We went to see UP (warning: that link takes you to a page which loads the preview automatically, with sound), the new Pixar movie.
I don't want to spoil it, for those of you who have plans to see it. And for those of you who don't have plans to see it: make plans to see it.
Pixar Studios continues to astound me with the amount of character they're able to express with only slight, spare dialogue, some well-composed music, and familiar images.
In the span of twenty minutes, Pixar showed me (nearly) the entire life of the main character, Carl Fredricksen. I cared so much for him in those first twenty minutes that I was vehemently on his side for the rest of the movie. Watching him take an extreme risk, and rooting for him as he came upon each new obstacle, was the most engaged I've felt in a movie in ages.
Maybe since Wall-E, actually.
If you write, and you struggle with creating characters your readers will care about, rent some Pixar films, and take notes.