Pixar’s UP to Open Cannes Festival

Disney/Pixar’s UP has been selected as the opening ceremony film for the prestigious Cannes Festival this year. Directed by Pete Docter (Monsters, Inc.) the 3-D feature will makes its big Cannes splash on Wednesday, May 13.

This is the first time an animated feature has opened the festival in the 62-year history of the event. “Cannes has demonstrated for many years its interest in animation by selecting films from DreamWorks, as well as films that use animation differently like Persepolis and Waltz With Bashir,’ Thierry Fremaux, Cannes Film Festival’s delegate general was quoted in Variety. ‘It’s audacious to open the festival with an animated film, but we’re conscious of our duty: It’s by stretching its boundaries that cinema remains universal.’

Co-directed and co-produced by Bob Peterson, who co-wrote Finding Nemo, UP is an unusual comedy adventure in which a curmudgeonly 78-year-old flies away to the wilds of South America (with the aid of thousands of balloons) accompanied by a nine-year-old wilderness explorer. Ed Asner, Christopher Plummer, John Raztenberger, Delroy Lindo and newcomer Jordan Nagai round up the excellent voice cast.

Dumbo (1947), The Fantastic Planet (1973), Fritz the Cat (1974), Shrek (2001), The Triplets of Belleville (2003), Shrek 2 (2004), Over the Hedge (2006), Persepolis (2007), Kung-Fu Panda (2008) and Waltz with Bashir are other animated titles that were chosen as Cannes Official Selections in years past.

Disney/Pixar’s UP will premiere in the U.S. on May 29 and in France on July 29. French actress Isabelle Huppert is the Cannes jury president this year, which will unspool May 13-24.