WALL·E ★★★★

Wall·E is a bold, smart and, at times, even quite profound attempt at another Pixar classic. Director Andrew Stanton's frame of reference is clear; Kubrick's 2001 and even 2009's Moon creep in there to varying degrees, but the most obvious debt owed is to Douglas Trumbull's Silent Running. It's mostly successful in paying homage and matching up to its genre cohorts, and it manages to find a niche amongst other Pixar entries, but it's not without some flaws.

With much of the first half dialogue-less, Stanton has the opportunity to play with Pixar's famous animation. The titular robot is characterised by his actions as much as his deficient vocabulary, and most of the early laughs are brought about by slapstick gags which mostly hit the mark. But the slapstick often seeps into the distinct second half, perhaps leaving audiences familiar with the wittier scripting of Toy Story and Finding Nemo feeling deflated after the solid opening.

Fortunately, there's enough action and social commentary in the second half to keep the film kicking and, more importantly, fresh. Wall·E touches on mechanisation, humanity, and our role in the destruction of Earth - but only enough so as to not appear sanctimonious.