d. Pete Docter and Bob Peterson / 2009 / USA / 96 mins
Viewed at: Cinema 1 @ Barbican (London, UK)
This is, I’m almost ashamed to admit, the first film I had ever seen in any form of 3D whatsoever (discounting a brief peek at U2 3D whilst on a projection booth tour a couple of years ago) and I have to say, I found the glasses extremely distracting. I don’t know whether it’s a phenomenon peculiar to the Disney Digital 3D glasses or whether it had more to do with where we were sitting (at the very back of the auditorium, which meant looking down at the screen and may have accounted for the glasses slipping down all the time). Apart from that, I found it hard to detach the film itself from the gimmick of the viewing experience, a sensation that I can only assume diminishes with time.
The film itself wasn’t too bad – particularly considering all the concerns about the difficulties of marketing an animated film about an old man – but it is far from being the best Pixar film yet (for my money, that award goes to another Pete Docter-led project, Monsters, Inc.!) One of my biggest gripes was that the hilarious subtlety of one talking dog – “SQUIRREL!” – was quickly ruined by the introduction of a whole legion of them, a move that seemed fairly out of step with the rest of the film.
Still, Pixar have managed to make yet another film filled with fun, fantasy and adventure that is once again hooking in children of all ages. They’ve also managed to knock out yet another supporting short – Partly Cloudy – that is pretty darn good too. Good for them.