Movie Review by Debbie Winkler
Starring: Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin, Fred Willard, Sigourney Weaver
Director: Andrew Stanton
Release Date: 27 June 2008
Length: 98 minutes
Movie Rating: G
View Format: DVD
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars
“In a futuristic world, human beings have destroyed Earth and evacuated the planet, leaving the cleanup to an army of robots they’ve programmed to do their dirty work. Due to a mishap, the dutiful WALL-E is the only one left. But with the arrival of a female probe, the monotony of WALL-E’s existence is broken – and he experiences love for the first time. Andrew Stanton directs this Golden Globe- and Oscar-winning Pixar tale with a sci-fi twist.” — Netflix.com
I confess, when I first saw this movie, I was disappointed. I had my expectations up so high from the previews and from the constant hype when this movie was released a few years ago that, when I went to see it in the movie theatre, I was expecting it to be phenomenal. It wasn’t. However, I have come to love this movie as I watch it over the years and now it is one of my favorite Pixarmovies to watch and I have seen it countless times. Wall-E is such a lovable little guy and he has developed very human-like emotions over his years of solitude on Earth. He is just adorable and I loved his efforts to be with his new girlfriend, Eve, and to help save the day when it was needed. Indeed, one of the best parts of the movie, is the robot characterization. Pixar was able to make the robots human with emotions and personality quirks and I love that they were able to do that. Perhaps we will do this with real robots and computers someday, but we are pretty far away from it right now. Anyway, the robots stole the show for me and I loved M-O and Burn-e. M-O (Moe), as a contaminant-cleaning robot, was probably my favorite character in the film. He was just hilarious and stole the scene in any part of the movie he was in.
I really enjoyed the music in the movie and loved that they used a lot of music from Hello, Dolly! which is one of my favorite musicals. It was a bit of disappointment that there was no original music with words that were scored for this film, but I thought the music that they “borrowed” performed an admirable job. The classical score that accompanied the film was lovely, however. There are very few speaking characters in this movie so there are no big names in the main roles as far as the voice talent is concerned. I have a friend who sees this as the future of film-making and he believes that it will be a good thing for Hollywood and level the field. He believes that this shows that you don’t need popular or famous talent attached to a film to make it a success. Well, yes and no. Pixar and Disney are pretty big names and they definitely carry some weight behind them. So, while the actors voices in the movie may not have been well-known, those working on the movie were and I think that is what pushed this movie to the top.
The one part of the movie that I did not particularly enjoy was the constant, over-the-top hammering of the environmental message they were trying to push. Do we generate too much garbage, yes. Are a lot of people fat, yes. Will we have to pay the price someday, probably. Is it necessary to beat little kids over the heads with this and try to indoctrinate them while they are too young to really understand, no. I think it is important to introduce these concepts, but I felt that Wall-E went too far. I think that there are a lot of other issues that are just as important – or more important – to address, but environmentalism, sustainability, global warming, whatever you want to call it is a huge hot button in Hollywood and has been for the past several years. Okay, so many of my friends and family agree that this movie did not go far enough in pushing this topic, I felt that it detracted from my enjoyment and that they brought in too many political issues for me to just appreciate the movie for what it was.
Anyway, this is a great movie for kids and a fun movies for adults, too. There are some marvelous special features, including a hilarious short film called Presto! about a magician and his rabbit that he pulls out of a hat. I can almost say it is worth buying this movie for the short film alone! It is really that good. There are also several deleted scenes, including an absolutely wonderful feature about Burn-e, one of the robots on board the ship who plays a small part in the movie. I wish they had found a way to incorporate it into the movie as I feel that the scenes added so much to the humor and character of the film. This DVD has been around long enough that you can easily find a used copy for sale for a good deal so there is no excuse not to add it to your library. This is a wonderful DVD that will be enjoyed by the whole family!
This movie is appropriate for viewers of all ages.