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Movie Review: WALL-E *3.5 Paws Up* June 28, 2008

Posted by Pupster in Ducks, Entertainment, Heroes, Movies, Religion, Science, Technology, Travel, Women Ranting.

I saw previews for WALL-E last fall, and while I immediately thought that it looked great, and I like everything Pixar has thrown up on the screen so far, I also surmised there was going to be a ‘corporations are evil, humans are the problem, save the planet by recycling before it’s too late’ indoctrinating message to warp the kiddies minds.

Strike one.

The across-the-board tongue-bathing by the critics was another huge red flag for me, they love love LOVE the over-arching save the fragile earth narrative; it must be very effective at re-enforcing their slanted world view.

Strike two.

The Saturday morning weather forecasts all called for rain, heavy at times with possible world-ending thunderstorms and definite yard-work canceling downpours.

*Bonk* take your base family to a movie.

In standard Pixar fashion, there is a short feature before the main attraction. The short Presto is about a self-absorbed magician and his rascally rabbit. It is excellent; a homage to Chuck Jones and his Looney Toons heydays.  Almost worth the price of admission all by itself.

The feature starts with WALL-E on a desolate, trash-covered and abandoned Earth. The back-story is immediately explained by motion-activated, solar-powered billboards: Every store, bank, and industry is owned by Wall-Mart Buy-N-Large, which is somehow also in control of all branches of government and all services. (*grinds teeth*) The Earth has become too polluted with empty packaging from rampant consumerism, so Buy-N-Large builds interstellar cruise vessels to whisk all the humans into space to relax in comfort, while WALL-E and his companion robots take care of tidying up the planet.

At this point I had to stifle the nagging, logical part of my brain, which was trying to interfere with my movie watching enjoyment. “Let me get this straight…we solved all space transportation issues but we can’t figure out garbage disposal?”  I distracted the logic circuits by asking them to calculate the cost of gas, tickets, and snack-bar per family member, then I shorted them out with huge gulps of an ice cold large Diet Pepsi. “Shaddup brain, I’ll read a book later.”

WALL-E looks and sounds like R2-D2 and ET’s love child (the same voice actor portrays all three). He is just a hard-working, blue collar trash compacting machine, who has survived for 700 years through ingenuity and hard work as the last of his kind still functioning.

His job is to take the massive mountains of refuse and compact them in his belly into small cubes, which he then stacks neatly in artfully designed sculptures which imitate the unoccupied high rises of the empty city. WALL-E collects interesting bits of trash as trophies, and scavenges spare parts off his long since broken down peers which are laying about.

WALL-E has only his sidekick, a pet cockroach,  and is longing for some more stimulating companionship. He finally gets his wish when a space ship lands and releases a search droid in WALL-E’s area of operation. WALL-E falls hopelessly in love and begins a fumbling, bumbling courtship with the droid, whose default programming is ‘shoot first and analyze the debris later’.

The CG animation is very good, and provides enough stimulus to keep the kids entertained and engaged through some of the slower parts. There are a lot of pratfalls and physical type humor, which even the littlest movie goers will ‘get’.  The movie picks up the pace in the last half, when the search droid (EVE) gets recalled to the mother ship and WALL-E hitches a ride.