Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I received the movie Wall-E for Christmas.

We watched it Saturday night.

The movie is, on the surface, a story about a robotic trash compactor that falls in love with another robot when it visits from space. He follows her back to her ship. After some adventures, romance ensues.

However, this movie is full of messages.

There is the "humans are polluting the earth and making it unfit for habitation" message.

And the "humans do nothing but stuff their faces and sit on their fat asses" message."

Also the "corporations are taking over the world and they aren't doing a very good job of taking care of much of anything" message.

And "the smallest person (or robot, in this case) can make a difference" message.

The movie's premise is that B&L Corporation has taken over everything. The world becomes so polluted thanks to the consumer culture that there is nothing left to do but build space ships and leave robot trash compactors to take care of the planet. The idea was to be gone for five years, at which point the place would be cleaned up and inhabitable again.

That didn't happen, and mankind roams around in space for 700 years hoping the planet will repair itself, I guess. The ship's captain sends out probes to earth every now and again hoping for signs of plant life, even though everyone has forgotten what a plant is.

Wall-E is one of the last working robot trash compactors, if not the last one. Eve comes from space; she's a probe looking for a plant.

Wall-E has developed into more than a robot. He likes to watch Hello Dolly and collect stuff, including parts with which to repair himself. I suppose 700 years could do that to a trash compactor.

This movie received good reviews and made Pixar a lot of money.

I couldn't get past all of the "messages" to enjoy the film. I generally like apocalyptic movies - some of my favorites are Waterworld, Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, The Postman, etc., and some of my favorite books (1984; Alas, Babylon) deal with the topic.

But humanity was portrayed in such a ghastly manner that I really didn't care if they came back to earth or not. Nor did I care much about Wall-E. I know I was supposed to but I didn't, mostly, I think, because the messages about the world and humanity so overshadowed the little robot that I could hardly see him for the larger back story.

I don't disagree with any of the main messages of the film, but I was dismayed that those messages took center stage. I felt like I was being beaten over the head with them.

Maybe I need to watch it again because I must have missed something crucial to the film since it received such good reviews. Perhaps I shall blame it on my cold.

*In the commentary section on Wikepedia, linked to above, there are notes about others who took issue with the film, many for different reasons than what I've cited.*


  1. I just heard of this film yesterday on one of the Sunday morning news talk shows...the guy was saying it could be nominated for best picture of the year...will look for it on Netflix.

  2. I actually took my daughter to see it in the theater without knowing much about it in advance. It was darker and bleaker than I had anticipated.

  3. You know, I have been disappointed in almost every movie that I've seen in the last few years. I find myself sitting there saying, "It's a great idea, but so poorly done." What's up with that? What you described just sounds like more poor quality--that they had to hit you over the head with the message.

    I love apocalyptic movies and books. I just taped "I Am Legend," and hope it's not stupid. It's a remake of "The Omega Man" with Charlton Heston that I loved as a kid. I also recently read "The Road," by Cormac McCarthy. I love those end-of-the-world things.


  4. I wasn't a big fan of Wall-E either. It looked cute when we saw the trailer at the theater and I'm happy we only rented it from the black box at Kroger for a buck. All that robot talk got annoying really quick!

    City Girl, I really like "I Am Legend".

  5. Oh, and Happy New Year to you and your family!

  6. The entire first half of Wall-E left me bored... simply not enough conversation to stimulate my interest. Nemo is still my favorite Pixar movie of all times, and I look forward to the new Pixar movie out in 2009 about the grumpy old man. It's one Hubby and I can relate to... LOL

  7. I heard a good review on this today. The reviewer was talking about how it was full of boings and music and hardly any dialouge and how on that level it was a quite an accomplishment.

    I also loved Water World and Postman (which didn't get great reviews). I loved Gattaca too. Legend was the most recent movie of this type that I enjoyed.

    PS Look at this word verification I just got: fugckabl A vanity license plate? Hope not.

  8. I will try to remember to report back on I Am Legend when I watch it.



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