WALL-E (2008) [Review]

97 min June 27, 2008 | |

Plot: 700 years after humans have left the Earth due to high levels of toxicity, a cleaner robot named WALL-E (Waste Allocation Load Lifters – Earth Class) has become a bit more self-aware than it’s programmers originally anticipated. When a probe named EVE comes to check on Earth, WALL-E falls immediately in love. When she leaves, he stows away on her ship…and finally discovers what he was meant to do.

Reviewed

After turning the animation world on it’s head with , Pixar has managed to bring us some truly magical moments in computer animation. Whether it was the lovable monsters of , or the neurotic fish of , viewers were always in for a memorable experience when watching a Pixar film.

Not content with continuing to produce just impressive computer-animated films, Pixar is again turning the animation world on it’s head with their latest offering, Wall-E, be limiting the voices for the characters in the film. Would this be as ground-breaking as their previous attempts, or would Wall-E be a failed experiment?

Despite being excited about the new Angelina Jolie action pic , there was no way we were going to miss experiencing Wall-E on the big screen.

Going in, viewers may be thinking that the main character, Wall-E, is at a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to connecting with the audience. With no voice, how can the viewers really attach themselves to the guy, no matter how cute he may be?

As Wall-E progresses, however, viewers will soon be disabused of this notion, as the little guy will easily capture their attention right from the start. Despite the hilarious situations his curiosity gets him into (including Wall-E playing with a fire extinguisher and beeping a car alarm), the viewer really starts to feel for the little guy’s need for companionship.

Once another robot, Eve, does arrive on the scene, Wall-E’s attempts at friendship are largely wasted – until he presents a plant to Eve. She takes the plant and shuts down, and this turns into the most touching part of the film, as Wall-E vainly tries to get a response from her.

Unaware why she isn’t responding, he does everything he can to show her how much he cares about her, and for awhile, deludes himself into thinking they are a couple. His gestures are sweet, but with her continued state of inactivity, soon become saddening and almost a little pathetic. The viewer really feels for the little guy, and watching him become more and more dejected, the viewer pities him.

When she is taken off planet, Wall-E can’t bear to part with her, so hitches a ride on the spaceship. From that point on, the film takes a bit of a turn, and becomes more the normal animation fare viewers expect. There’s an adventure, and the two are thrust together as allies in a world that’s very alien to Wall-E, and a far cry from the normal that Eve is used to.

By the time the film gets to that point, however, it hardly matters what happens. Since the wonderful first part of the film has cemented the bond between viewers and Wall-E, the viewers will stick through to the end no matter what. Thankfully, Pixar doesn’t abuse this, and viewers will enjoy the adventure storyline as well, right up to a finale that really brings home how attached they have gotten to the animated robot.

The breakthrough process of creating voices out of sounds, rather than human actors (think R2-D2 to the 10th power), is truly innovative…and really showcases how good of a storyline Pixar has created. While the bizarre “speech” would be a distraction in most any other film (including R2-D2 in Star Wars), Wall-E is so good the viewer won’t even think that Wall-E should talk any differently than he does.

Pixar has had an unprecedented record at the box office since their inception, thanks in part to making each and every one of their characters so likable. They really bring magic to the big screen, creating characters so lifelike (despite their outward appearances) that viewers are able to totally immerse themselves in the storyline, even to the point where they forget the film is animated.

Wall-E proves that once again. With a first half that’s some of the best animated screen time ever seen on the big screen, Wall-E‘s little robot will capture the hearts of young and old alike, even without really saying a word.

Whatever you do this summer, make sure Wall-E is part of your plans.

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DVD Features

3-Disc Special Edition
  • Widescreen
  • Animated Menus
  • Scene Access
  • Feature-Length Audio Commentary by Director Andrew Stanton
  • 8 Featurettes:
    • "Animation Sound Design: Building Worlds From The Sound Up"
    • "The Pixar Story"
    • "The Imperfect Lens"
    • "Life Of A Shot: Deconstructing The Pixar Process"
    • "Captain's Log: The Evolution of Humans"
    • "Notes On A Score"
    • "Robo-Everything"
    • "Wall-E and Eve"
  • 2 Animated Short Films:
    • Burn-E
    • Presto
  • 4 Deleted Scenes with Optional Introductions by Director Andrew Stanton
  • 5 BnL Shorts
  • "Treasures and Trinkets" (Gag Reel)
  • "Bot" Files
  • Lots Of Bots Storybook
  • "Sneak Peek: Wall-E's Tour Of The Universe"
  • Digital Copy Of The Film

About

An ex-Floridian, ex-Baltimorian now living in Arizona, Reid wants to get into a career that involves web-design, but for now enjoys working on critiQal in his spare time.


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