Up

In theaters.

The premise alone is enchanting: Overwhelmed by grief, an old man launches his tumbledown house into the air with thousands of brightly colored helium balloons. Soaring above the clouds into a soft blue sky, the flying house represents escapism at its loveliest, unbound by any hard laws of physics, the realization of a blissful dream.

It’s a testament to how high the standards for Pixar are that this glorious image isn’t a surprise. We expect greatness from the studio that gave us Wall-E and Ratatouille and Finding Nemo, to name just a few, so it feels almost redundant to report that yes, once again, the animation studio has delivered. But deliver it has. Up is tender and funny and imaginative and beautiful—no less so for having been preceded by other such gems.