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Andrew Stanton
Cast: Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin, Fred Willard, John Ratzenberger, Kathy Najimy, Sigourney Weave

Michael Olsen

June 30, 2008


The Earth is such a copious place of colors. Ever lush green trees, a rhapsody of blue seas, and the harsh, but wise red rocky mountains. What could make a world more vibrant, expressive, or emotional? Well, would you believe me if I said a small, rickety, trash compactor?

It is the year 2815 and the planet we call Earth, is vastly covered with trash. The once bustling city is now littered with a capacious amount of advertisement from a monstrous conglomerate only known as BNL (Big and Large). There is not one single human living on the globe. Streets and buildings are ghostly vacant. The dark dust-rusty wind bellows through the ever dead scenery, taking with it scraps of paper, empty soda cups, and random debris. There is nothing but the nothing itself…

Oh, but wait, there is a small moving object, which is not a scrap of paper, a soda cup, or even a random piece of debris. To be more precise, this object seems to have life. It seems to be a… robot.

Disney/Pixar's newest animated film, Wall*E tells us the story of a small garbage compactor robot of the same name which stands for, Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class. Wall*E (Ben Burtt) is an unusual robot. He is programmed to compact trash but more importantly he has developed an interest in the life that created all of the junk. Wall*E is a bit of a packrat; he collects various items from the heaps and stores them in his home. Anything you can think of: light bulbs, hub caps, Rubik's Cubes, a VHS copy of the musical, Hello Dolly.

Even after hundreds of years have past, Wall*E does not lose his lovable curiosity. He has actually developed an immense personality with his collection. On a regular trash picking day for Wall*E, something out of the unusual has caught his eye. A large spaceship from the space station, Axiom, has made a landing onto Earth's surface. The ship leaves a small lustrous white device that has been activated and appears to be a superior robotic being.

This entity turns out to be a robot called EVE (Elissa Knight). EVE comes from Axiom with a mission to discover if life on Earth is possible. EVE is essentially Annie to Wall*E's Alvy. She is clean, sleek, elegant, and absolutely everything a robot like Wall*E would be smitten by. Unknown is EVE's directive to Wall*E; he is only interested in finding out more about EVE.

And the romantic comedy pursues…

I don't want to really over explain this film… it's not because I'm lazy. It's because I believe the film creates a visual message that you can only understand by watching it.

The film is simple, but absolutely remarkable in its delivery. Andrew Stanton, the film's writer and director has created a mesmerizing and poignant movie. Disney/Pixar has begun to interest me more and more with their films. Last summer's Ratatouille was downright enjoyable. It created some of the best looking visuals and a story that made me believe children's cartoons do not have to be non-stop scatological humor. Wall*E's first act works, and it's because of the fantastic writing. In the fashion of a beautiful Shakespearean sonnet, the lack of dialogue creates a wonderful strong foundation to build a movie on. Along with vibrantly colorfully visuals, I felt you could connect with Stanton in a weird visual sixth sense. I was also blown away by creatively detailed camera work. At points I thought I was watching a Kar Wai Wong film. The best thing about this film (along with its visuals), is the fact that it doesn't over analyze every freaking step. It creates an environment for minds to think. True, there is a system of diverse messages throughout the film, but I honestly do not think this is any worse than vegetables telling me about Jesus.

With a film that has less dialogue than a Jim Jarmusch movie, one would think that there must be no point for a decent cast. Well, you are wrong! The film's star, Wall*E is voiced by the man that has created some of the great sound designs to films like Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Ben Burtt not only voices Wall*E's delightful robotic speech, he also created a spectacular sound production for the film. There are also fantastic performances and voiceovers from comedic actors like Jeff Garlin, Fred Willard, and John Ratzenberger. An interesting Sci-fi tie-in the movie's villain, AUTO has a nod to both Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey and voiceover from Alien star, Sigourney Weaver.

The only downside (and I use this term lightly!) to Wall*E is the film's third act. I can understand the way it comes together, that there must be some kind of resolution. It's like playing a major scale and ending on the sixth; it just doesn't feel right! I wouldn't dispense the final hour as being miserable, maybe cliché. Though I honestly think it still ends remarkably well for a Disney film.

The film has this gravitation about it. You are either going to love it or loathe it. I hope for a lot of people they can see how engagingly descriptive this film is. Overall, I would highly recommend catching Wall*E. This is most likely to be a film that will grow to be an all time classic, I guarantee!


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