Wall-E (2008) – Review
Children and adults alike love Pixar films because they break through the generic boundaries and provide their audiences with vastly spectacular (yet simplistic) tales – take a look at Toy Story, Monster’s Inc, or even A Bug’s Life. With each and every film the Pixar team invites the audience into a finely crafted world that dazzles us with extraordinary wonderment, and things are no different with Wall-E.
In the distant future a cleaning robot (WALL-E) ends up going on a journey that ultimately decides the fate of the human race. The animation style is vastly superior to any computer-animated film released (even those in 2011) because it’s so much more than CGI. The film is enjoyably realistic and this is due to the use of a rather plausible and effectively chilling plot. After the credits have rolled Wall-E is successful in making its audience wonder what is in store for the human race.
Stylistically Wall-E uses a variety of techniques. There is the use of silent cinema (for the first act), then there is science fiction and fantasy, adventure, conspiracy and romance even joins the proceedings. The romance is helped along by the use of the 1969 musical film Hello, Dolly which helps draw parallels between the romance of Horace and Dolly and Wall-E and Eve. It may sound downright bizarre but it works incredibly well. It’s a rare triumph to see a film tick all of these boxes and it’s even more of a rare triumph when all of the styles combined work like they do here.
Arguably (and even controversially) this is the definitive Pixar film. Not only does it utilise vastly superior animation style but it also captures a great sense of emotion. The sheer emotion portrayed by the beautifully crafted characters is astounding, especially the central romance between Wall-E and Eve which, rather ironically, is more touching and heartfelt than a lot of live action romance films.
The titular character is an adorable creation and the audience automatically connects with him. It’s a masterful success when a robot (who only emits a few words and lacks the power of facial expressions) can show so much emotion. Wall-E’s personality is at the core of this story and without it the film would not be as nearly as successful it is.
To criticise the film would undermine every single ounce of energy that went into the production, every single detail has been given equal time and effort; nothing has been left to chance. It’s not like other generic CGI animated films that were made to purely make a large profit with the younger audiences; Wall-E has heart and soul at its core.
Of course it has a message; doesn’t every film? Look after our world. It’s so simple yet so meaningful and complex but, thankfully, it doesn’t come off as preachy. It’s one of those messages that does have a realistic basis in the world we live in and that gives the film an extra layer of fear that doesn’t really exist in the other Pixar films.
Best line: ‘Waaalll-eeeee!
Most romantic moment: Wall-E wooing a hibernating EVE.
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