WALL-E (promoted with an interpunct as 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 Film, the 2009 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form, the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature as well as being nominated for five other Academy Awards at the 81st Academy Awards.
Throughout the 21st century, Earth was governed by the Buy n Large megacorporation (BnL), causing mass consumerism and covering the planet in trash by 2105. In an attempt to resolve the situation, Earth's population was evacuated on fully automated luxury BnL starliners for five years while an army of trash compactor robots called WALL-E's (Waste Allocation Load Lifter - Earth class) were left behind to clean up the planet.
The plan failed in 2110, however, forcing humanity to remain in space indefinitely. Seven hundred years later, in 2805, only one WALL-E unit functions, having survived by salvaging parts for himself from other defunct WALL-E units. This unit has developed sentience and a sense of emotion, particularly curiosity, as shown by his quirky habits of collecting knickknacks from the mountains of trash.
One day, WALL-E finds a seedling plant growing among the trash and returns it to his truck. Later, a spaceship lands and deploys an advanced, female probe robot named EVE. WALL-E immediately falls in love with EVE as she carries out her directive of searching for signs of plant life. Initially aloof and hostile, EVE begins to warm up to WALL-E and takes a liking to him.
During a dust storm, WALL-E takes EVE to his truck and shows her the plant, causing her automated systems to store the plant inside her, activate a homing beacon, and deactivate her. WALL-E goes to great lengths to try to revive and take care of her, even going on a date with the inactive robot. When her ship returns to collect her, WALL-E desperately clings to the hull of the ship as it returns to the Axiom, the flagship of the BnL fleet.
Upon docking, WALL-E follows EVE as she is taken to the bridge of the ship. As he progresses through the Axiom it becomes apparent that after centuries of living in microgravity and relying on the ship's automated systems, the human passengers have suffered severe bone loss and become extremely obese. The Captain himself does little, leaving control of the ship to the autopilot, Auto.
When EVE is brought to the bridge, the Captain learns that by placing her plant sample inside the ship's holo-detector as a sign of Earth being habitable again, the Axiom will enter hyperspace and return to Earth to allow its passengers to repopulate the planet. However, when they open EVE, the plant is missing. EVE is considered defective and taken to the robot repair ward along with WALL-E, though the Captain's curiosity is piqued and he begins researching Earth history.
At the repair ward, WALL-E causes chaos and accidentally releases a horde of malfunctioning robots to roam the ship, resulting in the ship's security designating him and EVE as "rogue robots." Annoyed with WALL-E's disruptive influence, EVE attempts to send him back to Earth on an escape pod. However, they see Auto's assistant GO-4 deposit the missing plant into the escape pod and set it to self-destruct.
WALL-E manages to save the plant, and EVE gives him a "kiss" in the form of an electric spark. The two robots celebrate on a spacewalk around the Axiom before returning the plant to the Captain.
The Captain reviews EVE's visual records of the devastated Earth, and vows to return there to restore the planet. EVE, meanwhile, sees WALL-E's commitment to her well-being while she was inactive and falls in love with him.
However, Auto stages a mutiny, revealing that he was given a final directive to prevent Axiom's return to Earth centuries ago when the cleanup project was considered a failure. Auto locks the Captain in his quarters and electrocutes WALL-E, sending him down a trash chute with EVE and the plant.
With WALL-E severely damaged, EVE realizes the only parts to repair him with are on Earth, which they can reach quickly if they can activate the hyperjump. With the help of M-O, the other rogue robots and the human passengers, WALL-E and EVE attempt to place the plant in the holo-detector, but Auto's control of the ship prevents them from doing so, and WALL-E is further damaged in the process.
The Captain breaks free of his quarters and deactivates Auto, allowing the holo-detector to activate, sending the ship back to Earth. EVE quickly takes WALL-E back to his truck and attempts to repair him from his spare parts, but WALL-E's memory and personality appear to have been erased as he reverts to his original trash-compacting duties.
Heartbroken, EVE gives him a farewell "kiss", which causes another spark that inadvertently restores WALL-E to his unique personality, happily reuniting the two robots. WALL-E and EVE rejoin the humans and robots as they begin working together to restore Earth, taking care to plant the seedling that brought them back home.