Official Movie Site: WALL-E
Swanner: One thing I love about summer is that we always get a new Pixar movie. Granted I was disappointed in Cars but last years Ratatouille reminded me what great filmmakers the folks at Pixar can be. This years offering is Wall-E. The story follows the only surviving robot left on earth after all humans have been evacuated. Our hero continues he’s daily routine for hundreds of years till one day a robot probe is dropped on earth and Wall-E realizes how lonely he’s existence has become.
Judd: As our readers know, I hated Cars and I wasn’t too fond of Ratatouille after my initial viewing (I’ve changed my opinion after watching at home). For some reason I knew I was going to like Wall-E. I figured that because our star Wall-E is effectively mute, Pixar was going to have to rely on acting, a simple script, and excellent direction to get the story across—keystones of their previous successes. Wall-E delivers all that and a healthy dose of Hello Dolly.
Swanner: I was surprised at what an emotional movie it was but it’s Pixar…and those people are amazing and always seem to surprise me. There were a few times I was brought to tears. I also liked that this movie is bright and cute for the children but has a real substance storyline for the adults that deals with what were doing to the planet and ourselves. How corporations are telling us how to live and as they do Wall-E becomes more human than the humans in the film. I know I make it seem like a serious film but it’s really a romantic comedy with a message most people won’t get till they are in their car.
Judd: I know what brought a tear to your eye. It was the hover chairs the humans were zooming around in on the spaceship. They were armless recliners with built in TV and cell phone. The fact that you won’t be alive to see just marvelous technology is what made you misty.
Swanner: You are such an asshole…seriously. Granted…I would like to have one but that was not what I was teary about. I’m sure if I tried to explain it to you it wouldn’t do any good since your kind of evil isn’t capable of emotion. I did notice that the character of Wall-E was quite similar to Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp character. You can really see it in his relating with Eve, the female probe, and his little cockroach friend. I’m sure the people at Disney would have preferred something more fuzzy and cuddly. All of a sudden the rats in Ratatouille don’t seem so bad.
Judd: You mentioned the comparison to Charlie Chaplin when we left the theatre, and while I don’t want to say you’re wrong I do think Wall-E can be compared to any silent comedic film actor of that era that would sometimes play a romantic lead. Buster Keaton also comes to mind. And that that’s what I think what made Wall-E such a likable and engaging film even though there’s no dialogue for the first half. Pixar pulled from the classics of the silent era. With one look they could break your heart.
Swanner: Break your heart…don’t you need a heart to have it break? Satan!!! I loved this movie. I thought Kung Fu Panda was the animated movie to beat this year but Wall-E moves right into that spot. Actually, like Ratatouille, this film becomes more than just an animated movie. It crosses over that line that only Pixar and Disney seem to be able to cross. I’ll be surprised if this film isn’t a huge hit and a real Best Picture contender at this year’s Oscars. Andrew Stanton is the writer/director (Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc., A Bugs Life) and a gift from the movie Gods.
Judd: Stanton does seem to have a knack for creating stories that are sophisticated enough for the adults and light enough for the kiddies. Wall-E is a shoo-in for Best Animated, but I think it’s a little early for Best Picture. We’ll see in February.
Swanner: 5 Stars
Judd: 4½ Stars