>> Wall-E (9/10)

WALL-EThanks to Pixar, I have no choice but to go into wild, unrestrained hyperbole regarding their new film, the animated sci-fi adventure love story titled Wall-E. Ready? Here we go. Visionary. Emotional. Fantastic. A Must-See. A Thrill Ride. Romantic. Eye-Popping. Incredible. Instant Classic. The best Pixar film ever made. Let that sink in for a minute.

The best. THE. BEST.

I would go so far as to say that the first half of Wall-E is as good as a movie can get. It transports you wholly to another place and time, and connects you emotionally, almost immediately, to an object–not a person, or a loveable talking animal, but a garbage compacting machine called a Wall-E. What kind of skill does it take as a filmmaker to make me empathize and cheer for a garbage compactor?

This little garbage-stacking robot has his garbage-stacking life interrupted by an egg-shaped space probe called Eve. Eve is sent to a long-forgotten, inhospitable Earth to find some sign of plant life, so that humans, floating lazily in space for over seven hundred years under the care of the faceless mega-corporation BNL, can return to their home planet. Lonely Wall-E is smitten by the sleek, interesting Eve, so much so that even after she has completed her directive, he follows her into the depths of space, and into a big adventure in a society wherein humankind relies almost entirely on robots for anything physical or active.

If the second half of the movie feels more traditional than the first half, it’s only traditional in a very Disney sense. There’s crowd-pleasing humor, some memorable robot characters, and the classic True Love’s Kiss, These never feel like formula in Wall-E because the setting and the situation are handled with such great depth and creativity that it stands toe-to-toe with any science fiction film. This is so fully realized that you know, without a doubt, that you are watching a movie that will be considered a classic for years to come. The amazing thing is that you start to know this literally minutes into the film, as Wall-E scavenges for interesting scraps and obsessively watches Hello, Dolly, before a single line of dialogue is even uttered.

This film is so darned close to perfection that I feel like a bad guy for admitting that I didn’t think the mix of live-action and cg-animated humans in the film was a good idea, or that I wished the ending had a little more punch. Regardless, Pixar and director Andrew Stanton have created a masterpiece–not an animation masterpiece, but a cinematic masterpiece. It’s an audio-video dream-come-true that deserves every bit of the attention that I know it will receive. I loved Wall-E, and I think you will too.

9 on a 1 to 10 scale

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7 Comments

  1. Wow, I really didn’t expect that it would be this good. I look forward to seeing it, thanks for the review.

  2. Considering your lack of enthusiasm for most of Pixar’s library, this is extremely high praise.
    I’m angry now that I didn’t attempt to get into the screening.

  3. “lack of enthusiasm?”

    Is this because I didn’t care for Ratatouille?

    I LOVE Toy Story 1 & 2 and Monsters Inc.

  4. If I remember correctly you also aren’t too keen on A BUG’S LIFE, FINDING NEMO, or THE INCREDIBLES (although that may be Julian). Not to mention that I’m almost positive you wouldn’t care too much for CARS (I didn’t) if you haven’t seen it. That would be five out of the previous eight Pixar films that don’t quite do it for you. Not saying you despise the films, I would say you’re just less than enthusiastic.

  5. It is Julian that’s the non-Pixar guy. I liked Nemo and Incredibles. The only one I just plain didn’t like outright was A Bug’s Life. Cars was all right, but it was the first Blu-Ray I ever saw and it was BEEYOOTIFUL.

  6. John, you are spot on about Wall-E! Presto was also a great short that I thought was very creative and of course looked beautiful. I can’t wait to see it again!

  7. Huh.

    That sounds ok.
    It’s not really my bag, but it sounds ok.
    I like robots kissing.


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