3-D is Cannes opener 'Up' shot

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The Festival de Cannes is about to enter another dimension. The world premiere of Disney/Pixar's digital 3-D offering "Up" has been tapped to open the fest May 13, organizers said Thursday.

Directed by Pete Docter, co-directed by Bob Peterson and produced by John Lasseter, "Up," Pixar's 10th feature, is an adventure story about an old man who ties balloons to his house and flies away to South America with a young boy in tow.

While the movie marks the first time in Cannes history that an animated 3-D title will screen in the opening-night slot, the festival has always been animation-friendly. Several toon titles have made their way into the Official Selection, including Disney's "Dumbo" in 1947, 2001's "Shrek" and last year's Israeli documentary "Waltz With Bashir," among others.

Disney showed the fest's organizers an early version of the film several weeks ago, said Mark Zoradi, president of Walt Disney Motion PIcture Group. "We knew we had a wonderful movie, and they absolutely loved it," he said of Cannes' decision to spotlight the film, which will screen Out of Competition. "A Cannes opening is a real coup.

"Sometimes the calendar works in your favor," Zoradi added. The film opens in North America on May 29, plus a few other territories day-and-date. But the bulk of its international release is timed to take advantage of school holidays in individual countries, so it will roll out during the course of the summer, bowing July 29 in France.

Zoradi said Disney projectionists will work with Cannes' technical team to ensure that the Palais will be equipped for digital 3-D projection. "It's going to look spectacular," he promised.

Rebecca Leffler reported from Paris; Gregg Kilday reported from Los Angeles.
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