March 19, 2009 / 12:16 PM / 10 years ago

Cannes in first as animated film opens festival

PARIS (Reuters) - An animated 3-D comedy directed by the one of the creators of “Toy Story” will raise the curtain on the Cannes Film Festival, the first time an animated film has opened the world’s biggest cinema competition, organizers said on Thursday.

“Up,” directed by Pete Docter, who also directed the animated hit “Monsters, Inc.” and developed the story and characters for “Toy Story,” will be shown at the opening ceremony on May 13.

The film, from the Disney Pixar studios, part of Walt Disney Co, tells the story of 78 year-old Carl Fredricksen who ties thousands of balloons to his house and floats away to the South American wilderness, only to discover he has taken a nine year-old stowaway with him.

It will be released in U.S. cinemas on May 29.

Several animated films, from the Israeli drama “Waltz with Bashir,” shown at last year’s competition to “Shrek” in 2001 or the 1947 classic “Dumbo” have featured in the official selection but so far none has ever opened the festival.

The festival runs from May 13-24.

Writing by James Mackenzie, editing by Paul Casciato

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