Saw Wall-E this past weekend. GREAT movie. Yes, this is another over the top enthusiastic endorsement of the Wall-E movie, despite it being a product of the Diseny juggernaut. And yes, it’s a cartoon. A story is a story, especially if it’s well told.
I’m not inclined towards animated features (for kids) and I don’t worship the Pixar brand.
HOWEVER, with Wall-E, they really outdid themselves.
I mean, really, the story is about robots and you care that it’s about these robots. When did we ever care about ROBOTS?
TV/The Movies/Books (esp. sci-fi) have raised me to be prejudiced and bigoted towards Robots:
They are our servants, they are our enemies, they must be crushed, they are jealous of our status, etecetera.
1. Terminator Series: Beware of robot masquerading as a big ass buffed out human — he’ll kill you. Beware of robot masquerading as a skinny ass LAPD officer — he’ll kill you. Beware of robot masquerading as a hot chick — she’ll kill you.
2. I, Robot: Robots needs rules (three really), because without them, they’ll kill us.
3. The Matrix series: Computers will rule the world and use robots to farm us of static electricity. And kill us.
4. Blade Runner: They wanna be us. And kill us.
5. Battlestar Galactica: Robots are better than us. Hotter than us. Holier than us. And they want to kill us.
6. Transformers: Decepticons are bad robots. They want to kill us. Autobots? Whatever, if there were no robots, no Decepticons, no Autobots, no problems.
7. Star Wars Ep.1, The Phantom Menace: Robot armies lead to Clone Armies, which lead to the Empire becoming taken over by a Sith Lord.
Robots = Bad.
The protagonists of WALL-E are robots and they aren’t particularly warm looking. They look like this:
And yet we really care about them. They are imbued with such humanity that they become better versions of ourselves. How subversive is that?
And there’s the oft discussed lack of dialogue in the first half of the movie. Brilliant. BRILLIANT. Coming from a guy who was a fan of the rapid-fire-way-too-erudite-bombastic dialogue trend of recent times (really, I think started by Dawson’s Creek (Season 1 only please)). Was.
Best Picture Contender. But this movie was way too ahead of its time for the popularity machine that is the Academy to understand (I’m still bitter about how City of God was treated by the Academy). There’s no way the Academy will ever treat animation as a serious form of film — it may put them out of a job. Just like you would never vote for the talkies if you were a silent movie star. Plus, they’re idiots.
And the social commentary . . . I love how a giant invisible finger was pointing at the audience saying you are the antagonist and this is all your fault and it was still a great movie. Nothing destroys a great movie like putting in a guilt laden lecture in the middle of it. The rightwingers hate lectures because it’s everything they hate about the sanctimonious left and the leftwingers hate it because really, do you think choir members really enjoy being preached to? But here it’s done well.
And to clarify the above title about how Disney is screwed — really they are — after this movie, there are rumors that the bulk of the creative team at Pixar (whom Disney owns) that brought us Toy Story I & II, The Incredibles, Finding Nemo are leaving. Disney will probably be able to make a few megabucks off of the next two or three Pixar “branded” movies and merchandise the crap of them, but seriously, they’ll slowly kill off genre off like they did with their 2D animation movies.
But for now, enjoy the darling buds of May and watch Wall-E.