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2008 computer-animated film produced by Pixar Animation Studios

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Warning: As Cute As It Is Depressing

  • Jun 28, 2008
Hollywood is concerned about the environment. That's the message I'm getting with most of the films I see these days. I bought a few DVD's and CD's the other day and they were inside "biodegradable packaging" (which, far as I can tell, is a fancy term for cardboard). "Even Almighty" was made not only as a message about the environment, but it also used environment friendly techniques such as double sided scripts and green screens. Green screens are so friendly to the environment (as well as have the bonus of being cheap) that almost half the movies filmed this year are being filmed with them. And if THAT message isn't getting across to the adults, then Pixar's new film "Wall*E" will make sure the message gets across to the kids at least.

I must give Disney credit: They covered up what this film was really about VERY good! The movie starts off on the planet Earth, which pans over a city with big skyscrapers and then...oh wait, those aren't real skyscrapers. No, they are blocks of trash used to create life-size replicas of buildings. The real buildings are in the back, worn down and unlivable in. The maker of these fake buildings is Wall*E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class), who is a trash cleaner on Earth, but has since then developed a personality and spends his time collecting odd treasures. When he finds a ring box with a ring inside he throws away the ring and keeps the box, because he likes how it opens and shuts. His only friend is a cockroach, who should give adults who don't want to see this movie a similar excuse to not see it as the "I don't want to see `Ratatouille' because I don't like rats" excuse I heard way too much.

Wall*E's biggest treasure is a worn-out VHS tape of "Hello Dolly," one that gives him great ideas about love. Then one day, a robot called Eve drops on Earth, and after a few misunderstandings the two begin a great friendship. Now most of this you'll have seen on the trailers. Disney billed this as a first rate romantic tale to the masses. And it is, for the most part, but the movies true purpose comes into play once Wall*E and Eve leave Earth. That's when the movie takes place on the Axiom, a ship that was built by a Wal-Mart like corporation to house humans until Earth could get cleaned up. And as if to point fingers at Wal-Mart even more, all the humans are fat, sit on hover chairs all day, speaking to other people on monitors and clapping their hands whenever they need a refill on their super sized sodas.

I don't go to Wal-Mart very much, but the few times I do I can't help but notice a good portion of overweight people who drive around in electronic shopping carts, acting as if walking has become a chore to them. This movie takes that idea to the next step and asks us what will happen if that gets to a point where we don't even push the buttons anymore, and just let machines take us through our day. Not too comforting is it? During this scene I noticed a rather overweight woman sitting in front of me, who stopped eating what was left of her jumbo sized popcorn and jumbo sized drink (though she had already finished her two hot dogs and mini-pizza by then). Though these scenes may be uncomfortable for many people to watch, as I observed, it's probably a good thing in the long run.

Goodness me, it appears this review has gone in some very political directions. Sorry, but what can I say? "Wall*E" itself goes in some very political directions. Earth has so much smoke in the air the sun is red. I'm sorry to say that in my city, when I woke up this morning, so was my sky. This movie is very concerned about our health and how we treat our Earth, and I predict recycling and bike riding is going to go up in popularity in our schools after kids see this. Though that leads me to another dilemma: I don't know how the primary target audience (AKA: Families and kids) are going to react to this movie. The movie is wonderfully animated, extremely daring, unbearingly cute, and it has classic written all over it.

In fact, with the exception of a few scenes with the Axiom's captain, the movie is mostly dialog free, save for some boops and beeps. This makes the film almost universal, and people are sure to have laughed and cried by the end of it. But what to make of the films message? The message that true love is there for everyone will likely be embraced. The message that we are not doing a very good job at taking care of ourselves is likely to be met with resistance (as well as a potentially less then happy box office performance). But you got to give it to Pixar, they must know that the movies going to depress someone. How else can you explain the inclusion of one of their funniest shorts, involving a bunny and magician having a disagreement over a carrot, before the movie? In a strange way, this Tex Avery style slapstick short may come off more fun then "Wall*E" itself, and this is a cartoon where the two try to KILL each other! Oh well, what's can I say? "Wall*E" is still one of the best films of the year.

Rating: **** and a half stars

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Quick Tip by . September 16, 2010
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Quick Tip by . September 02, 2010
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review by . July 19, 2010
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This futuristic film follows the adventures of a lonely robot named Wall-E who follows an intriguing "female" robot EVE to a large spaceship, within which the remaining human population is residing after evacuating Earth many years earlier after it was essentially destroyed by an overabundance of man-made garbage.      The reason this movie is so intriguing is that it holds audiences fully captivated with minimal to no dialogue for most of the movie, a trait unheard …
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Quick Tip by . July 22, 2010
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Probably the most adorable, heart wrenching pieces of political animation ever conceived. You'll be singing Hello Dolly for weeks
Quick Tip by . July 20, 2010
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Definitely not Pixar's best but charming nevertheless. Makes me fear for the future a bit.
About the reviewer
Kevin T. Rodriguez ()
Ranked #57
Kevin T. Rodriguez is an aspiring film journalist. He's more comfortable typing a review then doing an on-camera appearance, but he loves doing the occasional rant. Whether it be on movies, eBay, or comics, … more
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WALL-E is a 2008 computer-animated science fiction film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and directed by Andrew Stanton. It follows the story of a robot named WALL-E who is designed to clean up a waste-covered Earth far in the future. He eventually falls in love with another robot named EVE, and follows her into outer space on an adventure that changes the destiny of both his kind and humanity.

After directing Finding Nemo, Stanton felt Pixar had created believable simulations of underwater physics and was willing to direct a film largely set in space. Most of the characters do not have actual human voices, but instead communicate with body language and robotic sounds, designed by Ben Burtt, that resemble voices. In addition, it is the first animated feature by Pixar to have segments featuring live-action characters.

Walt Disney Pictures released it in the United States and Canada on June 27, 2008. The film grossed US$23.1 million on its opening day, and $63 million during its opening weekend in 3,992 theaters, ranking #1 at the box office. This ranks as the fourth highest-grossing opening weekend for a Pixar film as of May 31, 2009. Following Pixar tradition, WALL-E was paired with a short film, Presto, for its theatrical release. WALL-E has been met with overwhelmingly positive reviews among critics, scoring an approval rating of 96% on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

It grossed $534 million worldwide, won the 2008 Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature...
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Director: Andrew Stanton
Genre: Family
Release Date: June 27, 2008
MPAA Rating: G
Screen Writer: Andrew Stanton
Runtime: 1hr 37min
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation Studios
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