Wall-E (DVD, 2008, Spanish Version) Reviews
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Wall-E (DVD, 2008, Spanish Version)

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Meet WALL-E, Earth's Savior

Apr 29, 2011
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Funny, amusing, futuristic, and touching for all of its 98 minute running time.

Cons:Some may be bothered by the absence of dialogue, especially in the first 30 minutes.

The Bottom Line: A tremendous mix of digital animation and futuristic science fiction; and Wall-E himself is one of the most engaging film charachters of recent times.

Walt Disney Studios had always been the leader in animated movies, but its partnership with the digital film company Pixar, which began in the mid-1990s, resulted in a whole new world opening up for the studio—namely that of digital animation.  In the ensuing years, audiences both young and old flocked to see the wide variety of films coming from the Disney/Pixar world: Toy Story; Cars; Finding Nemo; and Ratatouille, just to name four.  Andrew Stanton, the man behind Finding Nemo, however, had a truly ambitious idea for a new animated film, one which would take Disney/Pixar way into a future in which the existence of Earth and humanity itself rest in the hands of an unlikely hero.  That unlikely hero was Wall-E; and his adventure, when it burst onto the screen in the summer of 2008, resulted in an enormous box office windfall for Disney/Pixar totaling close to $600 million.

The titular character of the piece is basically a squat trash compactor, whose name stands for Waste Allocation Load Lifter-Earth Class.  His job, as has been the case for 700 years, is to clean up the mess that humanity left behind on Earth, compacting various bits of trash into cubes, and whiling away his spare time with a cockroach and a surviving VHS copy of the 1968 film musical Hello Dolly.  Wall-E, however, has also gained a sense of conscience and awareness of himself, as can be gauged by his consistently wan and curious expression; and when he sees a small sprout of a plant poking up from underneath an otherwise toxically polluted ground, he senses a change in Earth’s life cycle.  He is then visited upon by a female robot called EVE (Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator), who, upon learning of the existence of the plant in Wall-E’s possession, takes both it and Wall-E up to the intergalactic cruise ship Axiom, now in its 700th year of existence, to prove that life on Earth is coming back.

Of course, this is all new to Wall-E, as are some fairly disturbing things, like the non-stop consumption of the passengers (fed to them by the same mega-conglomerate, Buy N Large [BNL] that fatally polluted Earth), and their morbid obesity; and the conflict between the ship’s captain and the onboard computer named Auto, whose red eye is so much like HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey.  With Eve’s help, however, and after many wacky misadventures, Wall-E helps the captain retake control of the ship, and steer it back towards Earth once the existence of the little plant becomes fact.  In the meantime, Eve and Wall-E begin an electronic love affair that has been building from that first portentous meeting.

The swath of digital animation films to come from Disney/Pixar has been nothing short of amazing, but they definitely outdid themselves with Wall-E.  Apart from the genuine likeability of Wall-E himself (as engaging a non-human character as any since E.T.), there are numerous homages to films as varied as Silent Running (the 1972 ecological cult classic), George Lucas’ low budget 1971 feature debut THX 1138; the Oscar-winning 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth; Spielberg’s A.I.: Artificial Intelligence and Minority Report; and even Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi/film-noir classic Blade Runner.  And one must also congratulate Stanton for slipping in the homages to 2001, with the AUTO/HAL connection and the uses of Richard Strauss’ “Also Sprach Zarathustra” and Johann Strauss’ “The Blue Danube”, even if most children viewing Wall-E likely haven’t seen that 1968 Stanley Kubrick sci-fi masterpiece, at least not yet.

There are also several ironic comments about human consumption and greed, personified by BNL’s CEO Shelby Forthright, amusingly played by Fred Willard, and whose rhetoric of “stay the course” is clearly meant as a broadside against George W. Bush.  The ecological and environmental messages, however, are never delivered in a heavy-handed fashion; and the focus remains on the relationships that Wall-E develops throughout the film, both with his fellow robots, especially Eve, and with the humans onboard the Axiom; and all of this is aided by Newman’s fantastic and futuristic original score.  The end result in Wall-E is a three-pronged success: a typically successful animated comedy; a science fiction voyage; and a reminder of how we can change our planet for the better while there is still time left to do so.

Recommend this product? Yes

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