Up, Up and Away: Another New High for Pixar

Pixar's latest triumph mines buoyancy from the depths of an old man's grief


This story has been updated

It started with a cartoon drawing: a cluster of gaily colored party balloons held by a cranky old man, his eyes asquint, as if daring any kid to take one. Pete Docter's sketch, made back in '04, suggested another droll innovation at Pixar, a studio proud of taking risks in a traditional genre; mean and old are words rarely attached to the main character in an animated feature. But Docter, 40, who'd done the 2001 Monsters, Inc., and his co-director and co-writer Bob Peterson didn't want just to have fun with the elderly...

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