I'm sharing this not only because of its insights--I pretty much like the way it's written; it may look long, but it doesn't read so long, you'll see!
Why is an animated film from Pixar about a grumpy old man raking it in at the box office?
I think I would make you laugh if I said "Disney" and "artistic integrity" in the same sentence. But for once, at least, there might be a good reason. Disney must have known that a film featuring a lonely old man would not send toy companies scrambling for the licensing that makes successful children's movies so profitable. But they went ahead with Up all the same, and the result is a film more exciting to cinema buffs (it was the first animated feature ever to open the Cannes Film Festival) than to profit machines (Thinkway Toys passed on Up despite their long-standing relationship with Pixar).
Yet, if not quite a franchise, Up looks to be the biggest hit Pixar has produced in years; the weekend grosses for the first three weekends are much closer to Finding Nemo (Pixar's highest-grossing film) than Wall-E or Ratatouille. Why? How did Up shut up the Wall Street demographic analysts? Maybe behind his quality-first positioning, Disney CEO Rober Iger knew something Wall Street didn't. Maybe a positive, heroic vision of aging can ring true in spite of the standard narrative of the increasing uselessness of the elderly as a growing economic burden on the younger generations.
What exactly did T. S. Eliot have in mind when he wrote, "Old men ought to be explorers?" My guess is he wasn't picturing a squat codger towing a floating house and an overweight cub scout from one end of a vast Venezuelan tepui to the other. The plot of Pixar's latest movie might sound like an all too literal dramatization of that line from Eliot, but the beauty of it is that that's just the point of Up: the main theme of this movie is the moral danger of taking things too literally.
I found where this article comes from! (Finally!) Read the rest at MercatorNet. :D