Written and Directed
by Andrew Stanton
Running Time: 1:43
WALL*E may very well go down as one of the greatest films of all time.
Hundreds of years into the future, Earth has become nothing more than a large garbage dump. All the people on the planet are now living in a spaceship in outer space, with the promise that one day they'd be able to return home. Robots have remained behind to clean the planet, but after years and years of working, only one unit remains. He is a WALL*E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth class) unit and his job is to compact piles of garbage. From these piles he creates giant skyscrapers taller than the tallest buildings mankind left behind. WALL*E has only a small cockroach as a friend, but thousands of pieces of treasure he has found in the rubbish including lighters, Twinkies, and an old VHS tape of "Hello, Dolly" which he watches over and over again. While watching the movie, WALL*E dreams someday of being able to hold hands with someone he loves. One day, another robot, EVE (Extra-terrestrial Vegetation Evaluator) is dropped off on Earth to try and find any remaining plant life. WALL*E falls for her and will go literally to the ends of the Universe to be with his true love. When EVE finds a small plant, she is taken back to the spaceship where, once the plant life is recognized by the computer system, the ship can be taken back to Earth. But not everyone is happy with that plan, and WALL*E and EVE must work together with other robots on the ship to try and bring mankind back to Earth.
WALL*E has quickly joined my list of all-time favorite films. From the moment the movie started to the last sweet final note, I couldn't keep my eyes off the screen. The movie has everything you could hope for from a film... comedy, drama, suspense, action and romance. And all of it in a G-rated package. First there were the visuals which were pitch-perfect and almost like watching moving art. The scenes of the broken down planet were simply amazing. Everything looked crisp and clean. Animation has sure come a long way in the last 20 years... even the last few years. The story was rather fun. We see what might happen to the planet some day if we don't take care of it now. Watching humans living in moving chairs, their every whim placated by simply calling out for it. However this isn't the kind of animated film where there are going to be a lot of pratfalls and gross out jokes. Much like last year's Ratatouille, this is more geared towards adults. I do believe kids will enjoy it, but they may get a little restless. The story is simple yet effective and is strong enough to enhance the animation and not take away from it.
And then there was WALL*E. There has never been a sweeter character in a movie before. The biggest concern about this film pre-release was how they were going to get people to fall for a robot, but the masters at Pixar have done it again. Last year was a loveable rat and this year it's a robot. The emotions they were able to show from such simple character was incredible. You laughed when he was happy, you felt sad when he was abandoned, you cheered when he got the girl and you teared up when he finally found the love he was searching for. He was such an engaging character, this may be the first movie in years where I never looked at my watch. Everything happened for a reason, so I never felt like there were extraneous scenes that were thrown in for no real reason. The movie kept a nice flow going and did a good job of alternating between emotions. The rest of the 'characters' were also pretty entertaining. EVE had the ability to communicate a little better, while the humans we see (both animated and live action - thank you Fred Willard) were funny. Then there were all the other robots that helped out during the film. My favorite was M/O, the little robot who cleaned up all the foreign substances throughout the ship. That cute little guy would stop at nothing to clean, but he also came through when they needed him most. All that being said, this movie belonged to WALL*E.
As an added bonus, we all know that Pixar shows a short film before the feature presentation, and this one is called 'Presto' and is about a rabbit who only wants to be fed by his magician owner. But the magician is more interested in doing his show than taking care of his bunny. It was arguably the best and funniest of the Pixar shorts and a great way to lead into WALL*E.
The 3-Disc Special Edition DVD comes with a ton of extras. First off, the movie looks just as good on a TV as it did in theaters. The photo-realism is truly amazing. The first disc has the movie (obviously) and a couple of extras including 2 deleted scenes. What I liked most about the deleted scenes were that they were almost fully rendered, as opposed to other animated movies where you see mostly hand drawn outtakes (which you will also find on disc 2). There is a short 20 minute documentary on the sound of the film and I have to believe not only will it get sound nominations at the Oscars, it'll win. And there is also my favorite extra, a short film called 'Burn-E' which is about one of the other robots on the ship whose life is thrown into chaos by WALL*E. Disc 2 has the majority of the extras with numerous documentaries on the history of Pixar as well as various aspects of making this film. There are more deleted scenes and a few short films about BnL, the company within the film that started this entire mess. The extras are broken into Human (for adults) and Robot (for the kids). The Human side has most of the extras but the Robot side has a very cute one called Trinkets and Treasures which appear to be the short clips that they used to help promote the film on TV. Disc 3 has your digital copy. All in all, you're going to buy this movie because it's still the best film of the year. All the extras are just heaps and heaps of icing on the cake.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, I absolutely loved WALL*E. It is by far my favorite film of the last few years and in my top 10 of all-time. It's something that must be seen on the big screen and then owned on DVD for years to come. It is, in a word, beautiful.
Netflix DVD Rentals. Only $4.99 a month. NO LATE FEES; Free Shipping. Try for FREE!