Like Short Circuit, only good

Leave it to writer/director/Vice President, Creative of Pixar Animation Studios Andrew Stanton (Toy Story, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo) to write and direct the best Disney / Pixar movie in years.

WALL•E begins on an abandoned planet Earth. We quickly learn that hundreds of years ago, humans trashed Earth beyond short-term repair and left Earth behind to be cleaned by lots of small WALL•E robots – all but one of which are completely broken down. The one robot that is still functionaly working is the loneliest of robots, spending nights with his only friend (a cockroach) watching classic musicals like Hello Dolly.

When a foreign, self-automated ship lands, deploying an iPod-like futuristic robot, WALL•E’s loneliness is cured. There’s nothing he wont do for her, including following her into the depths of space.

The first half-hour of WALL•E, in essence, is a silent film. Stanton and crew did a marvelous task of giving visible human emotion to a faceless CG robot. In an interview, Stanton told me that he and his creative team had to study up on the art of silent film. “Every lunch, for a couple years, we would watch old Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton movies.”

Though the plot sounds like it’s jumping onto the “green” bandwagon, Stanton told me that it was not his motive.

“Going green was not the point of the picture – it was part of the genre we picked. … It’s about irrational love defeating life’s programming,” explains Stanton about WALL•E, which was written back in the ‘90s.

“I’m all about this ‘green’ thing. And I wish I had a crystal ball so I could go back in time to push it back then. I’d be a billionaire,” jokes Stanton.

WALL•E is not only family-friendly, but fun for everyone. It’s a beautiful blend of kid’s movies, silent film and art – and it even has a warm little moral.

Photo credit: Walt Disney Motion Pictures

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