Only Pixar could render a shattered post-apocalyptic New York - with cubes of compacted garbage rivaling the height of the Chrysler Building – beautiful. Wall*E actually exceeds high expectations, it rivals the companies best, it pushes the envelope on CGI animation and cinematic storytelling. It’s an instant masterpeice from a company known for making what amounts to cinematic literature.
For 700 years Wall*E has been cleaning up the garbage we humans have left behind (more on us later), his fellow robots broke down and gather dust (our hero uses them for scrap) and his best friend is an adorable cockroach (hey they made us love rats with Ratatouille, right?). Wall*E is special because it appears he can go beyond his program and has become a bit of a collector, everything from sporks to an old (improbably still functioning) VHS of Hello Dolly.
He’s alone, but making the best of it.
One day EVE appears, she’s sleek, white with blue eyes and a wicked left-arm laser cannon. She’s looking for life in the big city and . . . look, I don’t want to ruin anything. The film is mostly dialogue free and there’s clever Chaplinesque humor throughout. Silent comedy and a lot of heart. Following the film is easy because the film is so expressively and cleverly told. You’ll fall for Wall*E and Eve, there’s ample heart, but the movie is also a satire and condemnation of today’s world.
700 years ago humans, commanded by massive Fred Willard run conglomerate, board the Axiom on a 5-year intersteller tour. The problem is the Earth was too poisoned and polluted, there was no going back. In the meantime humanity has become obsese, infantalized (we have stubby fingers and toes), and completely dependant on robots. They brush our teeth, serve food in cup form, and let the Captain do one thing only. And that’s give the same prepared announcement every morning. Humans ride around in computer screen equipped lounge chairs. Our noses on virtual reality video games, advertisements, and cheap entertainment. “I didn’t know we had a pool!” and “Wow, there are a lot of stars out there” are two gems from a woman accidentally removed from her constant entertainment.
Witty, sly, utterly charming, a triumph in terms of silent comedy, cutting edge animation, and, most importantly, originality, Wall*E is a triumph for anybody of any age.
The movie is G and feels that way. A few cartoon-standard “near deaths” might scare the little kiddies and you can actually watch the anti-consumerist human satire elements sail right over the heads of every other kid in the audience (which is fine, adults are taller). The themes are simple, the robots are engaging, and the scenery is gorgeous. Suitable for any age.
The new Pixar short is genius. Easily as good as last year’s alien abduction laughfest.
The end credits are worth watching for their “ancient history” depiction of what the humans and robots do after the movie is over.