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Sunday, 13 July 2008

WALL-E, 2008 - Review

Director: Andrew Stanton
Starring: Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight
Running Time: 97 minutes

Thanks to Zav from Colorado for this review (Our first overseas reviewer).


Disney Pixar continues to top itself. WALL-E is one of the year's best movies. Out of all the Pixar animated features, this one is probably the most thoughtful and deep with messages little kids might not see but adults will. This one makes you think.

All humans are over-weight and move around on mobile floating comfortable seats on a huge cruise liner-like ship in the middle of space. Everything is at their fingertips; food, candy, drinks, etc. They've gotten used to having everthing 'when they want it' and 'how they want it'. They are over overindulged. And it all makes sense 700 years into the future, because if they were back on earth, they would have to actually get off their butts and on their feet to earn what they want and need. On the ship, it's like a permenant vacation for them, their home away from home.

Some of the messages are right there on screen:
1. Technology had made us lazy
2. If we are not careful, the machines we created will eventually control us.
3. We as humans destroyed ourselves.

The opening of WALL-E shows an enormous city ruined by dirt, dust and pollution. It's uninhabitable, or so we think.

In the middle of this abandonded city is a hard working small clean-up robot called W.A.L.L.-E. WALL- E does what he is programmed to do. He piles as much junk and metal as he can into his hollow square stomach and compacts it into a nice neat square of usless junk.

When WALL-E is not doing clean up jobs, he goes through piles of old things left behind by people. He saves what he thinks is valuable to him and brings it back to his living quarters that's especially designed for him. He collects what people could not take into space with them. There, he also avoids giant dust storms and has all the nesscessary parts to repair himself.

WALL-E us not your typical robot slave. He has feelings, a personality and he senses and knows fear and joy. His only companion on this desolate planet is a small cockroach who follows him around.

On his spare time, WALL-E likes to watch people dance, sing, and hold hands from the musical movie "Hello Dolly".

One day, WALL-E finds a small skinny bright healthy plant growing behind some wreakage. It's clear the plant represents not just life, but hope.

There are some very touching moments in WALL-E, I teared up a lot:
- When we first see how Eve comes to earth and how she works. WALL-E watches her fly around for the first time. Great scene.
- WALL-E and Eve fly around the huge spaceship together in space. WALL-E uses a small red fire extinguisher to keep up with Eve. Such a sweet touching moment.
- WALL-E reaches up and touches a trail of shining blue stardust while riding on top the probe ship.
WALL-E is so much more than two robots chasing each other around. It's a fast paced sci-fi animated romantic journey. It's about caring for each other.

In a sense, this movie is saying that people gave programmed robots extra personalities and feelings that we seemed to have lacked, because we all seem so disconnected from each other today. And the risk is, robots can fall in love too and feel pain right under our noses.

The ending has some loose ends that got me thinking right after I saw it.
1. The Humans make it back to Earth safely, WALL-E and Eve of course stay together happily, and we discover that there's more plant life living and growing on other parts of the land.
I wondered, how do the humans clean up their huge city? If they chose to live there now. I guess we have to assume that they let their robots and machines do most of the work. The movie doesn't say.

2. We know they will grow food there and vegatation from the plants, since the captain was educated about it back on the ship. But that takes a lot of time as well, so how will they survive in the mean time? Would they just stay on the ship they clean up and wait for the food to produce? Again, the movie doesn't say.

3. Would all this hard work inspire the people to get on thier feet and into shape? I pictured having all the people work together with the trained robots cleaning up the city, thus whipping most of them into great shape.

4. Did these people really learn their lesson? I noticed the captain said " Pizza plants", which is no doubt a joke in the movie and not hard to figure out. They loved to eat, who doesn't. But see that leads me to believe that perhaps these people may have not changed much or learned. We created these machines for our benefit, but they taught us what life really means.

WALL-E is one of the best movies of the summer and 2008. It's something special. Can't wait to see it again.


Anonymous said...

Great review, I look forward to this flick!

Paul said...

But why did they make it look like Jonny 5's child? Sacrilege!

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