WALL·E ★★★★½

On the 4th of July yesterday, I watched two films. The first was Jaws, which I have seen a decent number of times before and I am satisfied with my review for it so I don't need to rehash that. The second was this, something I had only seen bits and pieces of. I realize people will be flabbergasted that I only saw this in full last night, yet 'tis true. While there are still plenty of classics I need to get around to, it was a mistake on my part to not see this much sooner.

I am sure everyone is familiar with the movie so I don't need to rehash the plot. I will explain that the film was an utter delight. It was bold to have the first half be dominated by a pair of robotic characters that could not communicate via speech and instead expressed themselves via other methods. It managed to work perfectly and you understood everything just from how WALL-E and EVE reacted or moved around. Once they reach space things are more conventional but that does not make this any less engrossing as some not so subtle messages are delivered, yet they aren't so overbearing they overwhelm everything else... the same goes with the references to famous sci-fi films of years prior. You root for the two leads among all the chaos and the epic decision of whether or not the spaceship should return to Earth.

A decade later, the movie still looks and sounds tremendous. It is a visual treat between the incredibly bleak Earth that has been ruined, and all the colors of the spaceship Axiom. Thomas Newman's score is great, and so is the sound design in general; in addition, it was a memorable usage of the movie adaptation of Hello, Dolly! That had to be the most attention it has gotten since, well, 1969.

Pixar's reputation has taken a hit in the decade since WALL-E was released. Without much empirical evidence to work with, I'll presume it is tied to Disney purchasing the company in '06. Eventually, we got sequels and original ideas that were not gold, unlike the Midas touch they had before. Hopefully their output will improve eventually; at least for me I still have some of their back catalogue to go through so it is not as much of a pressing need for me. I know everyone would be happy if they could come up with more creative stories such as this one, and spend a year watching silent movies in order to study how performers expressed their feelings without speech.

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