I’ve always been a sucker for Disney movies. Long after the kids grew out of them, I insisted on keeping videos of “Beauty and the Beast” and “Lion King.” Actually, the Disney version of “Alice in Wonderland” remains one of my all-time favourite movies of any kind. Love those big flower blossoms that look like lion heads! But the other night I went to see Pixar’s latest movie, “Up,” and I have to say it is one of the most amazing films I’ve ever seen.

You would expect the graphics to amaze, and they do. But this film about an aging widower who goes off on an adventure with an unsuspecting kid is much more than an example of the latest whizzy technology. The story is beautiful. The characters are complex and captivating. But the reason why I’m writing about it here is because it has made me think about the power of the wordless image. As a writer I, of course, approach all my work through words. Whether it’s prose, poetry or plays, it’s through words that I express whatever character or theme I am looking to portray. This sounds obvious, but I have found this to be a bit tricky as I write plays, and believe it or not, it wasn’t until I saw “Up” that I realized how much pathos and motivation can be expressed just by visual images when you’re working in a narrative context.

Within “Up” there is a 10-minute completely wordless montage which takes you through the marriage of the main character and his wife. By the time it was over, I was in floods of tears, completely understanding the characters, their loves, their losses and dreams. Amazing. Now, you would have thought that I might have learned this lesson before this late date. But for some reason, the power of the visual over the verbal really hit home as I sat there crying over these animated figures. It’s funny how these light bulb moments appear when they’re least expected. And it will be interesting to see how all this translates into any of my own work.

So, do go see it if you can.