It seemed that Pixar had raised their personal bar so high with the sublime Wall.E that which ever film they produced next would, through no fault of it's own, falter by comparison. However, this isn't the case with Up. Pixar prove yet again that when it comes to consistantly creating films of huge quality there's no one better in the business. On paper, Up shouldn't work. An elderly man attaches balloons to his house and flies to South America, with a young boy scout in tow and encounters huge colourful birds and talking dogs? But then again, Ratatouille's tale of a rat with culinary dreams shouldn't have worked. But it did. Wall.E's tale of a lonely mute robot seeking love shouldn't have worked. But it did. So we learnt long ago to not question the judgement of the geniuses at Pixar HQ, but rather to sit back and savour whatever they throw our way. And there's plenty to savour with Up. The first 15 minutes of this film has to rank as one of the greatest openings to any film, ever. The beauty, the emotion, the delicacy of Pixar's touch is evident for all to see. Any film that can create the type of emotions in it's viewer within the opening few scenes is a special film indeed. And Up is special. Beautifully constructed, it manages to be tender, touching, sad, happy, triumphant, inspiring, heart-breaking and life-affirming, sometimes all at the same time. It doesn't force the viewer into these emotions, it achieves them naturally through the power of it's characters, it's themes, it's storytelling and it's visuals. Truly sumptious visuals (whether you see them in 2 or 3 dimensions) enthrall the eyes, while the sharp, witty writing entertains the ears, and the emotion and charm on display warm even my cold heart. Delving into darker and more adult themes than any other film in the Pixar illustrious canon, Up has real depth and meaning to it, guareenteed to strike a chord with adults of any age, while the humour is razor-sharp (espicially the talking dogs) and will amuse the kids and adults alike. Up is, quite simply, a masterpiece of epic proportions. It will be enjoyed by anyone from ages 4 to 104. It's funny, it's touching, it's beautifully made and it has a great message running through it's core. Best animated film of 2009? Without a doubt. Best film of 2009, period? It's very possible. Another home run from Pixar. Is there honestly a more exciting creative force working in Hollywood today? I don't think so. Go see Up. Right now.