Wow, am I behind in my reviews. It seems like I saw this an eternity ago, or at least while summer was still fresh, and after all the other summer films have come and gone, this remains my favorite film not about Batman. Pixar knocked one out of the park with Wall•E. The film is absolutely gorgeous, the animation is luscious, their attention to detail is second to none. Wall•E's rust alone, the photo-realism of it, makes me want to cream in my pants in digital bliss.
Besides the obvious superior animation skills of Pixar, they plain understand how to tell a story. Wall•E is at once, the most romantic movie and the best sci-fi film of the year. For the first 30 minutes of the film there are no human character, and no talking, but the love that grows between Wall•E and EVE is a beautiful thing. These two robots, brought to life by, Star Wars sound designer, Ben Burt's beeps and boops, have more humanity in them and present more well rounded characters than 99% of the films coming out of Hollywood.
It's easy to say that I fell in love with the character of Wall•E, he's an amazing little guy. After the world is long destroyed by the humans, and all his robot brothers have decayed into nothingness, Wall•E continues his mission of cleaning up the planet, one tiny, crushed cube at a time. After many millennium, Wall•E has developed a personality; possibly from processing all our leftover junk, he's relentlessly curious about what's been left behind. The moment he reveals his collection is geek heaven. When EVE arrives on Earth for her important mission, Wall•E is lovestruck by her beauty, fascinated by her advanced robotics, and down-right infatuated, simply because he has no one else to connect with. When he follows her off Earth, he discovers what has become of the human race.
Humans are content to gallivant about the galaxy in a gianormous cruise liner. Our bodies have devolved into huge blimps, barely capable of sucking a soda through a straw, each floating on our own personalized lounge chair, with a computer screen inches from our face. Personal interaction is nonexistent, everything, including talking to our neighbor, is done through a monitor. It's not a far stretch to imagine humanity becoming these disgusting blobs, cut off from any real interaction. When Wall•E arrives, he causes a revolt by simply saying hello in person.
Humans are now ruled by machines, and none are more powerful than the Ship's Computer, voiced by the sultry Sigorney Weaver. It wants nothing more than for humans to float about useless for the remainder of time. But thanks to the one curious human left alive, and even then he needs a good push from Wall•E, the Captain of the ship makes it his mission to return the species back to Earth. It's up to Wall•E, EVE, and a group of misfit robots to save humankind.
I love the ideas that Pixar develop within this film, where humans have become the robots and the only truly unique beings, are the robots in disrepair. There is one huge conglomerate, Buy N Large, a mix of Wal Mart and Costco, that makes and rules everything humanity does. It has an environmental message about destroying our planet to the point its inhospitable, without cramming down our throat. They make the apocolypse fun! And none of the ideas are so far fetched, if we continue on the same path, in another few thousands years, Earth might be exactly like this. The film completely works on two different levels, it has fun, cute robots that the kids can love, and important themes to explore for the adults, both meshing perfectly. Wall•E is damn near perfect. Make sure to watch through the closing credits, as the Pixar guys have some fun with the history of art, moving from cave paintings to 80's video games. - Grade: A (Seen on 6/30/08)