Wall-E (2008)

Do Over: EYG Sunday Morning Revisit Week 5

The movie for this week’s Do Over is a film from Pixar, a studio where I have always enjoyed their efforts and some of my absolute favorite animated movies such as Toy Story 3 and Inside Out have been created. However, I have always stated that I did not like Wall-E, one of the films that is nearly universally beloved among the Pixar lineup. Wall-E won an Academy Award for Best Animated Film and holds 95% on Rotten Tomatoes. So this week’s Do Over will feature Wall-E to see if my opinion of this movie changed from when I first saw it years ago.

I did not see Wall-E in the theater. I would have watched the DVD of the film to watch it, which makes sense, since as I watched the film today on Disney +, there were several things that I did not remember. What I remember of my initial thoughts was that Wall-E was dull and boring. It is quite possible that I did not watch the entire film, skipping parts of it.

After watching this on Disney +, I found Wall-E to be considerably better than I remembered. I did not find it boring or dull in the slightest. While it may not break into my Pixar Top 10, it is certainly no longer going to be down at the bottom with Cars or The Good Dinosaur.

Wall-E (Ben Burtt) stood for Waste Allocation Load-Lifter: Earth-Class, which was assigned the job of cleaning a post-apocalyptic earth. Ultimately, the earth proved to be too damaged to be fixed and the robots all were gone. All, that was, except for one Wall-E unit that achieved sentience. Wall-E spent his day collecting intriguing pieces from the planet while compacting the rest into little blocks. Along with his cockroach friend, Wall-E did not realize that he longed for companionship as he watched old VHS copies of musicals.

One day, an egg-shaped probe arrived on earth named EVE (Elissa Knight), pronounced Eva, which stood for Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator. Wall-E was taken with the new robot and tried to make friends with her. He showed EVE lots of the things that he had collected, including his VHS movies. When Wall-E showed her his latest discovery: a small, living plant, EVE went into her primary function, which was to return to the ship with the plant.

Wall-E hitched a ride along with EVE and found a starliner named Axiom. Aboard the ship was a population of humans who had become lazy and fat from decades of pampering and service by the robots. The humans sat on hover chairs and had the robots do even the littlest of jobs.

The Axion’s captain, Captain B. McCrea (Jeff Garlin) was just as slovenly, but when he learned of the existence of the plant from earth, he began to study the past history of earth, and he heard the terrible message from Shelby Forthright (Fred Willard), CEO/owner of the Buy n Large Corporation and President of Earth.

With the hope of the green plant, Wall-E, EVE and the Captain attempt to find a way to return to earth despite the resistance that sprung up against them.

This was a lovely film. The animation was extraordinary and remarkably imaginative. The section that I would have thought was boring back when I first watched this was an important aspect of the film as we learn more about our little robot and the status of the planet earth.

The film certainly seemed to have an anti-technology theme as it implied and came right out with how technology can cause humans to become complacent and lazy, despite their better judgments. However, I always thought that the humans in this movie were to represent the worst of the human race, those completely given in to the 7 sins, especially sloth and gluttony, but after watching this again, I do not think that is accurate. I think this is a warning to people that technology advancements could figuratively place them into a coma, a state of inactivity that causes them to stop thinking, living. The film wants people to be able to keep everything into perspective. You can tell it is not the seven sins because as soon as the plant appears, the humans kind of awaken from their trances and begin to hope to go home.

There are plenty of other themes at work here as well including the use of waste and the effects on the environment. For a movie about a little robot that has a limited amount of dialogue, Wall-E is considerably deep.

Wall-E is much better than I remembered and I am glad that I took the time during this Do Over to give it a second chance.

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