WALL-E is the latest in the line of stellar features from the powerhouse Pixar. It is a romantic story of a small, lonely garbage cleaning robot that finds his purpose is greater than simply gathering trash into piles. Beautiful, charming and with an important message interwoven, WALL-E is flawless.
When the people of earth cover the world in garbage, they take off on a five year cruise, leaving behind teams of robots, called WALL-Es (Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class), to clean up the enormous mess. As the mess-makers live generations of their lives in hover chairs, tied to their projected televisions and easy-come food, one particular WALL-E (Ben Burtt) works diligently and becomes ever lonelier. That all changes one day when a cute, white robot named EVE (Extra-terrestrial Vegetation Evaluator) comes to earth and begins systematically scanning everything.
As I watched WALL-E, I found myself taken aback by the phenomenal animation.
First, I was greatly impressed with care paid to the characters and the ambiance. When WALL-E is on earth, the lighting looks natural and radiant (even the dust is shaded properly); when he is in artificial light of the spacecraft, his appearance changes appropriately to a more artificial look. Even when he watches TV, the colors are spot on and the reflections in his eyes are bewitchingly realistic. EVE sparkles majestically in the light and appears luminescent in the dark. She is beautiful.
Secondly, the “acting” by the animated characters is beyond belief. That’s because there is very little speaking in the movie; most of the
interaction is done solely via expressions and body movements. WALL-E’s mechanical eyes appear that they should be welling up with tears when he is sad and his body language is easily the most expressive I’ve ever seen by an animated character. These animators, to me, are on the level of demi-gods – creating such realistic animated life and breathtaking scapes. It is this attention to detail that allows the
audience to believe that this world is real and that this little robot has truly come alive.
WALL-E isn’t just easy on the eyes, it is chock full of comedy antics that nearly emptied my bladder and actually caused me to snort out loud. WALL-E doesn’t really talk, so all his humor is done through his reactions to his surroundings and situation. No opportunity to bond with him through laughter was missed and thankfully the writers (Andrew Stanton and Jim Capobianco) didn’t force any of the jokes either. I’d say it is safe to say that WALL-E is the Charlie Chaplin of robots.
On top of all this, WALL-E also comes with a message about responsibility to tell children and parents alike. When you stop paying attention to the world around you and you let your chair be your entire universe, it effects more than just you. Moreover, you miss out on the things that are truly important and the amazing things you can experience when you actually live your life instead of watching it on the TV. Sneakily, Andrew Stanton (who also directed) peels away the curtain of what he feels is societal wrongs, but makes you feel good that you peeked behind the curtain. How often can we be told what we are doing something wrong, face it and still love the experience?
WALL-E stole my heart right from my chest and for that reason I rule that this movie is criminally adorable. It challenged my behaviors and for that I’m grateful. I promise you, you won’t regret seeing WALL-E.