Monday, June 15, 2009

I Heart Adventure, Where's My Story?

NPR - I love you a lot lately. Your coverage of Iran has been riveting, your All Things Considered have been fresh and delightful to listen to, and your afternoon interviews (Sally Field! Woody Allen!) have made me wish my lunchtime break was so much longer. And even better than all of that is this PERFECT letter by Linda Holmes asking Pixar to holla back at the gals who love their films, and would be pumped to see our own adventures and stories projected up there on the big screen.
Of the ten movies you've released so far, ten of them have central characters who are boys or men, or who are anthropomorphized animals or robots or bugs who are voiced by and imagined as boys or men. These movies feature women and girls to varying degrees -- The Incredibles, in particular -- but the story is never "a girl and the things that happen to her," the way it's "a boy and what happens to him."

And Up...oh, Up has Ellie, who I could have watched forever. Seen only in flashbacks to the main story, Ellie is warm and hilarious, ambitious and fearless, and then gone for most of the movie. She provides the engine for the story, in many ways, but it's an old man and a little boy who actually get to hit the gas.
I finally got to see Up last Friday and wowza! I loved everything about it, from the perfect non clichéd talking animals, to elderly fisticuffs, to the imaginative adventure itself, it was pretty perfect. But, sigh, I agree with Ms. Holmes. It needed more Ellie, or even better, Ellie needs her own film - one where she gets to live on and kick selfish old man ass all the while managing to be fitfully funny. Those moments in the beginning of the film where she was featured as a child where so entertaining and made me laugh the hardest. It reminded me of my younger days creeping around my block, notebook in hand, copying down the private rituals of my unsuspecting neighbors, all the while channeling my hero Harriet the Spy. I held on to every one of Ellie's moments so tightly as I watched it, knowing (from previews/reviews) that I wouldn't get to revel in her (my) young spunkiness for long. So I join Ms. Holmes in asking in a my most affable tone, Pixar? Can you give us some Coralines and save your Collettes? And while you're at it, can she be okay with being single? A lot of us are!

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