- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 19, 2009

PARIS (AP) - This year’s Cannes Film Festival will have an animated opening.

The festival’s opening-night film will be “Up,” a 3-D feature from hit-making studio Pixar, organizers announced Thursday.

The movie is a comedy adventure about a 78-year-old man, voiced by Ed Asner, who rigs helium balloons to his house and flies to South America.

It marks Cannes’ return to a populist curtain raiser after last year’s bleak opener, “Blindness.”

“Up” is the first animated film chosen to open the world’s most prestigious film festival. Several animated features have found favor at Cannes in the past, including “Persepolis” in 2007 and last year’s “Waltz With Bashir.”

The festival said it had not decided whether “Up” would be among the films competing for the festival’s prizes.

Pixar and its parent studio, the Walt Disney Co., will be hoping “Up” repeats the critical and commercial success of films like “Toy Story,” “The Incredibles” and WALL-E.” After its world premiere at Cannes on May 13, it will open in the United States on May 29.

The Cannes Film Festival runs from May 13 to 24. The full lineup is due to be announced on April 23.

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