Up - Reviewed

There's a reason why every Pixar film is great: their investment in storytelling is second to none. Strip away all the state of the art animation and celebrity voice-overs and you'd still be left with an instant classic. Thankfully, the studios ninth feature Up is no exception.

The beautifully presented opening introduces us to Carl Fredricksen, a budding explorer who falls head over heels for the high spirited Ellie.

After a heartbreaking sequence of love, life and loss we find Carl widowed and alone. Together with his late wife, he had promised to set out on a South American adventure, which regrettably never came to pass.

When the authorities try to boot him into a retirement home, Carl decides to take matters into his own hands. By attaching hundreds of multi-coloured balloons to his humble home, he floats towards adventure.

Joined by an accidental stowaway: Russel, the 8-year-old wilderness explorer, the odd couple set out in search of Paradise Falls. Pretty soon they befriend a talking dog and assist in the rescuing of a rare bird from a deranged explorer.

Pixar have once again mastered the art of balancing a heavily weighted heartfelt story with comedy suitable for the entire family, without alienating anyone.

As always, the animation is a cut above the competition, with every facial tick and line delivery bursting with an uncanny accuracy.

It's also one of the studio's funniest offerings. Knowing when to tickle your funny bone almost as well as it knows how to tug on your heartstrings, Up is the family film of 2009.

Up is now showing in cinemas.

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