Up Debuts at Cannes to Rave Reviews

Pixar-Disney’s Up is about to make history by becoming the first animated film ‘ not to mention the first 3-D film ‘ to open the Cannes International Film Festival.

That screening will occur Wednesday night in Cannes, but its screening there has given advance critics the opportunity to begin weighing in on the film.

As per usual for a Pixar movie, the reviews are raves.

Here’s a sampling of what’s being said, starting with Variety‘s Todd McCarthy, who writes:

Depending on what you think of Cars, Pixar makes it either 9′ out of 10 or 10 for 10 with Up, a captivating odd-couple adventure that becomes funnier and more exciting as it flies along. Tale of an unlikely journey to uncharted geographic and emotional territory by an old codger and a young explorer could easily have been cloying, but instead proves disarming in its deep reserves of narrative imagination and surprise, as well as its poignant thematic balance of dreams deferred and dreams fulfilled. Lack of overtly fantastical elements might endow Up with a somewhat lower initial must-see factor than some summer releases. But like all of Pixar’s features, this one will enjoy a rewardingly long ride in all venues and formats.

Writing for The Hollywood Reporter, Michael Rechtshaffen chimes in with the following:

Given the inherent three-dimensional quality evident in Pixar’s cutting-edge output, the fact that the studio’s 10th animated film is the first to be presented in digital 3-D wouldn’t seem to be particularly groundbreaking in and of itself.

But what gives Up such a joyously buoyant lift is the refreshingly nongimmicky way in which the process has been incorporated into the big picture — and what a wonderful big picture it is.

Winsome, touching and arguably the funniest Pixar effort ever, the gorgeously rendered, high-flying adventure is a tidy 90-minute distillation of all the signature touches that came before it.

And Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times weighs in with some initial thoughts after seeing a 2D presentation of the film:

My official review is scheduled to run when the movie opens in late May, but there will be hundreds online and in print from Cannes, so I see no harm in making some unofficial observations. Such as, this is a wonderful film. It tells a story.The characters are as believable as any characters can be who spend much of their time floating above the rain forests of Venezuela. They have tempers, problems, and obsessions. They are cute and goofy, but they aren’t cute in the treacly way of little cartoon animals. They’re cute in the human way of the animation master Hayao Miyazaki.

If you can’t wait for Up to open in theaters on May 29, here’s a clip to tide you over: