Most importantly

I’ve been wanting to write about this for sometime now. An afternoon bike ride today compelled me to get it out. Just rambling.

I watched UP when it opened in May. Since then, it’s constantly been on my mind. If you’ve read my past entries, you may be able to tell that I am quite the nostalgic person; finding great value in life experience and stories from the past. Therefore the story of Mr. Fredricksen in UP deeply resonated with me, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I did tear up (several times) during the film. (Got my 3D glasses all foggy, heh).
There are a few reasons why I think UP hit an emotional chord with SO many ppl (97% on rottentomatoes, various blogs praising that 10 min opening montage, etc). Aside from the fact that yes, Pixar kicks arse in telling quality stories, this story in particular dealt with two things that I believe are the most valuable to everyone in some form.
Innocence and Youth
You’d think I’d put “Love” in there, but here’s why I didn’t. Innocence and youth are both things that once lost, can never be attained again. Love, on the other hand can be found in many ways and shapes throughout one’s lifetime. Therefore, due to the fleeting attainability of innocence and youth, I feel these are the most valuable (not necessarily most important, ahh). Usually, by the time one is even able to understand what each of those really mean…it’s too late, because they’re already lost.

This involves everything you felt and experienced before the world ruined it. When your loving parents did their best to shelter you and keep you safe. Before that first girl rejected you. Before you saw how horrible some people could really be in the way they treated you, or others. There are different stages of innocence. I would admit that my being 24 still retains some innocence compared to a 50 yr old, but I’ve definitely lost a lot compared to an 18 yr old, or an 8 yr old. This applies to everything that you didn’t know about, until you actually had to face it, worry about it, fight it, and endure. As we grow up, that protective distance is constantly being broken.
In terms of UP… Mr. Fredricksen was challenged when he met Russell. A child who still had innocent dreams and views that he gave up on a long time ago. Before Ellie passed, before Ellie had a miscarriage. It’s hard to revisit a way of seeing the world after going through what Mr. Fredricksen (and so many older people in the world) go through. We, too, may have to give up the dreams we had when we didn’t have to worry about anything.
On the brighter side, innocence is what we desire in love. Though “love” can be found all the time…”first love” is a one time thing. In UP, Pixar gives us a story of what we wish our love was like. How many people can say in this day and age that they met someone as a child, and ended up falling in love and growing old with them. Not many. But Pixar paints this picture for us in Mr. Fredricksen…which is why it’s so much more tragic when he loses this love, created in innocence.

This is pretty self explanatory. If you’ve ever daydreamed about lazy sundays and brisk afternoons from when you were “a kid” then you know. I recognize that writing about “youth” as a 24 yr old (and if you’re reading this as like, a 15 yr old) is pretty absurd. We’re still in our “youth”. But so quickly this time period falls through our fingers and we’re only left with fond memories which are only just that, memories. This is why everyone has an “inner child”, and why that child is so important to them. “Inner childs” are what makes fans furious when they see their favorite comic or cartoon growing up mutilated into a horrible Hollywood movie. “Inner childs” are what gets adults excited when they do an activity that reminds them of their youth. “Inner child” is what gets
Mr. Fredricksen teary eyed when he looks through his Adventure book with regret of not being able to fill it out with Ellie when they were younger.
We all want to perpetually feel like we have a lifetime ahead of us to fullfill our dreams, find love, and go on adventures. This obviously is impossible and we will wake up one morning seeing that a lifetime has already passed. You can never regain lost time. Time = youth. This is where the movie begins, Mr. Fredricksen feeling that his life has already passed him, and he missed out. Russell comes along though and restores Mr. Fredrickson’s inner chid, even though his youth is long gone.

This is why UP was such a great movie to me. It brought themes to the audience that usually don’t get addressed in a kids movie. This is why UP was so surprising to adults and myself, because we all thought it was going to be a fun, cute movie a la Pixar about a floating house, and instead, we were faced with many scenarios that probably hit very close to home.

