A good movie does what a good book does: it shows, it doesn’t tell. However, sometimes books and movies have lazy writers who tell instead of show. The people who create the Pixar movies very seldom fall into that category.
We saw Up last night. Wonderful movie. But from the “short” before the main feature through the end of the film, I was also fascinated by the mastery of the writers in showing, not telling.
Have you ever considered the Pixar short films? They are completely wordless, yet you don’t just know what is happening in them, you know who it is happening to. The sense of character is extraordinary, even with no words spoken.
I found this to be particularly true of the beginning sequence of Up as well. We see, we experience, Ellie and Carl’s years together in a way that impacts us emotionally. (Ok, I cried.) Having Carl say, “Ellie and I had a good, long marriage. I miss her,” wouldn’t have had the same effect. Likewise, throughout the movie, even the dialogue revealed character with a subtleness of getting to know a new friend.
I highly recommend this movie for writers. But I also highly recommend this movie for everyone else, too. It will make you laugh and cry and inspire you to go back to your life and live it.