Lava (2015) Review

I Lava Lava! 

Lava is the new Pixar animated short that plays in front of InsideOut.  It is the love song of a lonely volcano.  And it is also one of the most moving 7 minutes of film I’ve seen in years.

In essence, Lava is a music video about a Volcano, named Uku, longing to find someone to love.  As a volcano he towers over the ocean and watches the whales and dolphins and sea turtles all fall in love and it causes him to sing a song to the ocean for someone he can love.  What he doesn’t realize is that another Volcano, under water, named Lele is listening to every line he sings, every day for a million years.


From a production standpoint the film is breath taking. The lush green pops on the screen while the blue water begs you to dive in.  All the while, a harrowing wind blows through the scene.  James Ford Murphy, who is head of animation at Pixar, wrote and directed the film.  Every lyric is sweet to listen to but also tragic at the same time. And to help drive that point home, Uku is voiced by Kuana Torres Kahele.  Kahele is a singer/songwriter from Hilo, Hawaii.  He delivers an emotional, authentic, and heartwarming performance.


In conclusion, Lava tells a tragic, Shakespearean like love story, with a Pixar happy ending.  I found myself getting a little misty eyed as Uku waited his whole life for something that never came to pass.  If someone asked me to describe what is so wonderful and equally so terrifying about love, I would show them Lava.


Note: You can download the full song on iTunes right now. (Lava-Single)


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