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In terms of sophisticated storytelling and emotional complexity in animation, Pixar has set the bar perilously high. There’s a hint early on in Up that something equally as bitter and blissful may be in store, with a wordless montage following two youngsters—Carl and Ellie—as they become best friends, get married, dream of a South American Shangri-la and grow old together. There’s nowhere to go but earthward after that, yet to its credit, Up keeps things buoyant even as it descends into the business of dominating the Happy Meal demographic.


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