Will Preston

Another fantastic addition from Pixar’s flawless run so far.

by on Aug.03, 2010, under Films, Review

The use of white foam spraying out at that angle is another Freudian slip that got past the kidsYou can’t wrong Pixar. You just can’t. All their films are somehow devoid of having criticism hurled at them. I have never seen a dull film by them and it will be a true mark in cinema when they finally do. The first Pixar film I remember seeing was the first Toy Story film. What an amazement that was. Besides from the fact that the visuals caressed my retinas like a dodgy stranger, the characters often felt lively and lovable. Whether good animation, writing or voice casting is the main reason, I’ll never know; they all seem to come together smoothly. Bearing in mind that this film came out in 1996. I was nine at the time. The visuals have aged a bit, but the characters are just as alive as they once were.

As time went on, I grew away from these ‘kids’ movies in search of something violent and above my age range (Terminator 2 was my first port of call). Through this, a lot of fantastic films passed me by from Pixar such as Monsters Inc. and Finding Nemo. Films that I would come back to later with a mature head. Mature as you can be in my case. A couple of years back, a lot of people I knew were getting worriedly excited about the release of the new Pixar film. It’s the first one with a bit of a sci fi theme to it. At first glance, the hero Wall E is nothing more than Johnny 5 from short circuit crossed with ET.

Obviously it isn’t going to be the most original thing we’ve seen. But that doesn’t stop Wall E from being a good character.

He/it hardly speaks, save for a chirpy noise every now and again, but exerts a lot of expression nonetheless. To summarise Wall E’s background, he’s a cleaner robot built to clean (obviously) up the the ruins of planet Earth. A few centuries ago, man kind escaped the planet from impending doom through the use of giant colony ships (a nod to the story Songs Of Distant Earth by Arthur C Clark).

This impending doom was of course brought on by them/ourselves. Feel the collective shame whilst Al Gore burns a hole in the o zone layer through the smug rays he must be emitting at this prospect. Yes, it seems through over consuming and not heeding the advice of environmentalists that the planet now resembles an endless wasteland crossed with the inside of a packet of dry roasted. Already you can imagine a scene from the video game Fallout? Well so did the makers of this film.

As we float through the epic ruins of a forgotten contemporary city, Fifties croon music ironically accompanies the apocalyptic dust pile. A bit too much like Fallout was my first reaction. But I let it slide as Wall E had already stolen my attention at that point with his amusing way of cleaning things: shitting bricks is the closest, and crudest, way of describing it. He finds a pet in the form of a cockroach. A cockroach that is surprisingly cute. It made me want one until I remembered what they looked like in real life. Hats off, Pixar, for making insane influences in my pet buying decisions! When it comes to resting and hiding from terrifying dust storms, Wall E hides away in the wreckage of some kind of space ship.

Again, just like a character from Fallout, the makeshift home is adorned with trinkets from a forgotten time; our time. An old TV, a cassette tape and a torch are some of the radom junk lying around. It really shows the characters curiosity. In one scene he discovers a tattered bra. Not knowing what it is he tries fitting it over his eyes like a smutty blindfold. I was in tears of laughter. I’ve not watched such good naivety like this in a while. Later on, peace is interrupted by another robot, I forgot the name, who arrives trying to something. This new robot has a very feminine and shiny iMac like quality to her.

Wall E becomes smitten with this new character and so then the boy meets girl story begins, but not as slushy as romance can be if you hand it the steering wheels. Again, it’s good naivety and innocence that charms you. After completing her mission (finding evidence that Earth is sustainable for life), she promptly leaves Wall E, who stowaways on board the high tech shiny ship.

The change of scenery came just as Earth was getting boring. The rest of the film takes on board spaceships far from earth. Migraine inducing neon space ships. A nice twist being when they finally reach the human ship, the colony has devolved from centuries of robot dependence. Everyone looks inflatable and requires the use of hover chairs.

A possible nod to Brave New World in terms of human dependency? Two fatties later fall in love and I was hoping that they followed Huxley’s story and resorted to artificial impregnation, as the thought of coitus between this roly poly couple boggled the mind. Something that wobbles over the kids heads, thankfully. On the whole, the film can be a great starting point for a child’s interest in sci fi. It’s not too complicated and doesn’t steer too far into fantasy. There is something there for fans of sci fi, but it’s very light, the focus of course being on the cartoon like character of Wall E, who never tires of being a good protagonist.
Another fantastic addition from Pixar’s flawless run so far.

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