So there I am, sitting at the bar, nursing the water between my third and fourth beers, occasionally snaking a fry from Ryan, sure because they taste good but mostly for the thrill of the hunt, when suddenly the girl next to me says, “Hey, babe. Is this guy boring you? Why not come with me, I’m going to see a movie about robots who could conceivably go to another planet!” Which is why I never had my fourth beer.

But that’s okay, because I got to see an impressive movie instead, in which a tiny robot has decided to clean up this town. And, okay, this town is Earth, and he was probably programmed rather than deciding. But he sounded like R2-D2 (by virtue of being voiced by the same sound editor), so that earns him a lot of credit. WALL-E is the last of his product line still running, so he has the planet to himself. And over the course of probably hundreds of years, he’s picked up personality from unlikely sources. I have to say, as last beings on the planet go, he probably gave Will Smith a run for his money, melancholy pathos and all.[1]

So, after a period in which we get to absorb the tragedy of the ruined planet and its last inhabitant or two, everything changes with the arrival of a bitchy feminine robot on a mission designed by some humans that are still wandering the galaxy. And, you guessed it, WALL-E’s life will never be the same again. A lot of people claim that Pixar makes movies that are equally enjoyable by kids and adults. I’ve skipped a lot of them recently; I think the last one I saw was The Incredibles, and I was quick to acknowledge I was watching a kid movie, contrary to that same claim I’m saying people sometimes make. I point this out as a preface.

Because, I’m not going to claim that with WALL-E, Pixar finally made a movie that can be enjoyed by adults and kids alike. It’s more like… honestly, I felt like Pixar made an adult movie and then added a bunch of kid-laughs after they remembered they were Pixar and are only allowed to make kid movies. So now the kids are able to sit in the theater and not be bored by what their parents are watching. Which is a trend that I hope continues, because damn, but the effects are consistently spectacular, and it’s nice not to be even a little bored between them. Yes, it was a child-like, innocent movie. But if it was specifically kid-oriented, then I’d think the other Pixar movies would have sucked me in better than they did.

P.S. If you happen to watch it, there’s a thing that bothered me a little bit. I get why a Disney movie isn’t going to delve into the mechanics of reproduction, but did it seem to anyone else that the humans should have become extinct a generation or two prior to the events depicted, or at the very least should have been on their way in this generation?

[1] I should pause here to point out the possibility that my identification with our robotic main character here may have colored my favorable impression of the movie. But I’m pretty sure that’s it’s also as good as I think it was.

2 thoughts on “WALL-E

  1. Leigh

    did it seem to anyone else that the humans should have become extinct a generation or two prior to the events depicted, or at the very least should have been on their way in this generation?

    Why, because of the bone mass thing?

    At any rate, I don’t know about the biology of it, but IMO there was a lot about the humans’ *reactions* in WALL-E that wasn’t particularly sensical. I guess we’re supposed to infer that humanity in general has mellowed out an *awful* lot since being strapped to chairs for 700 years.

    Which… okay, now that I think about it maybe that’s not the most illogical supposition ever.

  2. Chris Post author

    Well, the bone mass thing contributed, but my wider concern was how asexual they seemed as a species. I mean, I know, Disney movie. But the noteworthy / representative couple of people seemed as though the idea of love and a relationship had never crossed their minds, because the ship announcements and the chairs had done such an effective job of separating each person into their own insular universe. So, like, not extinct due to failed biology so much as due to failed sociology.


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