Shocker: Everyone Will Love Up

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Break up Pixar! Disney's in-house dynasty is preparing for its upcoming trip to Cannes, where it will officially unveil its latest subject of rhapsody, Up, next week as the festival's opening night selection. Meanwhile, the press is getting its own head start on doling out the superlatives.

Naturally, Harry Knowles opened the receiving line a couple weeks ago at Ain't it Cool News, but the real business got underway Thursday with Richard Corliss's rave in Time. The critic immediately noted the film's similarities to last year's prize pony WALL-E (lonely, "stout" protagonists who "don't talk much," and they're both love stories at heart), none of which stand out more than Up being yet another otherworldly Pixar masterpiece.

The LAT's John Horn today has his own reverent glimpse inside the studio's inner sanctum in Northern California, where he observed the film's first screening for 100 Pixar employees who'd collaborated on its production. Aside from a few tweaks with the score, though, according to writer-director Pete Docter, the film is as pure an evocation of Pixar's ethos as has yet been made:

"He's always thought of adventure as travel and exotic places and animals no one has ever seen," Docter said of [septuagenarian lead character] Fredricksen. "And in the end he comes around to realize that the real adventures in life are the small things that we do with our family and friends." [...] What Up was trying to say, in other words, was not so different from what has happened to Pixar itself: that growing older can be a beautiful thing.

Sure, there are enough bad movies in the world, but isn't this all getting a little... stale? I imagine this is what it was like watching the Celtics and Yankees dominate their respective sports in the 1960s, except we're never likely going to see John Lassetter posting up Jeffrey Katzenberg in the fourth quarter of a fiercely contested championship game. Maybe we should? Now who's more ambitious?

· Going Up [Time]

· Up is Pixar at its most ambitious [LAT]



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