Mantz Rantz: Pixar’s ‘Up’ Goes Sky-High

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How the heck does Disney/Pixar do it?

It’s a foregone conclusion that their ninth cinematic wonder, “WALL*E,” is going to walk - or rather, roll - away with the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, which will make it the fourth Disney/Pixar film to win the award since the category was first initiated in 2002.

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And judging by an early peek, “Up” is bound to take Pixar’s prestige to, well, a sky-high level.

Disney recently previewed the first half of the tenth Pixar film for selected members of the press, and judging by what was shown, “Up” is pretty close to the imaginative and emotional brilliance of “WALL*E,” complete with stunning visuals, an epic adventure and emotionally engaging characters.

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The less said about the plot, the better, since the last half has yet to been seen. But “Up” follows the amazing journey of a 78-year-old widower named Carl Fredricksen (voiced by Ed Asner), who ties thousands of balloons to his home and takes off for the wilds of South America to realize his late wife’s dream.

Like “WALL*E” and “Ratatouille,” “Up” is more geared towards adults, since kids may not fully understand the mortal issues at hand. And for the first time ever in a Pixar film, blood is drawn from one of the characters. But there’s still plenty for kids to enjoy, since the film is clever, funny and awe-inspiring.

It’s also loaded with rather odd humor, which makes you wonder how the filmmakers come up with this stuff.

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Up to this point, Disney/Pixar has been nine for nine, thanks to animated classics like “Finding Nemo,” “The Incredibles” and the “Toy Story” films. But what’s truly amazing is how effortlessly Pixar continues to push the boundaries of imagination and judging by their tenth film, the hits are going to keep on coming.

And that begs the question: How the heck does Disney/Pixar do it?

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