(grumplet) WALL-E: Domo Arigatou, Pixar~

by

Hey! Hey, guys! WALL-E is here! HOORAY!

THE GRUMPS ARE ALIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE

So I should hope I don’t have to educate anybody reading this about what WALL-E is about. BUT HERE I GO ANYWAYS. WALL-E is about the eponymous robot tirelessly slaving away on a deserted Earth to clean up the trash we all left behind. He lives a solitary existence until one day a ship briefly lands, leaving behind a sexy, stylish droid named EVE who is vastly technologically superior to WALL-E. Of course, this being a movie, WALL-E gets a huge crush on EVE and he starts trying to court her. Just as things are starting to warm up, EVE completes her mysterious objective and gets recollected by the ship. WALL-E, determined not to lose EVE, hitches a ride and sets into motion a series of events that will alter the destiny of the human race.

I’ll keep this article short, because there’s only so much interesting stuff you can write about a movie you adore. I LOVE WALL-E. And although it seems like I’m always saying this about Pixar movies, it’s even better than the one that came before it. I won’t pretend I have a great background (or any background, really) in silent movies, but it’s obvious that WALL-E tries to succeed for most of its length without resorting to spoken dialogue. There’s so much that can be conveyed through just gestures and the robots repeating their names. Sort of like mechanical Pokemon? The true art of animation, in my opinion, is to convey personality through just movement and expression. And Pixar seems to have that down cold. I’m not an expert on their past in shorts, but every one I’ve seen have featured no dialogue at all. The one that precedes this movie in theaters, Presto, is a gem itself, which feels like the writers took a cue from video game critical darling Portal in its concept. So much personality shines through that it’s almost sickening how much talent Pixar has at their disposal. And actually sickening thinking that they wasted so much effort on Cars.

But for a family movie, WALL-E is surprisingly bleak in setting. Earth is a withered husk. Everything is covered in dust and buildings are rotting away. Within the first five minutes we see a field full of dead WALL-E models that our WALL-E has no qualms about cannibalizing for spare parts. Humans have grown so technology dependent that they’ve become blubbering masses of fat that can barely move and have no concept of the world outside their own personal view-screen. Human interaction is completely cyberized. People will video-conference with someone sitting right next to them. And they place all their value and attention on self-gratification and material goods. Even eating food involves as little physical exertion as possible. (“It’s lunch… in a cup!”) What a bold fuckin’ message for a movie aimed at an America where the waistline is expanding with no end in sight. Waiting in line for WALL-E, I took notice of how many of the kids (or their parents) going to see it looked overweight. It wasn’t a small amount. Even though redemption lies at the heart of WALL-E‘s futuristic cynicsm, I bet Asimov would’ve watched the movie with a wry smirk.

So WALL-E is pretty much the complete package. Not only is it a crowd-pleasing romantic adventure, but it has themes and messages that resonate on a much deeper level. It says a lot about how universal a movie is when I can silently enjoy it alongside the most middle-of-the-road movie-goer who is constantly laughing uproariously (even when no one else is). I also sort of feel like this movie was made just for me. I love entertainment where robots begin to develop human emotions. I will even defend A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, a movie that reduces me to a sobbing mess every time I see it. WALL-E isn’t so emotionally manipulative, but it did provoke some wetness in the eyes. Ratatouille couldn’t quite crack my top 10 last year, but I don’t expect WALL-E to suffer the same fate. Go see it. And for God’s sake, don’t leave during the credits! Have a little DIGNITY.

kermit

Advertisements

10 Responses to “(grumplet) WALL-E: Domo Arigatou, Pixar~”

  1. Caciss Says:

    YES YES YESSSSSSSS

  2. Loki Says:

    I wanted to slap each and everyone of the people who bolted out of their seats.

  3. riotsword Says:

    Can we start using :kermit as an emote already?

  4. John Mora Says:

    Would it lose its power?!

  5. Film Walrus Says:

    I also adore WALL-E, and I think it is already in the running for my favorite film so far this year. I’d love to see it get an Oscar nod.

    I like that Pixar has the guts to break out of the Disney formula and play around a little. They don’t have a perfect record: my biggest problem with Ratatouille was that it was so safe and predictable and you’re right that Cars stands out as a conspicuous low point (so why have they green lit the sequel?!?).

    And while I’m agreeing to everything you’ve written, let me also confirm the Portal connection (it popped into my head immediately, too) and the conscious evocation of the silent film tradition. And yeah, sit through the credits people! They are awesome in their own right and show even greater visual freedom (I think they were the most inspired part of Ratatouille actually, rivalling the amazing bread texture).

  6. Grump Alert: Hollywood Doesn’t Care About Good Movies « Grump Factory Says:

    […] rewards animated features and shorts. With the strong showing in that field this year thanks to WALL-E, you’d think PIXAR would be cleaning up the awards, […]

  7. Year in Review - 2008: It… It… It… Had Its Moments « Grump Factory Says:

    […] 2. WALL-E […]

  8. 2008 Round-Up Review - Kept You Waiting, Huh « Grump Factory Says:

    […] Wall-E – Adorable, sweet, modern, sleek… Best sci-fi movie of the year. Best romance movie of the […]

  9. (grumplet) Moon: One Small Step for Real Sci-Fi « Grump Factory Says:

    […] HAL’s throne over the years. The most recent example would probably be that steering wheel in WALL-E. Everyone wants an A.I. as iconic as HAL, but few go through the trouble of approaching it from a […]

  10. Toy Story 3: Sobbing Man-Children « Grump Factory Says:

    […] isn’t just a road movie, it’s a touching story about a father’s love for his son. WALL-E isn’t just about a sappy robot, it’s about standing up for your beliefs and the […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: