Friday, July 4, 2008
2008 brings another Pixar movie and like all the others, this one is fantastic. Pixar takes making kids movies seriously. They work on the visuals, the performances and the story like someone trying to truly impress and entertain. Too often filmmakers and studios churn kid flicks out, knowing they'll make money no matter how bad they are. Not Pixar, they put the time, heart, money and talent into every pic, no exceptions and Wall-E doesn't fall short of that standard. Wall-E is directed and written by Andrew Stanton, he's the bad mutha who brought us things like both Toy Story's, A Bug's Life and Finding Nemo. Like those, this film is essentially about the little guy overcoming vast odds and in the process finding real love and friendship. In this case, the little guy isn't an ant or a toy, but a robot whose only friend left on an abandoned Earth is a cockroach. You see we humans have so trashed earth by the year 2110 that it's uninhabitable. Corporations have built large spaceships that resemble cruiseships, and we've been out in orbit stuffing our faces and sitting on our duffs for the last 700 years. Meanwhile tons of robots are back on Earth cleaning up our mess. Wall-E is one of them, but over the centuries he's become the only one left. All of a sudden another robot shows up scanning the Earth to see if it's inhabitable again. And the story takes off from there as Wall-E and the other robot (Eva) bond and make their way back out to that giant spaceship. The movie is very endearing and actually left me thinking about it long after it was over. That said, it might not be for everyone. There's almost no talking in the film and none at all for the first third or so. It's a very very very simple movie. There's nothing clouding it up at all. It's just about the most simple, straightforward feature length cartoon I've ever seen. For that reason, some people will love it for it's universal approach and it's minimalism, while other might get bored as hell. I have a feeling that this one won't be as easy to swallow as Stanton's others and may well go down as an overlooked jewel in the Pixar collection, like Fantasia is to Disney or The Secret of NIMH is to Don Bluth. So, what I'm saying is, I loved it, but it is pretty different in it's approach and it's likely not for everyone.