Pixar continued its string of hits in 2009 with the poignant, swashbuckling and often hilarious “Up.” As consistent as the films have been, so too have the filmmakers, as three years of interviewing the directors has shown. Brad Bird, Andrew Stanton and another one of Pixar’s original crew, Pete Docter (“Toy Story,” “Monsters, Inc.”), are all affable, talkative, friendly creators who never seem to tire of answering questions about their films. Docter grew up in Minneapolis, but he knows Santa Barbara from visiting his grandparents here, and he’ll return once again to screen “Up” and take part in the Festival’s screenwriter and director panels this weekend.
In “Up”, Carl (voiced by Ed Asner) attaches thousands of balloons to his house and goes in search of Paradise Falls to fulfill a promise to his deceased wife. He has a stowaway, Russell, an eager boy scout, and a later meeting with a boyhood hero, Muntz (voiced by Christopher Plummer).