Release date: May 29

Distrib: Disney

Earning some of the best reviews and biggest box office returns (half a billion dollars worldwide) for a Pixar film, this fanciful, absurdly funny and moving tale of old-age entrenchment and youthful escape again showcased the studio’s sterling combination of storytelling acumen, characterization and computer-animated artistry. A screenplay nomination may be in the future of previous nominees Pete Docter and Bob Peterson, but will the fact that “Up” centers on human characters rather than talking creatures/robots/monsters give it an extra shot at Oscar glory outside of the animation category, perhaps for Docter as director? Facing a picture category with 10 slots starting this year, “Up” — which sports a septuagenarian lead character (voiced by Ed Asner) and thus might help nudge older Acad voters less inclined to favor nonlive-action fare — has the best shot in years of any animated film to land a chance for the top Oscar.

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