Saturday, October 18, 2008

Poster Critique: Up

Let's put Pixar in context; the consistency of their work I think puts them up there as one of the great, and productive, production houses ever. The high quality animation that they churn out, they pretty much have it all taken care of, 200+ million at the box office, a constant sense of wonder with each film, incredibly respected collaborators like Brad Bird, and unique stories that allow them to push themselves artistically and in the animation field. It's the Pixar brand, and when you get to that point, you allow yourself to be included in a great circle starting with the old studio system all the way to something like the Miramax during the 1990s.

In that sense there's really not much to critique about Up; all they really have to do is slap "Pixar" on it...oh wait they did. There you go, that's reason enough to see it. But they do it again with an adorable teaser poster that hopefully has been rolled out or will roll out soon, because I'll get to the theater super early just to look at it and get all warm and fuzzy before seeing possible crap. Such as Danny Deckchair, starring the wonderfully cute Miranda Otto, and from which I'm sure the creators of Up had to have noticed, both their poster for it and the idea behind balloon flight.

Sure, the great, blue sky is wonderful and not even that daunting due to the fact that the blue is exceptionally bright. There are so many subtle things about this poster though that really make it an interesting "small object in space" kind of thing. Let's start with the placing of the title; it looks like a cloud itself, massive because the scope of the picture looks to be massive. The tilt of the font and the addition of dimension as the top is bloated really is a great, suggestive piece to bring a lot of whimsy to the poster.

Obviously also, the fact that the house is drawn so tiny with SO many balloons is a fantastic idea that only seems like it could be from a fairy tale. It floats among the clouds, and even has the gentle shadow to show that it's even above the clouds. The use of the flying house is great too, there's a small sense of movement to the right, and it makes you wonder where it's going, and not only wonder, it makes you want to know what happens to this curious house flying around. Is the house flying on their own valition? Did they try a fun experiment? Or maybe that's the story; that the house flies around on purpose, checking out the world from a distinctly non house point of view. It also reminds me of Jack and the Beanstalk, a fun story in it's own right.

The clouds also don't take up the whole sheet, the ample separate from the massive title font and the clouds on the bottom half give buoancy, as if past the clouds there's something even cooler as the house flies right.

As always the bubbly use of color and a wonderfully neutral yellow for the house (reminds me of when they are trying to pick the shade of yellow in Juno).

You can check out Up at IMDB here.

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