By Adam Frazier
Pixarâ€™s â€œWALL-Eâ€ works on three entirely different levels: itâ€™s a sumptuous visual spectacular, an intriguing social commentary and a romanticized science-fiction story.
And yes, â€œWALL-Eâ€ is an animated film that features an incredibly cute robot that is sure to become the latest obsession of children everywhere, but donâ€™t be fooled by that â€œcartoons are for kidsâ€ stigma â€“ â€œWALL-Eâ€ can be just as enjoyable as a grown up.
Directed by Andrew Stanton (â€œFinding Nemoâ€), â€œWALL-Eâ€ begins on Earth in the year 2695, where humans have abandoned the planet and left it completely devoid of life, save a trash-compacting robot by the name of Wall-E, and his cockroach companion.
WALL-Eâ€™s existence on abandoned Earth is a lonely one. Every day he carries out his one directive, to scoop up garbage, shovel it into his belly, and compact it into small cubes for disposal. For the past 700 years, WALL-E has been carrying out his duties, erecting huge skyscrapers made solely of litter and bits of junk left behind by humans.
At the end of a typical workday, WALL-E heads back to his home where we see rack after revolving rack of treasures and trinkets the droid has collected. Thereâ€™s everything from Rubikâ€™s cubes and rotary egg beaters to Zippo lighters and a copy of â€œHello Dollyâ€ on Betamax that our endearing robot buddy obsesses over.
Everything changes when a mysterious ship lands and drops off the highly advanced robotic probe, Eve. Our intrepid friend WALL-E soon falls head over treads in love with Eve, who looks like something Steve Jobs and Apple might develop in 700 years.
Thereâ€™s so much to say about this film. First, itâ€™s a predominantly silent film, and by that I mean there is really hardly any dialogue. As the film progresses we are introduced to human characters and there is an increase in the amount of spoken words, but really the film hinges on the wonderful sound design by Ben Burtt.
Burtt develops WALL-Eâ€™s vocabulary with a variety of squeals, squeaks and electronic purrs that indicate his feelings. Throw in some expressive pivoting ocular sockets and youâ€™ve got a living, breathing character.
Burtt has created some of the most iconic sounds and voices in the history of cinema. If the name isnâ€™t familiar, youâ€™ll know Burttâ€™s work from all six â€œStar Warsâ€ films. As sound designer for the saga, youâ€™ve heard countless alien languages, sound effects and beeps and boops from R2-D2 that Burtt is responsible for.
Along with the sounds, the designs are also an absolute delight. As youâ€™ve no doubt seen from various trailers and TV spots, the animation in â€œWALL-Eâ€ is some of the best ever created. It very well might be Pixarâ€™s masterpiece, and kudos to Andrew Staunton for creating a wonderful film that can be enjoyed by everyone. The whole universe created in the film is incredibly tangible and realistic â€“ you find yourself completely invested in WALL-E and his other robotic friends. I wouldnâ€™t be surprised if â€œWALL-Eâ€ gets a best picture nomination, and I donâ€™t mean Best Animated Feature either.
Itâ€™s hard for me to encapsulate why I loved â€œWALL-Eâ€ so much. Movies have the ability to make the viewer feel a variety of different emotions. You may laugh or cry, scream out in horror, gasp in total shock â€“ but very seldom does a film truly make you feel joy. â€œWALL-Eâ€ is a wonderful little film, and itâ€™s not hard to see why heâ€™s so gosh-darned loveable. Pixar and Andrew Staunton put a lot of love and care into this movie, and it completely shows.
Blu-Ray Details and Extras
Can Blu-Ray Discs evoke orgasms!? Hell yeah! This one’ll have a Catholic Schoolteacher climaxing it looks and sounds so darn good!
Colours are bright, sharp and fun; the audio packs more punch than Drago applied to Apollo’s head in “Rocky IV” and the extras package is as thick as a Snickers bar. There’s commentaries, a short film, the animated ‘Burn-E’ (which you may have already caught online), several making-of shorts, a storybook, a doc on Pixar and much, much more.
You’ll need to set aside a weekend to watch all the goodies on this divine disc.