Last Updated 10 Jan 2023

Marxist and Feminist Criticisms of the Movie Up by Pete Docter

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The movie Up directed by Pete Docter reflects the love between two main characters and exposes the braveness of Carl for protecting a Snipe» nearly extinct animal. Archetypal, Marxist and Feminist Criticisms have a strong impact in the interpretation of the meaning of the movie, The criticism perspectives portray the sacrifice of an old man to his beloved wife and his “adventurous colleagues” in the adventure to Paradise Fall, In order to analyze the movie Up, applying different criticisms would give a profound comprehension. By using the criticisms affectedly, Pete Docter is successful in spreading his messages throughout the movie. Archetypal Criticism is expressed at the beginning of the movie, when “The young Carl enthusing over black and white newsreel images of his hero, a world-famous aviator and explorer, Charles Muntz.“ Carl also appears with an aviator goggles, hat, and suits, which portrays the image of his early dream to be an explorer (Roger). On his way heading back home from the “explore spirit show”, he meets Ellie, dressing in her explorer suits, who is also a Muntz fan, Director Pete is trying to indicate Archetypal Criticism through their costume, instantaneously developing the characteristic of the two characters. Seeing commons in each other, they eventually get married and live happily in Ellie’s Clubhouse “with a desire to move the house to the cliff overlooking Paradise Fall by saving every spare coin in a jar" (Telegraph film). Working in the zoo as tour guide and balloon sale-man, they spend every moment together, “the adult relationship that director Pete Docter brilliantly compresses into some four wordless minutes during which the couple dream together, face crushing disappointment, and grow happily side by side" has reveal the stereotype of a healthy relationship (Monohla Dargis). The movie has been described with the Archetypal Criticism by portraying the characteristic of the couples through the way they dress, their dream, and their behaviors.

Moreover, the Archetypal Criticism is also illustrated through the villain, Charles Muntz. Being known as “a famous explorer and adventurer in the 19305. He flew around the world in his airship named The Spirit of Adventure, collecting many rare specimens that are now preserved in the most prestigious museums" (Roger Ebert). However, “scientists claimed that the specimens Muntz found are fake. As a result, Muntz was removed from the National Explorers Society” (Roger Ebert). Dishonored, Munts declared in front of an oversized crowd that he will come back with a living specimen, in other to get back his reputation. That happening turned him to be a villain. “Muntz became ruthless and paranoid”; he became a trick man with the ambitious of getting the real Spine for his return (Roger Ebert) He is willing to do anything, even it could cause negative result, such as killing, to get back his glory.

The following demonstrates another common stereotype, a villain, which exposes another aspect of Archetypal criticism. Apparently, Marxist Criticism is also appealed in the movie through Carl‘s love for Ellis. With his endless love for Ellis; “he becomes a recluse, holds out against the world, keeps his home as a memorial, and talks to the absent Ellie“ in order to fulfill the emptiness in his heart (Roger Ebert). Without acknowledging the change of the surrounding, which is developing rapidly each and every day, Carl ignores any convincing from his neighbor, and the constructor that is working on the building next door were trying to tell Carl that he should move to a nursing home for his retirement. He “refuses all of the offer and threats the constructor" for asking him so many times about moving out of the neighborhood Unfortunately, the one who has the power always wins (Telegraph film).

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The constructor is able to “kick" Carl out of the neighborhood, destroy his small house and replace it with a tall building The Marxist Criticism is applied beautifully through that insightful scene. Before having people noticed, he decides to pack up and fly away by suspending “the house from countless helium-filled balloons”; Carl fulfills his dream of seeking Paradise Falls, emancipates himself out of the “have and have not” society (Roger Eben). Tying all together, the appearances of the characters; the braveness of Carl; the endless love between Carl and Ellis; the “have and have not" society. We may see different criticism are applied in the movie to provide a profound meaning and express the universal messages An old man escapes from society because he cannot keep what belongs to him. Eventually, Carl‘s escape leads him to an unimaginable adventure, An adventure that teaches him how to let go of the old things and adopt to the new things. An adventure that teaches him how to open his heart and listen to others An adventure that teaches him to love and to be loved againi Besides that, Archetypal Criticism and Marxist Criticism contributes a huge role in interpreting the meaning of the movie.

Works Cited

  1. Dargis, Manohla, "The House That Soared," The New York Times. The New York Times, 28 May 2009. Web. 25 Jan. 2016.
  2. ”Up, a Very Special Gift" The Telegraph, Telegraph Media Group, 10 Aug. 2009. Web, 25 Jan 2016.
  3. Up. Dir, Pete Docter, Disney DVD, 2009. Film. "Up Movie Review & Film Summary (2009) | Roger Ebert." All Content. 27 May 2009. Web. 25 Jan. 2016

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