This basically encapsulates everything I wanted to say about Up, except that I cried like a little baby during quite a bit of it and there's a visual joke so awful it's brilliant towards the end. I think the thing that bugs me about Pixar movies so much is that they are so meticulously crafted, in the technical and the story sense, and I love them and hold them up as exemplars of storytelling that work for everybody, despite the fact that it aggravates me to no end they haven't ever had a female lead in their movies. (A new movie, The Bear and the Bow, will, and I find it significant that it has a female director.) I feel like Pixar's getting better about it, since you get a very good sense of Ellie as a character even in those first 20 minutes, as well as the way she and Carl were basically best friends and partners in crime together until the end. She's also a palpable presence throughout the film, even if she's not actually there. I don't know if it makes it better or worse.