I think I’ve seen more movies this year than I have in the past 2-3 years combined. It’s been a little tough on the pocket book, but I really can’t complain because it’s been a great “summer at the movies” so far, and with a couple of months left to go it looks like I’ll be seeing at least 2 or 3 more.
Anyhow, my Mom’s birthday was this weekend and she was itching to see WALL·E, so we ordered the tickets early, loaded into the car, and braved the opening night crowds to celebrate. Surprisingly, eight of us were able to shuffle into the 5:00 p.m. showing with no incident, get the exact seats we wanted and enjoy the show. I was also surprised when the short film “Presto” fired up on screen as, despite devoting some time to it here, I had completely forgotten it was going to precede WALL·E until I took a moment to recollect what short film we’d be treated to. And, while short indeed, It proved to be as good as I anticipated, and definitely carried with it a Warner Bros. feel throughout. Hope y’all enjoy it.
As for the main feature itself, WALL·E is a masterpiece. Pixar did such a good job animating this, for example, that I had to remind myself that I wasn’t watching a live-action feature at times. It does become a little more evident that this is an animated piece when we get our glimpse at the humans in the story but this is not the CGI of even 2-3 years ago and it is literally amazing what we’re seeing on screen. I sure hope folks take a moment to consider the “magic” as they view these obvious labors of love from Disney & Pixar (especially when they’re this well done).
As for the story itself, you likely already know that the feature follows a quirky little robot (a Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class unit a.k.a. WALL·E) whose directive is to convert an immense amount of human waste into neat, disposable, piles in order to help clean up the mess humanity has made of the earth. The planet hasn’t been able to sustain life since ~2100 so the Buy ‘N Large company initiates a program to take humanity into space while the waste allocation units clean the place up. So, yes, there’s an environmental message at play here but it doesn’t get so heavy handed that it becomes distracting or distracted (I’m looking at you Happy Feet) and who among us doesn’t appreciate the fact that we all need to go a little further in taking care of ourselves and the environment around us – so I don’t begrudge the message. But back to the little guy. In the hundreds of years its been since humanity left WALL·E not only becomes the last remaining unit, but he also develops a curious, playful, personality and genuinely enjoys new discoveries, and tinkering with collectibles that he finds in his daily trash duties. But beyond this, each day is fairly predictable, until a space ship arrives on earth and out pops an “Eve” unit. It’s love at first site for our hero and the movie really takes off (no pun intended) from there.
WALL·E is a fantastic family movie, it has a highly original cast of characters that you’ll be cheering on throughout, some heart-breaking moments (which you had to see coming if you were following the trailers) and it adds those extra layers to the experience as we become fascinated with watching WALL·E defy all odds, save the day, and remind us all of a thing or two about the value and quality of life along the way. Please go enjoy it for yourself, and take a moment to marvel at how far animation has come…and where it’s going.