Wall-E (2008) – Andrew Stanton

 

Well, as I am working my way through the Sci-Fi Chronicles book, I figured I could use a trope of science fiction, and leap forward in time from the point of the book I am in, to the end, and work backwards, bouncing back and forth in time!

So I was delighted to be able to sit down and re-watch one of my favorite Pixar films, the Oscar winning Wall-E. The first half of the film is virtually silent, and wonderfully constructed. It’s one of my favorite sequences, ever, in a Pixar film.

Wall-E (voiced by sound engineer Ben Burtt) is the only surviving garbage robot left on the planet Earth, which is barren now, man has gone to the stars while the planet is given time to heal, from the damage mankind has done to it. We see massive signs supporting consumption and consumerism everywhere in the form of the B-n-L Corporation.

So Wall-E is continuing his assigned duties, but has begun to elicit feelings, like loneliness, wonder, and curiosity. And it is through this robot, that humanity will discover them again as well. While he works, he discovers treasures, travels with his friend, a tiny cockroach, and listens to tracks from Hello, Dolly!

His world is in for a shock, with the arrival of a probe, and its dispatching of a EVE (voiced by Elissa Knight), to examine the desolate planet for plant life. And Wall-E is lovestruck, and indispensable, as he has found the very plant life she is seeking.

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When the probe arrives to return her to the B-n-L ship, the Axiom, Wall-E hitches a ride, and ends up on an incredible adventure, which looks simply beautiful. There, humans are introduced to the story, having been waiting for 700 years to return to Earth, they have become chair bound, obese and lazy consumers.

But Wall-E and EVE’s arrival will shake all that up, and return humanity its sense of wonder, discovery and excitement.

This film continues to amaze and touch my heart every time I see it. It’s also got a science fiction heart, a robot that feels teaches people to do the same, and a love story, as EVE and Wall-E fall for one another.

Sure, I feel it loses some of its sparkle when they meet up with the humans on the Axiom, but I get why it’s there, and I do like how Wall-E and EVE get us back on track. I also love the commentary on consumerism and the green message the film has, but for me, first and foremost, it’s a wonderfully emotional robot love story.

I love the way the film looks, and I love seeing how Pixar advances their work from film to film, their entire collection is simply stunning, and continues to set the bar. Sometimes it’s hard to pick a favorite, but Wall-E will always be somewhere near the top of the list.

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