Can Pixar keep batting 1000? Or will WALL*E fail to meet…oh who are we kidding?

WALL*E

Written & Directed by Andrew Stanton

Starring

Ben Burtt as WALL*E/M-O
Elissa Knight as Eve
Jeff Garlin as Captain
Fred Willard as Shelby Forthright
John Ratzenberger as John
Kathy Najimy as Mary
Sigourney Weaver as Ship’s Computer

Full IMDB Listing

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Summary

What if mankind had to leave Earth, and somebody forgot to turn the last robot off? After hundreds of lonely years of doing what he was built for, WALL*E (short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class) discovers a new purpose in life (besides collecting knick-knacks) when he meets a sleek search robot named EVE. EVE comes to realize that WALL*E has inadvertently stumbled upon the key to the planet’s future, and races back to space to report her findings to the humans (who have been eagerly awaiting word that it is safe to return home). Meanwhile, WALL*E chases EVE across the galaxy and sets an adventure into motion. Joining WALL*E on his journey across the universe is a cast of characters including a pet cockroach and a heroic team of malfunctioning misfit robots.

Review

WALL*E. You’ve seen him advertised everywhere. Is he as fun for a full length feature as he is in commercials? Definitely.

The latest offering from Pixar goes where no Pixar film has gone before, outer space. And you’ll love just about every minute of it (and your kids will as well). At times, it lacks subtlety, but it has a good message at its heart. The robots are far more entertaining than the humans, thankfully they get the lion’s share of screen time. WALL*E is definitely a character for the ages. Charming and lovable.

High Points

  • Space ballet (yeah, I’m a hopeless romantic)
  • The Misfit Robots
  • WALL*E exploring trash
  • WALL*E’s collection
  • WALL*E rescuing…Oh hell. Every scene that little trash compactor is in.

Low Point

  • Has all the subtly of a tactical nuke.
  • The beginning is incredibly bleak. A lot of kids were shifting around in their seats waiting for the movie to “get underway.”

The Scores

Originality: The story feels borrowed from about a half-dozen other sources, but still remains fresh and inviting. That, and WALL*E has an uncanny resemblence to a certain 80’s robot. 5

Effects: Um. It’s Pixar. Anyone not going with full marks is a stunning moron. This movie looks great. All the time. 6

Story: The boy chases girl plot is funny and interesting, but the whole humanity has lost its humanity bit wasn’t. I guess maybe I lack the sympathy for people like that in real life, let alone fiction. 4

Acting: Ben Burtt is a genius. He does for WALL*E what he did for R2-D2. That, combined with some superb animation pulls every little emotion out of that hunk of junk. The voice acting is good, but pales compared to the robots. I love the sick little in-joke about having Sigourney Weaver as the Ship’s Computer. 5

Emotional Response: The movie is touching and when it comes down to WALL*E and EVE (and the other robots). He’s a genuinely lovable character. The remainder of the cast (ie humans) aren’t nearly as enjoyable or lovable. In fact, you’re really hard-pressed to feel any empathy at all. 4

Production: Um, yeah. Pixar. Remember? 6

Overall: It’s a great movie and another home run for Pixar. 5

Total: 35 out of 42

Honorable Mention

Pixar brings back the animated short before their feature film. The latest is Presto and it’s insanely funny. Harkens back to the old Warner Brothers cartoons.