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DVD Review: "UP" (And some advice for aspiring animators)

By It's My Life on November 12, 2009 3:57 PM | No TrackBacks

UpBlurayBoxart sm.jpgPixar and PBS Kids have something in common: people expect the best from them. Fortunately with its latest release, Pixar didn't disappoint. If you saw it in the theatres, you know that "UP" is unique, funny, charming, and a little bit sad (we cried during the first 10 minutes; did you?). The kind of movie you can enjoy with a parent or even a grandparent, because it has something for everyone. If the story of grumpy old guy Carl Frederickson, earnest kid Russell, an eccentric explorer, a floating house, talking dogs, and a strange bird in exotic Paradise Falls seems a little's supposed to. It doesn't resemble any other movie that's been made before, and because of this, its themes -- holding on to your dreams, appreciating what you have in life, reaching out to connect with others when you're feeling lonely -- are even more beautifully expressed. Plus, it helps that "UP" makes you laugh. A lot. Now, "UP" is available on Blu-ray and DVD, and includes a hilarious short film called "Dug's Special Mission" (with a great twist at the end). Here at IML we give it an A+ rating!

A movie like "UP" is bound to make many young people think, "How cool would it be to create animation for a living?" If you have any kind of artistic bent -- whether it's just doodling or full-on painting and drawing -- check out these tips for aspiring animators from "UP" director Pete Docter:

"If you want to be an animator, my advice is to draw as much as you can. Draw at school, draw at home, and draw on the bus... Draw wherever you are. Drawing helps you see things more detailed. I start to pay attention to small things that I would have blazed past otherwise. Keep practicing!"

"We all have hands, but we need to train our brains to use them in certain ways when you draw. That's why it's important to take art lessons at school and learn the basics. A lot of kids think, 'I want to be a computer animator, so I don't need to draw.' But drawing really helps. Trust me... Learn the basics!"

"When it comes to art, you don't need special, expensive equipment. You can draw with anything from a pencil or pen to a crayon or a piece of chalk. Keep it cheap and simple. Draw on scraps of paper if you haven't got a proper pad, but keep drawing."

"There are many different forms of animation. Look at the difference between a Pixar film like Up and traditional hand-drawn animations like Disney's Snow White. Then there are movies like Coraline or Aardman animations, which have a unique charm and appeal. There is no right or wrong with art. Some people like different things, so try them all out and see which one works the best for you."
"I had a drawing teacher at school who always used to say, 'You all have 20,000 lousy drawings in you before you get to the good ones, so get going.' Practice makes perfect, so get drawing and practice away!"

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"If you want to be an animator, experiment with your drawings and try to make short animations at home. Perhaps you want to take photographs and try to create a stop/motion film with clay or LEGO? Do whatever you want, but don't give up. Your animated creations might be shaky at first, but keep trying and you will get better."

"I'm a fan of many different types of art and I don't think you have to stick with drawing or animation alone. It's very easy to get involved with filmmaking, too. Make movies with your friends and a cheap camera and learn from the experience. My kids are 10 and 12 years old and they've made a ton of movies by filming sequences on their camera at home. Everything helps."

"I never imagined I'd be doing what I do for a living. People used to look at me and say, 'You're so lucky.' But I really didn't expect I'd be doing this as a career. I took Philosophy classes, as well as Art, at University - but I really enjoyed art and I wanted to learn how to do it better. If it makes you happy, then keep at it - but make sure you enjoy yourself along the way."


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