Let me get this off my chest right now. I absolutely hate it when critics rant about things that either have nothing to do with the movie or that are clearly irrelevant to it. I don’t read reviews of films that I plan on seeing until after the fact, and although the most popular gripe made sense (that WALL-E sends an environmental message, which I guess might be too political for some people), the second one makes no sense to me. Why would someone sit through WALL-E, a brilliant story that is as beautiful in animation as it is in its robot romance, and then come away saying “Geez, seems a bit hypocritical for Disney to make a film about fatties bowing down to a corporate empire.” WHY WOULD THAT CROSS YOUR MIND! “Ooo, how dare they show Earth as a garbage-filled wasteland!!” Yeah, because that’s soooo outrageous. Thankfully, I didn’t read about any of this bullshit beforehand and just enjoyed the movie for what it is.
Because it’s Pixar, you know that you won’t get a story that panders to little kids via popular music and fart jokes. You won’t get a cast of Jack Blacks, Seth Rogens, and Will Smiths. In fact, Pixar ups the ante even further. “Hey kid, you think it’s great seeing our hero scream and yell and laugh and make weird faces to entertain you? Well too bad, because our hero doesn’t talk and his face is a pair of binoculars. Try and like that!”
The movie works on every level, but it begins and ends with the title hero. I was surprised at how easy it was to root for little WALL-E. But in the opening moments, we see that he is the last trash-compacting robot left on Earth, pluggin’ away all day every day. He carries around a little lunch cooler to store things that interest him, and later takes them home to his little house that’s full of cool little junk. But he’s lonely and wishes he could love someone like they do in whatever musical he watches on his trendy iPod. I’m hooked from the start, but you throw in EVE, the space yacht full of fat oafs (think overgrown infants), the endearing mopbot, and the 97 minute running time, and you have a damn good movie. Like I said, I don’t subscribe to analysis that is a bit of stretch (the BnL-Disney comparison above), but I also won’t go the other way either. WALL-E is not some great beacon of hope for the independence and hope of man. It’s not some giant message for the appreciation of the little things. It’s just a well-told, well-made, poignant and fun tale of a lonely robot who wants to love; it just happens to be animated.A-