Didn’t really have a destination with this entry. Like I said, just thoughts. What innocent dreams did you have when you were younger? I wanted to be a Lego designer, (probably not gonna happen). How often do you feed your inner child? If you feel too cool or embarrassed to do so, be careful, you’ll lose your youth faster that way.
I think my goal now is to not find myself in Mr. Fredricksen’s position 50 years from now; wondering about all the adventures I could have gone on. Because, I’m not so confidet a chubby little Asian kid is gonna come by my house and save me from my bitterness. I don’t wanna count on that, so I’ll do what I can, while I can, on my own right now. =P


73 thoughts on “Most importantly

  1. I still haven’t had a chance to see it, but I’ve heard nothing but good things about it.This entry was so insightful. I almost felt like I was back in an AP English class in high school, only I enjoyed reading this much more. It was kind of like a wake-up call to start living, but don’t live too fast or it’ll all be gone in a flash.I guess you wouldn’t call it a childhood dream, but when I was little, I always imagined myself in the shows I watched. I was a Power Ranger, I was Sailor Moon, I was an X-Man. To feed that inner child of mine, I still go back to these shows and other cartoons I enjoyed. A lot of today’s shows don’t really appeal to me anyway, and I miss the good classics.This was a great entry for me to read first thing after I wake up =]

  2. I would have to say… that was a really really deep entry! But it was very accurate in my eyes. Youth is something that you can’t stop from disappearing. Everyone should live their youth to the fullest and shouldn’t take anything for granted because one doesn’t know when those important things will disappear forever. Also innocence is something we can’t really stop from leaving us either. When you’re young you don’t know what the rest of the world is like. Like you were saying… you don’t know how bad some people can really be or what it feels to get rejected by your first love. It’s a time when you can believe anything in the world and nothing can go wrong. Anyways… even though I’m like 18 now and I know lots of stuff I didn’t know when I was younger… I still dream about everything… even though I know they won’t come true. Also I feed my inner child like all the time XD and I don’t really care what other people say. I think everyone should dream even though they know stuff might not come true because it’s something people really need! Even if they don’t believe it. Anyways… this was a meaningful entry! Thanks a lot!

  3. UP most definitely made me cry, and for that, i was kinda glad that it was me, my baby sister, and like, one other person in the theater. i liked reading this because it was kind of a different perspective… because when i watched it, what resonated most with me and made me want to cry was different than what you’ve written on innocence and youth, although they do sort of coincide. the things that stuck with me: first, the feeling of loss (which you kind of touch on) and letting go. i think because i’m in a ‘transitional’ stage of life (moving from high school to college) i’m in a weird place. my life right now is definitely filled with loss and letting go, because i’m not in high school anymore, and i’m totally alone. in the 6 or so weeks since graduation, my friends have completely stopped talking to me and ignored all my attempts at communication… which basically makes me feel like i’m not only losing a sense of whats ahead (because as long as youre IN high school, you have some vague idea of what the next year will be like. but i’m going to a college thats totally different than those that the three siblings before me have gone to, and i have no idea what to expect. at all. and that scares me and exhilarates me at the time. altho right now, i’m leaning more towards being afraid…) but i’m also losing people that i’ve semi-confided in over the last four years, because they apparently want nothing to do with me (which is a wholeeee other subject on its own, and i’m not going to go deeper into that than i already have because i’ll get all depressed and self-deprecating and probably will go drown myself in a pool of self pity.) which brings me to the next thing: letting go. because i think i have a tendency to try to hold onto things that i’ve lost. and i think at some point, i’m going to have to realize that it’s okay to let go of things, whether it be people or, like in UP, plans and dreams. and even though i realize that i have to at some point let go… i haven’t reached it yet. i keep checking my email and getting excited when the phone rings hoping one of my friends will try to keep in touch… (though i WILL confess, on some level, i know its not gonna happen.) the other thing i took from UP was the realization that ‘happiness’ and ‘getting what you want’ are NOT necessarily the same thing. or maybe i should say getting what you THINK you want? i dont know. my mind is kind of all over the place right now. sorry. this is really incoherent and hard to understand… i apologize for any bad grammar or incomplete thoughts. i tend to get carried away and not think things through as i type… its a problem. :

  4. I love that you love this movie. It’s not out here in perth yet, so i didnt read the rest of your entry in case it gave stuff away. My sister and I cannot wait till it’s out… I adore the concept behind it… even the fact that a house can actually lift off the ground because of balloons is great… like our adult minds says that’s stupid… but the animators and storyboard people had childlike imaginations enough to just do it.I think its great that you still use your xanga in a time of facebook, twitter, and instant words… this blog lets you have creativity in the construction of sentences, the flow of words and dude its awesome.

