Rye Silverman swears cartoons aren’t just for kids and brings us his review of Wall*E
Pixar studio’s new release, Wall*E, is following a long line of highly successful animated features from a company who consistently shows they know what they are doing with the medium. Wall*E, as we were told from the first teaser trailer, is the last of the original concepts drawn up by Pixar upon the release of Toy Story. It comes to us 13 years after that first film, and so one must wonder if there was a particular reason why it took so much longer than say, A Bug’s Life or Finding Nemo, and after new concepts such as The Incredibles, Cars, and Ratatouille.
Wall*E is very much worth the wait, as it is without a doubt the most ambitious effort yet by a studio whose entire mission statement seems to be to push the boundaries of their medium with every new film. As with previous works, Nemo especially, Pixar uses animation as a tool to show us a world that would simply not be possible on the scale and scope they imagine without it. Beginning with a visit to a futuristic Earth, trashed and abandoned by humans, and leading us to their space-bound oasis, Pixar delights in every little detail, putting as much energy and focus on the scenes of seemingly mundane trash gathering tasks performed by the titular robot, as they do when he is on the run from a robotic police force and attempting to help bring humankind back home for good.
What makes the movie so solid is the level of attention and I’ll say it, love, given to creating it’s leading “man.” Wall*E is amazingly sympathetic and well-rounded for a character that basically has no actual dialogue, save a few random words repeated from other sources. He bumbles across the screen, excitedly stumbling on artifacts and items, with the gusto of a silent movie star.
While they may not share nearly as much screen time, the same level of detail appears to have been given to the gallery of robots that Wall*E encounters upon the spaceship containing the surviving members of mankind, each with their own personality quirks and tasks to accomplish. In addition, the state of humanity in the 700 years they have spent being doted on by their mechanical servants, as well as the mess they left behind on Earth, serves as the most blatant social commentary thus far in any Pixar film, and yet never once feels preachy in the process, rather the ultimate message of the movie is hopeful and optimistic about where humans can take themselves, and not just about the trouble we get into to begin with.