WALL-E (2008)

Pixar once again joins the summer line-up, this time with the release of its new film WALL-E. After seeing and despising Ratatouille last year, I held a strong hope in my heart that WALL-E would redeem my respect for Pixar. Although it wasn't exactly what I hoped it would be, WALL-E is, in my opinion, a huge step up from Ratatouille and has brought back the feeling of admiration I once held for this company. After an adorable and clever short entitled Presto, the feature film begins, introducing us to earth 800 years in the future. After years of neglect, humans have left the earth completely overridden with garbage. To try and remedy this situation, major corporation Buy N Large launches a plan to evacuate everybody on earth to outer space on a ship called Axiom while the mess behind them is cleaned. WALL-E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter - Earth class) is the small garbage collecting robot that has been charged with the task of cleaning up the disorder. Alone with the exception of a friendly cockroach, WALL-E spends his existence collecting trash, foraging for interesting toys, and watching Hello Dolly. One day while WALL-E is going through his usual motions, a space ship lands on earth and from it comes Eve, a sleek white robot that WALL-E falls for immediately. After a rocky first meeting, WALL-E starts showing Eve around his world, and even performs some dance moves that he picked up from Hello Dolly. When he shows her a small plant that he found, we discover that Eve was sent from the Axiom to find if life could once again be sustained on earth. This plant being proof, she returns to her ship and lifts off, unknowingly carrying WALL-E on the ships' back. Once on the Axiom, we see what humans have been reduced to, carrying out their lives on reclined seats having robots do anything and everything for them. Going deeper into the actual conflict of the film would be giving away the surprise, so I'm afraid I have to stop here.

Like I previously stated, WALL-E is a huge step up from Ratatouille. The main reasons I did not enjoy Ratatouille was due to lack of humor, heart, and enjoyable characters. WALL-E is chock full of all of those things, and more. The curious little robot WALL-E inspires laughter and warmth of the heart simply by being adorable. It seems almost ridiculous to think a box with eyes could be cute, but Pixar knows how to create characters that make an audience say "awwwwwwwww!" WALL-E's voice, provided by Ben Burtt, is comical in its own sense, as it relays an air of innocence mixed with whimsy. The timid and questioning nature of WALL-E is one that I think many children will relate too and enjoy watching. There is also a very endearing love story to appreciate in WALL-E that borders on almost irritatingly adorable. Although Eve is not a particularly interesting character, the way we see her playing off of WALL-E works to perfection. Later in the film when WALL-E boards the Axiom we meet the Captain of the ship, who was voiced by Jeff Garlin. The Captain is also a very amusing addition to the film as a representative of the rest of the people on the ship who have lost touch with the world and only know it from looking at their computer screens.

There is quite a bit of symbolism in WALL-E. Actually, they are not so much symbols as blatant messages that the filmmakers were trying to get us to acknowledge. Showing us an overweight population flowing through life on chairs, not even turning their heads to speak to other people is a bleak foreshadowing of what we have to look forward to if we carry on the way we are. It may sound preachy, but it doesn't make it any less true. To a more mature crowd, these symbols are obvious but for little children, I think this a really effective way to teach them to break the trend and not let laziness overtake their lives. The other messages that convey the fact that big businesses are evil and that neglect for the earth will lead to catastrophe are a bit played out, and I didn't feel as affected by them.

But so far I have only highlighted the positive aspects of WALL-E, and I have been dancing around a fact that is extremely important to mention. WALL-E is boring. Not the entire film, but a good majority of it is. Cute characters and beautiful animations can still not distract me from the fact that for almost all of the film, the only words spoken were "WALL-E" and "Eve". I'm sure it was the filmmakers intention to have us view this film as a work of art and appreciate the animations, and I did that. But just like I said in my Ratatouille review, animations DO NOT make a movie good. They HELP a movie be good, but they don't MAKE a movie good. You still need (or at least I still need) involving interactions and events to keep my eye. Otherwise your attention drifts and you have to make an effort to get back into it. I don't like to expend energy when I watch movies.

WALL-E runs at about 98 minutes, and is entertaining for the first 35 of those minutes. Watching WALL-E explore the trash covered world, picking up random objects and having fun with them made me laugh and kept me into it, and when Eve arrived I was happy to see an interaction between characters. But once WALL-E enters space, the movie becomes an artsy film and relies heavily on its animations. While I was watching it, I felt like I was watching a short film that had been extended to be a full length feature. As a matter of fact, the short film that played before WALL-E, entitled Presto, was just as entertaining as the film itself. It was funny, cute, and clever: 3 things I want from Pixar. In the 3 minutes that the short ran, I laughed out loud more times consecutively than I did for WALL-E, which only gave me intermittent laughs. WALL-E isn't a total loss, as it does provide amusement for some time, its' effects are magnificent, and it sends an excellent message to children about laziness. On a scale of Ratatouille to Toy Story, WALL-E is about A Bug's Life. In other words, my rating (6/10)


  1. Since my kids are bugging me about seeing it (it's not on my priority list), I'm glad to at least hear it's good. Thanks for the review!

  2. lol at your new rating scale.


Movies given a 10/10

  • Milk
  • In Bruges
  • Slumdog Millionaire
  • The Dark Knight
  • Iron Man
  • No Country For Old Men
  • The Shining
  • A Clockwork Orange