WALL·E ★★★★½

We watched the first half of this film on a late semester day in math class back in high school. When the bell rang we were an hour into the movie and had to leave, never to finish it. Here I’m finally rectifying that by rewatching the first half and finishing the second half and do justice to a great animated feature.

I still find it weird that they decided to make the flashback human characters actual filmed actors rather than animated characters like those in the “present.” I think it was so that the footage of “Hello Dolly!” wouldn’t look out of place and they didn’t feel like animating the scenes from that movie.

But that also introduces the film’s weird obsession with that musical. Thematically both are about naive men falling in love with a woman though, so it fits. And the songs from it are quite good and inform the audience of WALL-E’s romantic slant.

Of course, the characters come alive thanks to Pixar’s usual stunning animation, and the truly outstanding sound design by Ben Burtt. Yet, it’s the story that draws viewers in and how the film goes about telling it. Roughly the first half hour of the movie passes without any dialogue, but it’s still engaging, dramatic, and funny.

And kids can understand the stakes visually, even if the real issue of pollution and global warming has been somewhat simplified here. The ending moral is simple too, and represented by the most basic imagery imaginable, but it works. Even if you’re turned off by the “message,” it’s still a great love story. Four and a half stars.

Added to: Pixar Ranked

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