Pixar have been making quality movies since Toy Story and even a “poor” Pixar offering, like say A Bug’s Life or Cars is still very watchable but WALL-E is something a little special. Animation without real dialogue is nothing new. We all watched Looney Tunes where there was only occasional dialogue but stretching it over almost an entire movie is something new or perhaps very old if you take the view that all movies were silent once upon a time.
So why should you watch a cartoon which doubles up as an almost silent movie?
Because it’s the most unique animated feature you’ll see this year and dripping with the kind of quality that other movies can only dream of.
WALL-E is a Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class who has the exciting task of compacting all the waste on earth, while the humans swan around in gigantic space liners. 700 years have passed since the humans left and WALL-E is the only functional robot left on the planet. Much of the first part of the film sets the tone by showing WALL-E’s lonely existence, while he continues his task and befriends a cockroach, as you do.
The movie moves to a different track when Eve, an Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator, turns up looking for signs of life. From there, it’s a trip into space to encounter the humans on their space liner. The movie is a joy from start to finish. It’s packed with small in-jokes that will take a second viewing to spot & enjoy. As a Mac user, I was delighted to hear the familiar chime of a Mac feature as a little nod and EVE’s design is clearly based on the Mac products that Pixar use. Being something of a space opera, there are a number of 2001 nods and when Also Sprach Zarathustra kicks in, you’ll be both grinning at the context of it as well as enjoying it for itself.
There has been an amusing hoodoo in the States where “conservative commentators” have jumped on the “liberal propaganda” allegedly present in the film. Sensibly, Pixar have avoiding commenting on the allegations but the fact is that you could just as easily take the film to be “pro-conservative” too. It’s a film virtually devoid of sexuality. It implicitly holds the agrarian rural ideal to be the model to which we should aspire and more to the point, it criticises lazy people who don’t work.
Really, such silly people should stop seeing things that don’t exist and just enjoy the damn film.
WALL-E is always entertaining but when it steps up a gear, it is incredible and it does this with amazing artfulness. If you’re only going to watch one summer blockbuster in the cinema this year, make it this one.
One word of warning, the cinemas clearly think this is a movie for under-12’s (it isn’t really) so be prepared for trailers such as High School Musical 3 and other such Disney fluff.
Watch the rather brilliant trailer here: