25 August 2008

Thoughts On: WALL*E

The story in WALL*E is pretty easy to pick up from the trailer. A lone Earth robot stuck cleaning up a ruined Earth falls in love with a probe robot and follows her back into space. Together they show the space-faring, nomadic and unhappy humans the way back to Earth and to responsibility.

A Disney film that dares to be anti-consumerist?  Yeah, no, not really.   WALL*E’s message does not come across as “Look at what we’ve done!” so much as “Look at what fools we were!”

Over the course of the movie we watch several human characters wake up from a state of blobby inaction and constant electronic stimulation. They are made aware, not of the evils of consumption, mind you, just to their excesses.  And please buy an action figure on the way out.

One thing I like: the three human characters we spend the most time with--a random romantic couple and the Captain of the endlessly drifting starship--have an interesting reaction to being woken up, and it's not what we expect. They are instantly intrigued by their situation, and this is the redemption of the second half of the movie.

I definitely enjoyed the first half of the movie the most. The junkyard earth and WALL*E himself are far more visually interesting than the slicker, more cartoonish spaceship elements. There’s also a florescent lighting feel to the spaceship interior that I didn’t like.

Cheers to the film’s creators for being so optimistic about human beings so as to believe that, being shown a possible future of hard but rewarding effort, a person might abandon their cushy life and run towards it. I’m not altogether that optimistic about things.

1 comment:

orcidgrl said...

* high-five hubby! * good one!