Saturday, 3 January 2009
Pixar's Wall-E, as I understand it the last of the great films conceived in the Toy Story, Finding Nemo, etc. night, is certainly a wonder in execution and personality. It is, as expected, perfectly delightful. It contains everything you'd expect of a kid's flick these days, with love, companionship, adventure, misfits, environmental ruin (and redemption), and silliness.
It also carries a bit of commentary with it that was perhaps surprising. There is a fair amount of sting against rampant consumerism; the attack, though, is not on the corporations so much as the consumers. The megacorporation Buy & Large seems responsible for the destruction of the Earth, but the effects we see of it are the idiotic, selfish, unobservant, and bloated human population of the space cruise, served by the mechanized robot crew. While the movie is enjoyable, the picture it paints of humanity's future is bleak, and happily it does not posit technology as the answer.
Overall, though, these messages are only evident to someone trying to pick up the ideology. It is subservient to the brilliant, creative, and precise visuals, the whimsical plot, and Wall-E's little puppy-dog eyes. I can see how some jaded critic would find this movie too cute, but I didn't. What I found most fascinating is that Wall-E and Eve came with complete characters while maintaining robot-natures, determined by switches and protocols. They were both empathizable and machine; that is not an easy trick to perform.
Of course, as always with Pixar, the real show was in the visuals. The gargabe world of Earth is old, massive, and well-rusted, very believably an abandoned planetary landfill. The spacescapes were beautiful, and the inner workings of the spaceship were fascinating, if less obviously time-consuming than Earth.
This one was well-worth the hype, in my opinion.
Posted by Christian H at 12:03