Sunday, January 25, 2009

Wall-E (2008)

Movie quotes:
Ship's Computer: Caution: Rogue robots. Caution.
[points at screen with them on it, EVE fires a laser blast at the screen, destroying it]
WALL.E: Ohh...
[folds up inside himself]

Ship's Computer: Voice confirmation required.
Captain: Uhhh...
Ship's Computer: Accepted.

At a glance:
Pixar animation scores another triumph of visual imagery with this touching robot on robot love story that takes place within a deeply textured sci-fi world

Our review:
Little robot Wall-E is tasked with cleaning up an earth covered with eons of overflowing rubbish. With all the humans long gone upon a huge ship in space, Wall-E is alone, save for his one cockroach friend. So he’s thrilled when a star ship deposits a sleek feminine robot named Eve onto his world. Suffice it to say that Eve’s ‘directive’ is tied in to the Earth and the survival of the human race.

Imagine one of the great silent movies of the early 20th century, and transpose it with state of the art animation from the early 21st century, and together, you have the first 35 minutes or so of Wall-E: a unique film experience. This is not some lightweight kids' animation – it is full-blooded, detailed sci-fi. And it’s worth noting that it is driven by detail as well as by the plot; it’s fascinating to learn the intricacies of this world. The people at Pixar know how to use animation to its fullest – to create a truly alternative universe – and yet it also is an imaginative take on our possible future.

The decision to focus on technology rather than true sentient life could have made it difficult for audiences to connect with the characters. It’s a tribute to Pixar that they not only took that risk, but that they also succeeded. Rating: 3 of 4

Trivia: 'Andrew Stanton' and the Pixar team watched every single Charles Chaplin and Buster Keaton movie (the short films and the features) every day during lunch for about a year and a half. This was to inspire the possibilities of pure visual storytelling.

Other reviewers said:
"If anyone doubted that Pixar is the most creative outfit in modern motion pictures, this movie should convince them. It is a genuine masterpiece, a word I don't use often."
- Paul Byrnes (Sydney Morning Herald)

"Not about high profile characters or big action, it delights by entertaining and inspiring more subtly. Who expected that from any movie these days, let alone an animated one?"
- Brian Webster (Apollo Guide)

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