Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Radiohead doesn’t make bad albums, EA doesn’t make bad video games and Pixar doesn’t make bad movies. WALL-E strongly cements that last statement. I’m a sucker for animation, haven never broken the trance I entered as a child. To me, this must be the ultimate outlet for the imagination. Anything you can imagine you can illustrate.

WALL-E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter, Earth class) imagines a world hundreds of years into the future where man has left earth in ruins. Humans no longer have to exert any energy as robots and computers do all the work for the species; as they fly around space aimlessly for what could be for all eternity. Earth has become uninhabitable, largely due to mass consumption and poor treatment of the environment. Trash stacks up as high as skyscrapers and someone left one sole robot operational. WALL-E spends most his day collecting trash and stacking it into tall structures. Though the machine shows a keen human side as he collects items of interest. His curiosity is coupled by another human trait…loneliness. This is until another, far more advanced robot lands on earth in search of vegetation. WALL-E falls in love with EVE, but not so much with her space age weaponry. The major conflict involves WALL-E finding companionship, while the humans try to reestablish a settlement on earth.

Dialogue, we don’t need no stinking dialogue! At least for about the first 45 minutes or so. WALL-E is highly reminiscent of silent comedies of an age long passed but still admirable. The robots communicate through action and short broken English. There is a certain Charlie Chaplinesque feel to this movie that works fantastically. The character design is the usual from the crew at Pixar, the robots are clean and cute, and the humans are oddly proportioned. This time around however the humans sedentary lifestyle has evolved their bodies beyond the need for as many bones as you or I carry. This makes the humans look more like giant jellybeans than men or women. I used to dread computer animation, but I’ve come to my senses on this topic. I’ve never seen animation look so clean, crisp and true to form. The storyline is simple enough for children to follow, but engaging to the point where adults will find themselves being jerked by the movies twist and turns.

Overall, WALL-E is the clear front-runner for movie of the year (out of the movies I’ve seen). A deeply entertaining commentary about how a little care and compassion can go a long way in every walk of life. It’s a typical Pixar movie, but that really only means you won’t be disappointed. I’m still geeked to see The Dark Knight and The X-Files movie, but WALL-E was a nice surprise for a summer at the box office in desperate need of a few more heavy hitters.

Furthermore WALL-E has made me change my top five animated films of all time. Here is the new list.

5. The Triplets of Belleville

What other movie enlists an elderly woman and her dog as the hero in search of her son?


3. Princess Mononoke

In the words of the fantasy metal band 3 inches of Blood: "When every structure falls you will know that the forest is king!"

2. The Nightmare Before Christmas

Did anybody actually hear Tim Burton fall off?

1. The Iron Giant

Warning for my future wife: Our son's name will be Hogarth...unless you actually prefer Iron Giant.

Honorable mentions: The Lion King, Transformers and Ninja Scroll


tiburon said...

Now I'm no anime dork or anything, but I do know that 'Howl's Moving Castle' and 'Nausïcaa of the Valley of the Wind' are missing from that list.

Also, G.I. Joe the Movie... "Waaasss once a maaaaaaaan......"

Derek said...

Nausicaa is up there and so is G.I. Joe...I mean Sgt. Slaughter.

Anonymous said...

i aint too partial to toons... but you've sold me on WALL-E.

patrick said...

Wall-E totally looks like the robot from "Short Circuit"... minus the cheesy 80's style