  5. i never had a childhood dream. maybe thats why i feel like i never want to grow up. people who have dreams want to grow up so they can achieve it, since i haven’t thought of my goal in life, i’m extremely fearful of growing old.

  6. Oops forgot, but i think You and everyone else here can understand this quote…i read your blog before watching the movie, and when i watched it… i read your blog again and then i cried…and then i remember this quote…”I might sound boring… but i think the boring stuff is the stuff i remember the most” – Russel suddenly i understood God a minute or two, or even a day after the movie was over.

  7. “We all want to perpetually feel like we have a lifetime ahead of us to fulfill our dreams, find love, and go on adventures. This obviously is impossible and we will wake up one morning seeing that a lifetime has already passed. You can never regain lost time.”This lines really got to me. haha. nice insight. 😀

  8. Sigh, Time is my greatest fear. It’s times like this, when I wish to talk to those who’ve gone through things I’m going through right now. I’m still in University, and I want to see the light at the end of the tunnel so bad. How was life after your academic life ended? Does it get significantly better after college?Would you be my Mr. Frederickson to the annoying Asian kid that I am? =) Teach me your life wisdom, sir!

  9. I am 15, and seeing you talk about your youth does make it feel weird. As you are so much older than me.Wow. Preeeetty much just realized that I wanna go crazy and play all day just because I can. Must be hard to be burdened with everything. No, just kidding. Not that we dont have problems, just everyone else forgets about all that when they think back.I haven’t seen this movie yet. Because yes, I did think that it was going to be a happy movie about a flying balloon house. Sounds deep and philosophical, definately need to check that out. Kinda like how I thought Wall-E was going to be about happy robots but ended up being about the end of the world.keep up the good work!

  10. I just watched your “Break Up Back Up” video and thought the dialogue itself was really funny. I can’t act any better, so I can’t critique the acting. Overall, pretty interesting videos, I’m subscribing to your YT channel!

  11. Hey Phil! My friend recently told me you had a Xanga, so of course I have to come by to visit. It was a video by you guys that inspired my most recent featured post, so thank you! Keep doing what you’re doing.

  12. I was tired when I saw this movie, so i fell asleep but after reading this entry I am definitely going to go rent it when I can. I really like the point you made about how many many people meet when they are young, fall in love, and grow old true. I once tried to look up the percentage of how many people marry their high school sweet hearts but I couldn’t even find that. I agree with you on innocence and youth being valuable..I’m only 18 and I feel like life’s moving by too quickly. I really enjoyed this post, made me tear

  13. i enjoy reading your xanga entries, they are so meaningful. i wish mine was more interesting. i have seen a few of your videos as well, haha they are so funny. hope you’re doing well. Always look forward to life…it’s always easier said than done, but the present and the future are the only ones you can change/control now. you are still young, you have plenty of time to experience and do what you want to do:)

  14. I have to disagree with you about this.  I think you can reclaim your innocence and youth.  I feel more innocent and youthful now then when I did growing up.  I was a very serious worrying person, now I’m much lighter.  It’s about letting go of the past, not burying it like most ppl do.  I’ve experienced first love a few times.  It’s always different, new and exciting.  Most ppl think I’m just being naive, but I rather look at the world in my own optimistic way and have fun playing my game of life than playing everyone else’s game and become jaded 

  15. I totally get what you mean. I think I lost my innocence way to early in life, and now I spend most of it trying to hold on to my youth, whether it be my maturity or appearance. It doesn’t matter whether you’re 15 or 50, it’s how you feel inside, just like Sinatra said. I’m 28 and I’m learning from you dude! Truly inspirational.Cheers for tears, a real man shows his emotions. I was literally crying when I watched this on the plane during the food service and when they asked which meal I wanted, my eyes were so watery I just blubbered out beef or something and went back to watching.

  16. wow, phil, i’m falling in love with you all over again reading this old blog about upand i cried just like you, in the cinema when my friends thought “so silly” so yeah, i can related to your thoughts, and this too, are very inspiring to methank you, keep writing*you such a good writer since 2009?! ps: i am a new fans of wong fu, just found you guys lately

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