My opinion right after watching film
My opinion right after watching the film is that I really enjoyed the movie, and it made me realize what I miss in animation; risk. Who would have thought a film about two robots in a trashed earth, and is pretty much a silent movie would do well or be interesting? When I was 11 years old, I didn’t, so I did not bother watch it in theaters. Stanton and Docter put their foot into this film, and touched a real issue that was a worry at the time. Environmental movies have a very thin spectrum, as it could be horrible, or brilliant, so you always have to tread lightly when touching that topic. Brilliant filmmaking.
I am going to try and not be overwhelmed by all of the information regarding the production of this film. The prospects of this film was conceived in the infamous 1994 brunch, where A Bug’s Life, Monsters, Inc., and Finding Nemo were also conceived. The film was called Trash Planet, and work was being done with it in 1995, before both Docter and Stanton stopped; the former working on Monsters, and the latter working on Nemo instead. Andrew Stanton started writing for this film after Nemo was in post production in 2002, and wanted to incorporate a love story, since it is one of the strongest tools to get out of loneliness. After a 20 minute story reel shown in late 2003, the film was officially put on production, though Jobs demanded the name to be changed, which is how we got WALL-E. The reason why it took so long for the film to get off the ground is because they were not confident in themselves to make a film with robots. Maybe they felt like technology was not up to par in the late 1990s, since the two types of robots involve humans with metal skins, and machines with function.
The film was the most difficult production-wise in regards to the animation, especially compared to Monsters, Inc. Lighting was one of the aspects that they wanted to get down, as they wanted a different lighting theme for each scene. The first act was to have romantic lighting, the second to have cold and sterile animation, while the third act had a mix. They really wanted to capture the physics of air and lighting in this film, since they wanted to evoke the science fiction theme really well. Inserting live action was a huge stepping stone for Pixar, since they wanted to make it more realistic, and it was something that they never did before. Another reason for this involves the fact that Stanton was planning to make John Carter after this film.
EVE and WALL-E were supposed to contrast, with her consisting of high-tech, and shaped like an egg, while he is shaped like a box, and he was made from outdated technology. Basic theme of old vs new. Stanton reunited with Thomas Newman from Nemo for the music in this film, since they won the Annie award for Best Music for Nemo. Ben Burt was recruited to be a sound designer for the robots in 2005, who claimed earlier that he would not work of robot films anymore, but could not turn down this opportunity. He made a career high for his film, with 2500 sounds.
The film starts with us being told that it is 2805, and humans have abandoned Earth to live in space via Generation Ships, due to the Earth being covered with too much garbage to live on. Robots called Waste Allication Load Lifter – Earth-class (Ben Burt)’s, whose purpose was to clean the earth. It proved to be too challenging, causing all of them but one to die. The one remaining becomes extremely lonely, and depends on sappy 1950s films that could still play for entertainment. I do not know why people complain about what happens in the latter half of the film, when it was blatantly obvious what the plot would be within the first 5 minutes.
EVE and WALL-E get well acquainted with one another, but some sort of storm takes place, which causes him to take her back to his trailer. They look at some of his findings, which leads to some comedic moments from the both of them. He shows her the plant that he found, which causes her to go into sleep mode after inserting the plant. He freaks out, and tries anything to cause her to wake up again, but nothing works. He does anything to protect her from the weather, taking her out on a romantic date, and even playing an old 80’s game with her; it is really cute.
The ship finally comes to pick up EVE, and WALL-E rushes to the ship to cling on, before it takes off from Earth. Regarding the tone of the movie, it completely changes after this point, which is kind of controversial to many people, since some thinks it gets too preachy, and wishes the entire thing took place on Earth. My opinion is; COME ON. What did you all seriously expect? WALL-E makes it to the Axion world that humans are living in, and the humans are barely able to function. Th humans gained so much weight to the point that they can barely move any point of their body, use and rely on technology to talk to people and to travel, and seem to eat most of the time.
