Movie Review: Wall-E

Wow, what can I say? I’ve been anticipating every new Disney/Pixar release since they wowed me with their first theatrical release, Toy Story. Now Wall•Eis out and I’m as impressed as ever!

Set far into the future we encounter Wall-E as he happily labors away at a job he’s been doing for the last 700 years, which is cleaning up the Earth. As he’s worked through the centuries, he’s developed a few quirks: He’s befriended the last living inhabitant of the Earth (that we know of), a cockroach. He watches the songs and dances from Hello Dolly over and over and fantasizes being able to have someone to love and sing to of his own. And he collects things that he finds interesting. Everything from rubber duckies, to lighters. As far as Wall-E is concerned, he’s a robot who has it all.

Soon a probe ship arrives at Earth and launches EVE whose mission it is to seek out signs that the planet is once again able to sustain life. Of course, as far as Wall-E is concerned, when he sees EVE it’s love at first sight.

From here we embark on a wonderful adventure of Wall-E discovering what has become of the former inhabitants of the Earth as he attempts to stay close to EVE. The wonderful part of this movie is how the simple fact of Wall-E’s presence impacts every person he comes in contact with, and changes them all in very positive ways.

Wall•Enot only displays Pixar’s state-of-the-art expertise in computer animation, but it’s also a showcase for the skill level of their animators. There is very little dialogue in this movie at all. Most of everything we learn about Wall-E and the other robots who inhabit most of this film is done through synthesized voices and pantomime. It’s quite a joy to watch these seemingly inanimate objects display a wide range of emotions that allow us to empathize with them.

For the first time in a Disney/Pixar film, the future looks bleak. With our planet so polluted that we’re forced to evacuate to space and humanity evolving into helpless blobs because the technology they’ve developed spoon feeds them everything they need, it’s really the boldest statement about world issues that Pixar has ever made. I’m sure that many people will take environmental messages from this film, and maybe appropriately so, but the strongest message that I got out of it stems from some of my personal relationships with people who have let their health go so far south that they need full-time caregivers to help them accomplish simple tasks in their daily lives. The message I got from this movie is to never give up your ability to control your own life, whether it’s your personal abilities or social freedoms, because if you ever do, it’ll take nothing short of a revolutionary effort to gain it back.

Thomas Newman - WALL?E (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture)Watching this movie, I fell in love with Wall-E in much the same way I fell in love with E.T. when I was a child. My favorite part was in the beginning when we got to see him doing his daily work, and then watch him stop to take in the wonder of the simplest of things. That child-like curiosity is something that I could have watched for hours.
Whether or not you have children, you owe it to yourself to see Wall•E. It’s a visual delight and a heartwarming treat that’s bound to inspire and touch audiences for years to come!
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