Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Hello, Wall-E!

Hey folks, I've been too lazy to post much for a while, and I apologize. I'm back today with my review of Wall-E. I actually saw this over a week ago, and I still can't stop thinking about it. That being said, this review will likely contain spoilers, so if you haven't seen the movie (which you should have), stop reading now.

I'll get it out of the way now- Wall-E is probably the best movie I've seen in years. It's sweet, smart, entirely original, and just superbly executed. The first 40 minutes or so (according to other reviewers, I wasn't timing) take place on a deserted Earth with virtually no dialogue. It's amazing how you don't notice that no one's talking. This little robot is so expressive and captivating that you're just sucked into his world. There were (many) times that I forgot that what I was watching was animated.

During this time, Wall-E encounters Eve and falls in love. How did a robot learn about love? From musicals, of course! I've heard many people comment on how strange the choice of Hello, Dolly! was for this movie, but I think it was the absolute perfect choice. Hello, Dolly! at its core is about finding love and the loneliness of those who aren't in love. It's about stretching your boundaries and exploring the world around you and taking advantage of the moments of opportunity life gives you. This is exactly what Wall-E is about. Wall-E IS Cornelius Hackle, albeit a smaller, more metallic version. This movie opens with Cornelius (Michael Crawford) singing "Out There, there's a world outside of Yonkers" to Barnaby over a beautiful view of the universe. The music fades as we find Wall-E working on Earth. He knows that there's a world (Space) outside of his own Yonkers (Earth) and he wants to go there an not "come home until [he falls] in love." Plus, when Wall-E uses a trash can lid as a straw boater and shows Eve that he can dance along to Put On Your Sunday Clothes, it's about the cutest thing ever (I have a toy of it on my desk).

The movie loses none of its magic when it leaves for space. It just manages to get smarter when it goes. We meet the future of the human race- lazy, overly complacent, blobs who have never had to do anything because they had machines to do it for them. They float on hover chairs and are fed information through video screens all day. These humans are hilarious, but it's also a very poignant caution. If we let technology take over our lives entirely, then are we truly living? Seeing these humans one by one getting knocked out of their own safety zone and realizing how much world there was to live in was very rewarding (and also happened to fit in further with the Hello, Dolly! themes). It was also smartly done to not place the blame for obesity and laziness on the people themselves. These people had just never known anything different.

There is also the issue of Buy 'N Large, the massive store/corporation that basically took over and ruined the planet. Fred Willard plays the President/CEO of Earth in live action shots that shockingly don't feel out of place. I always like to see something take a shot at the massive corporations, especially when that corporation is Wal-Mart (after which Buy 'N Large is clearly modeled). Still, it is a bit strange that Disney/ABC and Pixar/Apple put up the money for this. Corporations don't get much larger than that.

In conclusion, I'm not sure I have anything to say to anyone who didn't like this movie. I just don't know what there could be not to like. It's the best love story Hollywood has put out in years, and it just happens to be between two robots. Go figure.


1 comment:

  1. I absolutely agree. In fact, I think they could have used even more "Hello Dolly" songs. I'm thinking "Before the Parade Passes By" for the blobby couple...