June 27, 2008 Wall-E
Studio: Pixar Animation Studios Rating: G
If there is such a thing as a sure bet in the movie business, I'd venture to say it's Pixar. Time after time the studio cranks out great movies. "Toy Story," "Monsters, Inc." and "Cars" are all on the Pixar resume.
The magic happens once again in "Wall-E."
Set 700 years in the future, too much trash has forced the human race abandon the Earth. But a little robot, a "Waste Allocation Load Lifter-Earth Class," has been left behind. And for seven centuries he's faithfully done his job every day, cleaning up the garbage.
Somehow, over the years, Wall-E has developed a personality. But there is a downside to self-awareness. He also feels very lonely, with only a friendly cockroach and a videotape of "Hello Dolly" to keep him company.
That changes one day when a spaceship lands and another robot enters his life. Wall-E quickly falls in love with the machine named Eve, whose job is to look for signs of life on the now deserted Earth.
Her search is fruitless until Wall-E gives her a small plant as a gift. Once Eve's directive is accomplished, she shuts down to await pickup. As Wall-E tries desperately to wake her up, Eve's spaceship arrives to take her back to an even larger ship where the human race has been hanging out for the last 700 years. Determined not to lose her, Wall-E hitches a ride and that's when the adventure kicks into high gear.
Wall-E, Eve, a handful of rogue robots and the ship's captain try to overcome some pretty stubborn resistance to get everyone back home.
In many ways "Wall-E" isn't a typical Pixar movie. There aren't a ton of gags and outrageous characters. In fact, the dialogue is pretty sparse as Wall-E and Eve communicate through a series of beeps and other sounds.
But what this movie does have is tons of heart. Wall-E is adorable. You will fall in love with this little robot. He's warm and caring and a sweetheart.
However, this isn't just a sappy story. There are not-too-subtle jabs at how we're living our lives these days and what could happen under the right set of circumstances. When rampant consumerism consumes us we may miss the really important things.
The animation is gorgeous with the first act setting up Wall-E's lonely existence but then quickly moving into outer space with some spectacular scenes.
Although this isn't a film that moves with rapid-fire pace it holds your attention and makes you care about the characters on screen. In my book that's a success.