Saturday, July 5, 2008

Mr. Roboto: Wall-E

Pixar's CGI films are critically acclaimed, but many of them don't deserve so much praise. Toy Story was good, Toy Story 2 was fine, A Bug's Life was pretty good, Finding Nemo was light and cute, but wasn't very substantial, Cars was mediocre, and Ratatouille was above average. Up to now, the only films I liked from Pixar were Monsters, Inc. and The Incredibles. But now, the animation giant has actually come to and made a film that was great. It is most definitely the studio's least accessible flick, as it uses dialogue sparingly and when it does, it is actually well done. Plus, the plot is driven by something few animation films are: love. You could argue that Finding Nemo was, but it wasn't well done. This film, though, works, and it works on all levels. Wall-E (voiced by Ben Burtt, sound designer great) is a robot living in a dystopian Earth which humans have abandoned to live on a giant spaceship where they pretty much slack and eat and sleep and are overweight. Wall-E lives a sad existence, though: his only friend is a small bug, his only enjoyment is from watching musicals and listening to baritone sentiments, and all he does is roam around, gathering chunks of wasted materials and depositing them as blocks. All that changes with a routine inspection of the Earth by the spaceship. One robot, named Eve (voiced by Elissa Knight of Cars) comes down and Wall-E falls head over heels in love. She is amused by him at first, but soon the love is mutual. Then, Wall-E offers her a plant, which makes her freak out and shuts her off. This is because the Earth was deemed unlivable. This plant proves this wrong. So when the ship sucks her back in, with Wall-E on her tail, the inspector robots start going nuts and alarms go off and stuff. This disturbs the routine Eat-Sleep-Eat-Sleep existence, run by the Captain (Jeff Garlin) who is lax and has depended on technology so much, he has lost his reading ability, and needs to learn the definitions of words again. As I said before, although Eve is being dragged through many corridors and up and down passages and everything, Wall-E follows faithfully, as he is driven by love to pursue her. Anyways, there has really never been a dystopian movie for children, but this movie paves new ground for such masterpieces to be made. This film is beautiful, which many other animated features (with the exception of the master Miyazaki) have missed by a mile, and smart and funny. Pixar actually works around the clock, using their resources (for example, Apple affiliations), and ideas from past Sci-fi classics (2001, Blade Runner) to construct a great, amazing, and wowing blast from the past. No longer is Pixar a five-letter word. A-

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