of the film, the pair battle monsters and villains, culminating in a confrontation against the evil mastermind voiced by Plummer.

“We’ve described it as a ‘coming of old age’ story,” Docter continues. “It’s really like an unfinished love story, is kind of the way we’re talking about it. This wonderful romance this guy had with his wife and she passes away and it’s the unfinished business of dealing with that. The little kid (also has things he) needs to deal with . . . and so the two of them end up really needing each other and helping to finish each other’s business.”

Up Goes 3-D

Much like DreamWorks Animation, Disney/Pixar will make Up their first animated movie presented in stereoscopic 3-D. Unlike DreamWorks, which has committed to making all their movies in 3-D from the ground up, Pixar will develop Up for standard movie houses, and then reprocess the film in 3-D.

“There’s a whole other separate team that’s following along that’s doing the stereo version. We’re going to educate each other on what’s the best way to do the 3-D thing,” Docter says. “So far, the difference is this. (puts his hand over his eye). If you close one eye, you’re going to see what you’d see in another film.”

Up comes out May 29, 2009.

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