WALL-E ends up in the captain McRea (Jeff Garlin)’s room, and we see that they went up to space in 2105, and from the 2200s, the captains started to gain more and more weight over the next 700 years. WALL-E ends up back in the operating room, as the captain does nothing to wake himself up and to prepare himself. Apparently, it is the 700th anniversary, and he acts like it is a good thing that the former captains would be proud of them doing the same thing now. He is shocked that an EVE probe came back positive, and a visual message pops up, explaining what they need to do to get back to earth. When they check EVE, the plant is not in her, so they see it as a dysfunction and a false alarm. They are taken to the repair ward, and after he causes the room to dysfunction, all of the machines rag-tag WALL-E, and the both of them are seen as rogue robots. This means that everyone on the ship will be after them.
One of the cleaning machines put the plant that was in EVE in the escape pod before leaving, and WALL-E goes in it to retrieve it. The escape pod is activated with him and the plant in it, though it blows up. He gives her the plant, and she is overly excited, resulting in a hug, and their version of a kiss.
McCrea wants to go back to Earth, but AUTO is retaliating, and shows him the message, which was delivered in 2100, telling them that it is too toxic to live on Earth, and to stay in space. The AUTO machine tries to shut everything down, tasers WALL-E after retrieving the plant, and EVE is shut down long enough for both of them to be put in the trash. They retrieve the plant to McCrea again, and there’s a climactic battle, which involves the humans being detached from the machines, WALL-E getting crushed, and McCrea having to learn how to walk to disable AUTO. Everyone gives the plant to EVE to put it into Holo-Detector, which signals the ship to go back to Earth. Wall-E is soon released from the Holo-Detector.
As everyone returns to Earth, EVE rushes to his trailer to repair WALL-E, which of course works. Because this has him reset, he does not instantly remember her, and continues with his routine of dumping garbage. Pulling a trick from Disney, a kiss fixes everything, and he regains his memory and feelings for her. The humans learn how to walk, and how to farm, while all of the machines do what they can to help repair Earth.
The characters are not that deep in this film because of the lack of dialogue, but from what we have seen, there is a lot from the main two characters. All of the humans are decent people, but just lost their way in sloth and gluttony. Nothing else to really say about the humans.
I definitely believe that this film was (and is still) the hardest film to animate for Pixar, since there are so many details and different types of solids and air that are infiltrated in the film. Garbage and all of the little details in that, the soil, and when we get to space, the details take a different turn because of all the technology that the humans use to depend on their daily lives. The visuals rely on a lot of contrasting colors once we get in the second half, and blending colors in the first half. Either way, this film needed to be animated, and it did a bang up job.
The choice for the music is pretty interesting. I heard that they wanted the entire score to be made by an orchestra, and there is a mix of the older, classical theme, and a lot of tech themes are integrated as well. Maybe the 50s music was supposed to touch on the more innocent, lively times of humanity, so it was used as a contrast to the current state of earth in the film. The tech scores become more prevalent when the plot goes into space, so it is self explanatory. It does the job really well, and it had to, especially since the film was mostly a silent film, so another sense of emotion needed to be added to make that connection.
Reception at Release
When the film was released on June 27th, 2008, it made $223,808,164 domestically, and grossed $309,473,269 in other territories, with an international gross of $533,281,433. It is the ninth highest-grossing film of 2008.
not, this film received critical praise from audience and critics alike. Many were impressed that the film could keep their attention during the non-speaking first half of the film, the environmental message, and its strong emotional appeal to a large audience. Some liked the first half more than the heavy second half of the film. While some might have found the message revolving around human evolution preachy, many enjoyed it, since it was around the time where people were getting really concerned about the environment. There have also been some critiques about the film discriminating against overweight people.
Regarding the accolades, it was once again nominated and won countless awards, beating out most of its contemporaries. The streak of being the Annies and Oscar’s Best Animated Film continued with this film, but there was some controversy. The studio was really hoping that it would be the second animated film after Beauty and the Beast to be nominated for Best Picture, and a lot of people were angered when it was not nominated for that category. We will talk a lot more about the Best Picture award with the next two reviews.
Its reception today is that it is still seen as one of Pixar’s best, and one of the best animated films overall. This film does not scream sequel, so it will probably be a bit forgotten in that sense. Many see it as one of the best films (not just animated) in the 2000s, so it is for sure a classic.
= 35.5/40 = 89%