Justin Peterson’s review published on Letterboxd:
(Disney Pixar) #9 Wall-E
While beautiful and charming, I think this might be the most difficult Disney Pixar film to connect with.
Wall-E is a cute little robot that looks like 'Short Circuit' on a post apocalyptic version of earth which basically looks like a trash heap plagued by dust storms. He seems to be the last of his kind as is tasked with compacting small amounts of trash into little cubes and stacking them. I did like how he scavenges parts from other robots to keep himself going.
What you begin to notice is the filmmakers are making statements/lecturing on couple big themes about society and people in general. For example Wall-E is performing a mundane task that he accomplishes gradually while also incorporating his hobby of collecting. This is later contrasted by another more modern robot named EVE. Unlike Wall-E she is very procedural in her work and is always noting her directive, which turns out is finding plant life. In this respect the major character arc is with EVE who learns from Wally about the value of emotional connection.
Pixar creating this Sci-fi satire was a bold and interesting choice. There is very little communication during Wall-E's interactions with a bug and EVE... during these we most just beepy robot noises that sometimes convey simple speech. While I respect the visual storying telling, I would say the lack of concrete interactions greatly limits the movies re-watch factor for me.
The old time movie score is an interesting contrast to the futuristic setting, and reminded me of playing hours and hours from the video game series Fallout. But I just grew tired of these songs after awhile, and the scenes from 'Hello, Dolly!' that are shown repeatedly.
I feel this a mostly negative perspective that I am taking, but I must praise the stunning animation especially all the amazing images space.
The last half of the film is drastically different and involves Wall-E and EVE running around a space station, and feels a bit scattered. This was the second time I had seen the film all the way thru, and towards the end I was thinking that the movie does not really have an antagonist, and then all of sudden a version of the HAL from 2001 pops up to be the bad guy.
I love 2001, and I am not sure what this film was trying to do with its references, but to me they were kind of obnoxious. Speaking of annoying parts of the movie, I can see how kids would think the Wall-E slap-stick humor would be funny with him often being hit by stuff or falling.. but after awhile it became dull and repetitive.
Getting back to those big statements on humanity, the filmmakers have shoe horned this environmental theme which basically says to value plants/nature or else we will end up with this desert planet... which is fine... I respect the facts about global warming and the possibility of desertification. But then they want to pile on with this thing about the humans being lazy on the space station and becoming fat slobs that begin to lose bone density based on their lethargic habits .. this is a very OVER THE TOP way to say 'hey kids, make sure to exercise'.
I do like the artistry of this movie, I mean Disney Pixar is the top dog in family entertainment. I just found the story to be uneven, and I was not in the mood to be lectured to while watching robots run around in space trying to save a plant.
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Happy movie watching... SKOL!