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WALL-E

2008 computer-animated film produced by Pixar Animation Studios

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A Robot with Heart

  • Jun 27, 2008
  • by
Rating:
+5
Disney/Pixar's "WALL-E" is an absolute winner, not merely as an animated film, but as a film, period. It's not a collection of cute, shallow images and dime-a-dozen messages about self-esteem and friendship--this movie actually has something to say, and you can hear it loud and clear. It's funny I should say this, seeing as the story relies more on action and less on the spoken word. Yes, characters speak, but only when it's absolutely necessary; the rest of the time, our eyes do most of the interpreting. But that's perfectly all right because you don't need words to understand what's happening in this movie. Essentially, there are only two things you need to bring with you: (1) your understanding of basic emotional needs, namely love and affection; (2) the knowledge that we as a culture can do so much better if we finally apply ourselves. For all intents and purposes, these issues are addressed without getting preachy or sentimental.

"WALL-E" asks us to emotionally invest in a robot, which we willingly do, mostly because years of isolation have turned him into a big softy. It takes place 700 years in the future, at which point Earth is devoid of human life and buried under mountains of trash. Out of an army of service robots assigned to clean the planet, only one remains operational: a Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class robot, or WALL-E for short (voiced by Ben Burtt). Designed to compact trash into manageable cubes and pile them into skyscrapers, WALL-E is small and meek and just plain loveable, from his sorrowful scope-like eyes to his cute clamp-like hands. He would like nothing more than to hold someone else's hand, to spend his time and share his collected trinkets with that special someone. So far, his only companions are a pet cockroach and a VHS copy of "Hello, Dolly!"

But things take an exciting new turn when a spaceship arrives and dispatches a scout robot to search for signs of plant life. She's what's known as the Extra-terrestrial Vegetation Evaluator, or EVE (voiced by Elissa Knight). She glides through the air gracefully, and her slender, pod-like structure can separate to reveal a head, a body, and arms. WALL-E is immediately smitten with her, although it will be a while before she warms up to him; their first encounter ended in laser blasts, courtesy of the weapon in her right arm. But after a while, she regards him with curiosity and actually takes an interest in the many items he's been collecting. This is especially true of a tiny plant he found growing inside a trashed refrigerator--the instant she sees it, she places it within her own storage unit and immediately goes into stasis. It isn't long before the spaceship returns for her. WALL-E, desperate to reunite with his new companion, clings to the side of the ship as it leaves Earth and travels across the galaxy.

WALL-E eventually finds himself onboard a massive space-liner called the "Axiom," which is where the human race has been living since Earth's evacuation 700 years earlier. The "Axiom," as it turns out, is far, far too luxurious: every possible need is met with the help of a robot or mechanical device. Every person is incredibly fat, and that's because specially designed hover-chairs have eliminated the need for walking. All meals have been liquefied so the food doesn't have to be chewed. When they're not slurping down their lunches, they communicate with their friends and family via screen projections floating in front of their faces. Because of these screens, no one knows that the ship has a pool or a gym, and they certainly miss out on the majesty of an outer space view. Robots take care of simple tasks like tooth brushing and makeup application. How the people go to the bathroom, I have no idea, but I have a sickening feeling there's a robot for that too.

Trapped within this lazy environment are WALL-E and EVE, who now have proof that life is once again sustainable on Earth. When made aware of the baby plant, the ship's captain (voiced by Jeff Garlin) researches the planet so extensively that he's compelled to return with the rest of humanity. The question is: Does everyone want to go back? Have they, in fact, become so spoiled and sedentary that going home seems like too much of a chore? While these questions are never directly asked, it does make you wonder what we would do if we were in that position. In a way, we are: meals are often reduced to take-out lunches and prepackaged dinners; Segway vehicles can take us from one place to another without getting our feet involved; we would rather text message our friends than speak to them face to face. Yes, I'm blowing off some steam, but don't focus on that; focus on the fact that this movie has the power to evoke these feelings.

It also has the power to evoke feelings of tenderness and longing. This is no small task because "WALL-E" is mainly a love story between robots, and robots are emotionless by definition. For reasons I won't reveal, WALL-E and EVE find themselves in danger on the "Axiom"; as they try to escape, their feelings for each other deepen so greatly that you actually get choked up during a couple of key scenes. I'm not saying that Disney and Pixar have made a sappy cry-fest--they've made an animated film with a strong emotional core, and they spread the emotions evenly throughout the story. It's funny, yet it doesn't drown in a flood of gags. It's touching, yet it doesn't lose itself to melodrama. It's thought provoking and the imagery is beautiful, yet it doesn't condescend, nor does it collapse under the weight of its effects. Not only is "WALL-E" the greatest Disney/Pixar film since "Finding Nemo," it's also one of year's best films.

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More WALL-E reviews
review by . July 22, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
After being annoyed by this film's advertisements plastered all over public transit cars, I didn't really care to see it. But, a friend brought the DVD over one day and it turned out to be an excellent movie! For a "kid's" movie, it's quite innovative and sophisticated.       First off, the visuals in this film are incredible! The rich colors and textures are quite mesmerizing. Since it takes place in both a decaying, dirty, abandoned earth and …
review by . July 22, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Robots Can Hold an Audience??
Robots can hold an audience, absolutely! Ok, so I am the biggest skeptic when it comes to certain movies and especially cartoon movies. Don't get me wrong, some of my favorite movies are in animation, but robots? I did not want to see this movie for nothing. I thought of all the Disney/Pixar films, this was going to be one of the worst because it had seemed to be one of the most hyped films.      Ok, so we start out with Wall-E on a deserted earth trekking daily out to his …
Quick Tip by . April 22, 2011
What an endearing robot Wall-E is! I hated the vision of fatties in lounge chairs, the direction we are going in, but the robot made it a fun movie to watch.
review by . September 04, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Pixar Raises the Bar with a Lovable Little Cube
WALL-E is about the most unconventional animated feature film you will likely ever encounter.  It’s strange, it’s moving, it’s powerful, and it’s pretty darn spectacular.  Realistically speaking, this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering this is big-budget Pixar/ Disney all the way, was done by the director of Finding Nemo, and boarded by the creative storytellers behind Cars and Ratatouille.      By now you’ve read …
review by . January 31, 2010
Quite possibly Pixars best film
    Pixar has come of age my friends.       Pixar has never made a bad movie, in fact I'd consider almost all of them to be a masterpiece, but none of them, before now, have tried to be anything more then emotional family affairs, not that there is anything wrong with that, but they weren't necessarily deep, meaningful beyond personal issues, or revealed anything about our society. Now, I say again, there isn't anything wrong with that, but Wall-E goes beyond    …
Quick Tip by . September 16, 2010
cute flick about little robot. funny segment where the bot goes into space and encounters slug-like humans with little minds and no initiative served by a robot work-force.
Quick Tip by . September 02, 2010
pixar wins again...like they always do. With barely any, if not any, spoken dialogue in this movie but some beeps and sounds that only come from things you can purchase at best buy, it still captivates you and I'm not gonna lie def made me cry..one tear...I work out
review by . July 19, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
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 …
Quick Tip by . July 22, 2010
the first half has no dialogue which is fantastic sound production
Quick Tip by . July 22, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Probably the most adorable, heart wrenching pieces of political animation ever conceived. You'll be singing Hello Dolly for weeks
About the reviewer
Chris Pandolfi ()
Ranked #6
Growing up a shy kid in a quiet suburb of Los Angeles, Chris Pandolfi knows all about the imagination. Pretend games were always the most fun for him, especially on the school playground; he and his … more
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Wiki

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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Details

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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