This prime Pixar achievement begins with the intertwined life and love stories of Carl and his wife Ellie, which span 70 years and are told in pantomime; there's no sweeter, more poignant 4½ minutes in movie history. Then director Pete Docter ties a bunch of helium-filled balloons to Carl's dead-end life, sending the crotchety old man and a feckless young interloper to South America for a lesson in what constitutes a life of adventure. Of the year's many CGI-animated features, from the imaginative (Monsters vs Aliens, 9, Astro Boy) to the just O.K. (Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs), none soared as high as Up.
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