WALL-E is a robot, the last one left on an abandoned Earth. He really is nothing more than a walking trash compactor with enough problem solving software in his CPU to develop into an artificial intelligence. He doggedly sticks to his original programming, collecting trash, compacting it into cubes and stacking them into skyscraper high piles.
    Seven centuries of this, however, has led to some anomalies in WALL-E’s programming. He’s collecting things that he finds during his job, little pieces of junk and debris that he keeps in his “house,” which is a large compactor that doesn’t work anymore. One of these bits of mankind’s past is a videotape of Hello Dolly. WALL-E watches this every night, especially a duet between two young lovers. He dances with them as best he can and wishes he had someone to hold hands with. The little robot is so lonely, he has befriended a cockroach.
    Then one day EVE arrives. She is a sleek modern looking drone that can float and shoot death rays.  EVE is searching for signs of vegetable life on the planet. If she finds any, she must report back to the interstellar cruise liner that has been mankind’s home for the past seven centuries. Such a discovery would be a sign that the Earth could be repopulated. The robots that now control mankind almost totally don’t necessarily want that to happen, however. WALL-E discovers all this when he follows EVE back into space, after she successfully find a weed.
    WALL-E is an odd mix of sophistication and sentiment. Pixar is now in a position where it feels confident enough to experiment. For instance, this is almost a silent film, especially in the first twenty minutes or so. The plot takes a while to get going, allowing us to appreciate the meticulously created vistas of abandoned skyscrapers and the piles of compressed garbage. There are Chaplin like moments of slapstick and sentiment as WALL-E’s gentle and off-kilter nature is established.
    There are also themes about conservation, media and corporate control of everyday life. They are obvious but never overbearing. This meditative mix works pretty well, although maybe more so for adults and older kids rather than the very youngest who might not make it past the first twenty minutes.
    WALL-E is a unique entry into the Pixar canon but a worthy one.


1 Response to “WALL-E”

  1. 1 kogmediadotcom July 17, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    Wall-E totally looks like the robot from “Short Circuit,” minus the cheesy 80’s style of course… but i’m sure Pixar made a totally original story otherwise http://www.kogmedia.com

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