After a lot of serious thought and scenario consideration, I've decided that the following happened: About 2 years ago, the most powerful people at Pixar sat down at a secret conference table, naturally located 20 miles below the earth's surface, and said "Gentlemen, we've done some good work, but we need to make the end all be all cutest character in the history of animation." Wouldn't ya know it? They succeeded.
Pixar is a movie making juggernaut. Whatever visual MSG they've been putting in their films these past few years has paid off in ways that are probably surprising even to them. It's hard to think that the people responsible for such classics, including probably the greatest animated film of all time, Finding Nemo, can continue making great movies year after year without even breaking a sweat, but they do.
When I first saw the trailers for Wall-E, it looked so damned sugary and cute I thought I'd slip into a diabetic coma halfway through. The movie looked good, but I was nervous it would be too cute Don't get me wrong, I like cuddling and all that cutesy crap just as much as the next guy, but I half expected to be eating fist-fulls of salt in the theater just to balance out the sweet overload. Thankfully that wasn't the case, and I can say without a doubt that this movie is just plain awesome.
Wall-E opens up on Earth, or what's left of it. It's 700 years in the future, and what appear to be skyscrapers are actually gigantic mountains of random garbage, compressed into neat tiny cubes. The only thing moving on the planet is Wall-E, a cleaning robot whose function is to gather piles of trash and compact them via his body into said cubes, which he neatly stacks. For whatever reason, Wall-E is the only cleaning robot that is still functioning, and in his time on Earth he has developed a unique personality. He saves little pieces of trash that are appealing to him, and brings them back at the end of the day to his little self-made home. We find that Wall-E is lonely, longing for companionship and affection. One day, his routine is interrupted with the arrival of EVE, a robot whose purpose is to successfully locate plant life to bring back to the current home of the human race a giant space station/luxury cruise where mankind has become so lazy with advanced technology that they have become bloblike, sloppy Fat-Alberts who do nothing but hover all day in lawn chairs in front of computer screens. Wall-E falls in love with EVE, and follows her back to the space station where serious drama involving the very future of the now lazy human race itself ensues.
As you can see, this movie has a LOT of plot; in fact, that's one of the reasons why it's so good. This isn't just "Hey an Israeli commando wants to become a hairdresser! LOL!" Also as you probably expected, the visuals and animation are just astounding. Finding Nemo director Andrew Stanton did not screw around and delivers exactly what you'd expect to see from Pixar on the big screen.
Does the robot, Wall-E, talk at all in the film? I figure it might be a bit annoying to see a full length movie starring an R2D2 style character who only Beeps and Boops.
- Lots of people asked this, but Brian was first.
You know, it's funny you should ask that. Wall-E speaks very little throughout the movie, only saying random one word sentences (his own name, EVE, directive, tadaa!, etc) but it works tremendously, and I'll tell you why.
In movies there's an unwritten rule called 'show, don't tell'. For example, in Wedding Crashers, our boys Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn could've just said "Hey, we like to crash weddings and get laid a lot" Well where's the fun in that? Instead we get a montage filled with crazy wedding parties, excessive boozing and tons of hot women falling on beds topless. Golden rule in film; show, don't tell. Lesser known silver rule, show lots of sideboob (there's none in Wall-E, but it holds up without them).
Wall-E's voice (personality) was actually conceived and designed by Ben Burtt, Academy Award-winning sound designer who created the "voice" of R2-D2, the badass 'vrrrhmmm' lightsaber sound, and the deep breathing characteristic voice of Darth Vader. Trust me, he does not steer you wrong in Wall-E. There's not a single moment in the movie where you don't know exactly how that absurdly cute little robot feels or what he's thinking, even with the absense of words.
The Bottom Line: This movie is great, and unless you have an extreme personal hatred towards robots, the future, or good movies, you have 0 reason not to see it. If there's anything this movie needs, it's a little more length on the sentimental sad scenes, which end a little too quickly. Along with Finding Nemo and The Incredibles, it's jumping around in place on the IMDB list of top 250 movies. Wall-E also has a not-too-serious but interesting-to-think-about message regarding where humanity may be headed (for examples of terrible movies with similar messages about humanity, see 'Happening, The').
See this movie. Now.
Next up we have Hancock, followed by Hellboy II. Go ahead and send your questions, comments, or whatever to CHMovieReview@gmail.com. I check it sometimes, I swear!