Stupendous. So this takes place many years after the economic collapse of the entire planet, and our species has written off Earth as a loss. A small trash collecting robot finds himself on an adventure that may play heavily into the fate of the entire human race. This has been out for seven years, so there’s an excellent chance that you’ve already found out firsthand how incredible this film is. It should really come as no surprise, though, as Pixar has been at the top of their game since they released their first film in 1995; this is their ninth theatrically released film, and with the sole exception of the Cars series (which ranges from okay to mediocre), they have consistently released inspired and groundbreaking work. They make movies that fill you with wonderment, and there are plenty of great elements featured here for both children and adults alike.
WALL·E features not one, but two songs that played a big part in my wedding day, so rewatching this had me falling in love with it all over again.
When you really break this down, it’s kind of a feat in and of itself that this even got made. For the vast majority of the first half of this film, this is more or less a silent romantic comedy. Sure, you have all of the appropriate sound effects and a brief contribution from Fred Willard to explain what happened to the planet, but these are two robots that do not talk much, short of saying each other’s names and an additional very limited vocabulary. To have any production company to commit to such a concept on such a large scale (this has a production budget of $180 million) is a gutsy move, but when you have confidence in your product, everything can come together is spectacular fashion.
The fire extinguisher scene is one of my favorites with good reason. Just look at how friggin’ beautiful that is.
WALL·E is charm in a nutshell. There’s an unwritten rule in animation that if you can get the eyes down on your main character, you’re more than halfway there. Between those big lenses and adorable mannerisms that he has when simply going about his daily routine, WALL·E succeeds in spades. In addition to that, you have this ridiculously cute love story that is innocent at heart; he just wants to hold hands because he has seen Hello Dolly so many times, I don’t think anything else could be more precious. You’ve also got a number of 2001 references that wink at adults, and it’s always funny. While it does wear its message about the environment plainly on its sleeves, it never at any point feels preachy. On top of all that, it is ridiculously well paced, and this movie is some of the fastest 90 minutes you can spend with a film.
WALL·E (2008) *****
– Critic for Hire