Film Review: Wall-E

I can see why this film gets 5 stars in pretty much every review. It’s a beautiful little gem of an animation by Disney/Pixar, which moves them far out of their own comfort zone (for the first third at least) of past triumphs like Monsters Inc., Toy Story, Finding Nemo and The Incredibles. Told with incredible heart and more imagination than you would expect of a modern Disney piece, Wall-E is the story of the last robot on Earth, left behind by humanity after they depart the planet, having killed it with rampant, corporate consumption. For the last 700 years Wall-E has been compacting humanity’s never-ending stream of leftover rubbish into towers which now equal the skyscrapers, collecting rubbish nick-nacks, and watching show tunes on video, with only his pal the cockroach for companionship. Then a scout ship arrives to test the Earth for life, and robot-with-attitude EVE discovers Wall-E has found a plant, which proves the planet is repairing itself. Off she races to deliver her find to humankind’s distant home – the Axiom – a giant ship which has provided them with such safety and comfort that they have all evolved into obese monstrosities, plugged into chairs and computers which manage their entire lives. But little Wall-E likes EVE and tags along, unaware of the implication of what he found…

The two star-crossed electronic loves bump into a conspiracy aboard the Axiom (with echoes of ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’), and must struggle to awaken the slothful humanity to the news that their planet is reborn and waiting for them. On the way they have achingly funny adventures with other robot misfits, and display rare, engaging and believable emotion, conveyed without speech. That such a thing is possible is testament to the abilities of the filmmakers, who in the first half hour (Wall-E’s solitude on Earth) take an enormous risk by opting for a deathly serious, extremely dark vision of a post-Apocalyptic future, where Wall-E  is a sorry and blackly amusing sight, totally alone on a wasted planet. That the back third of the movie, with his and EVE’s misadventures amongst the balloon-sized humans is less convincing (although often extremely funny), is a small gripe – the photo-realistic quality of the animation on ‘Earth’ lends the core of the story huge credibility, and allows a shade more doubt as to a happy ending. Director Andrew Stanton amazed us once before with ‘Finding Nemo’, and here he has outdone himself, delivering an intelligent animation with an environmental message, without once getting preachy, and thank goodness – this is a story of a robot with more humanity than any human from the past or the future after all!

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One response to “Film Review: Wall-E

  1. I AGREE! I totally enjoyed Wall E. It’s amazing how much interactions could exist without much of dialogue! And i liked the little robot which was cleaning up after Wall E.
    Very sound piece to share your personal preference and experience.
    Btw, it’s Pleasantville 🙂 Smallville is something else.

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