Wall-E (2008)

I do watch films other than just B&W Italian or Socialist Russian fairy tales, by the way.  I just don’t always write about them on this blog.  I write about the films I want to write about:  those that say something profound to me.  But, I like children’s movies a lot, probably because the other side of my personality is child-like. 

The CG animation films always perplex me:  they look like they’re made for children but they’re all about the adult themes.  Same as South Park or Family Guy or The Simpsons.

What I was left with after watching Wall-E was a profound sense of disappointment with the human race.  I know, I know, by the end they’ve all come back and all that.  But, this film is truly disturbing.  I don’t think I’d want my child to see it and have the opportunity to see what a failure humanity is/has become, as presented in this film. 

While the love story between Wall-E and Eve is sweet and touching, it is overshadowed (to me) by the generally depressing nature of the film’s diegetic reality:  that the earth is a big garbage dump of our own doing, that we have left it completely, that our lives are completely controlled by a mega-corporation, that we’ve left robots (i.e. “others”) to clean up our mess, and that we have gotten so disillusioned and distracted by our “devices” that we literally don’t see the world around us. 

I just wonder how children receive this film and what they understand about its message.  Do they see their own in-car DVD players as the same as the telescreens the people in the film ride around all day long watching?  Or their Wii or Xbox consoles?  Or their iPods?  Because as an adult, I felt like crap after watching it because all of those devices capture and manipulate our attention to the n’th degree today.

I guess I should ask some kids about their thoughts on the state of humanity today and whether we can (or should) stop the future predicted by Pixar….  I think you’d be hard pressed to find a kid or an adult with an in-car DVD player who would be willing to give it up to save the future of humanity!

I liked that the Auto Pilot was pretty much HAL-9000, and that the 2001: A Space Odyssey theme song was added for effect. 

I appreciated that the filmmakers made a huge effort to address these issues, especially when Mary realized they had a pool, and when the captain tried to walk, etc.  But, overall I’m overcome by the fact that in many ways, we are living this reality already.

2 thoughts on “Wall-E (2008)

  1. NOOOOOO!!!!! All the things you’re praising about this movie are all the reasons I didn’t like it!!!

    I was completely overwhelmed by the oppressive moralistic tone and condescending judgment the film passed on all people who don’t exercise, recycle and eat a vegetarian diet. And I don’t think kids really got it at all–or most parents, who have probably bought the movie so kids can watch it on the DVD screens in the backs of the headrests in their 4-mile-per-gallon SUVs. Probably because parents don’t really pay attention to what their kids are watching, as long as it’s a cartoon or marketed as educational…which might open up a whole new audience for Dr. Ruth’s educational videos.

    I don’t know. The noises got to be really irritating after a while, but I felt like the message was so heavy-handed and clumsily done. It’s an interesting movie, but I feel like it could have been a bit more graceful. And it would have benefited from a “Soylent Green is people!” ending.

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